Independent Street Arts Network – ‘making outdoor arts accessible to all’

Independent Street Arts Network – ‘making outdoor arts accessible to all’

I went up to the National Theatre on the South Bank yesterday for the launch of ISANs ‘Access Toolkit’. It was a lovely day to be out and about on the river, and inside the theatre were lots of interesting people associated with street arts, and also plenty of yummy sandwiches.

After a bit, it was time for some speeches, and introducing it all was Ade Adepitan, MBE, who is a wheelchair basketball champion, TV presenter, actor, and conference speaker. He also once did a hip hop wheelchair dance for the BBC, and when he goes out and about in public, people try to bribe him into doing the dance again!

Other speakers came up, including Cat Loriggio, Creative Programmer for London 2010, South East, who we already know. Basically, what everyone wanted to say was that too many outdoor events are spoilt or made difficult for disabled people because their needs have not been accurately catered for. The organisers don’t have the knowledge to provide accessibility and the result is that disabled people think it’s best to stay at home, so miss out on the fun. This is clearly unfair, and so this ‘toolkit’ has been written, full of detailed advice to enable organisers of outdoor events to be inclusive, making everyone feel confident that they will have a good time.  To download the Toolkit, go to www.streetartsnetwork.org.uk

While I was there, some people asked whether The Freewheelers did street theatre, so I was able to say that we currently favoured cliff based performances!