It's time for another blog post, this top tip article came to my mind after the covid-19 lockdowns created some amazing accessibility for the arts that has never been considered before. It was born out of necessity to continue the performing arts going whilst we were all inside our homes, but now the light is being cast on producers to create more accessible shows for all - performers and patrons. As a producer myself, I was curious to know how to make the shows I create more accessible so more people can enjoy them, regardless of ability. I asked NZ performer, producer and disabilibabe Rosie Roulette to illuminate some ideas for producers to create some more accessibility in the performing arts. Here's what she had to say (remember to follow Rosie on her socials - found at the bottom of this post).
Rosie Roulette is a kiwi singer/songwriter, burlesque and cabaret performer, producer and disability advocate. She graduated from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in 2013 and moved to Melbourne in 2014. For the past few years, in addition to creating art, she has spent a lot of her time advocating for the rights of chronically ill and disabled people both online and in real life. She also has a busking act where she performs as a disabled princess singing Disney and show tunes, known
simply as The Dizzy Knee Princess, a nod to symptoms of two of her conditions, POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
(photo by Empress Eyrie)
Here are Rosie's Top Tips For Creating More Accessible Shows:
1. The Venue.
Is your venue accessible? And I mean really accessible for all people? Disability isn't limited to just people who use wheelchairs, it covers a wide spectrum of mobility and other issues. Wheelchair accessibility is not just whether the venue has a ramp or a lift, you also need to think about how a wheelchair user is able to access that lift or ramp and how easy it is for them. A single step for example in front of a lift or ramp is not accessible, neither is a long detour around the back of a venue and down an alleyway in order to reach an elevator. And once inside, also consider if the bathrooms and other
amenities are accessible for wheelchair users and people with other mobility issues. Whether or not the venue has adequate seating with back support and whether it can be easily accessed by public transport is also important.
2. Provide Accessibility Info On Your Event.
Regardless of whether or not you can secure a fully accessible venue, you should always endeavour to list accessibility info wherever your event is listed. Simply stating whether or not your venue is wheelchair accessible and how