Attitude Is Everything To Boost Opportunities For Deaf And Disabled In The UK

Paul Hawkins
– Paul Hawkins
Head of volunteering and skills development for Attitude is Everything

Attitude is Everything, the UK’s authority on live music accessibility, has launched a program called Beyond the Music to boost career opportunities for deaf and disabled people, who are “significantly underrepresented in the music and creative sectors,” according to data.

Step one in the creation of Beyond the Music is a survey to help understand the potential barriers facing Deaf and disabled people in the workplace.
Professionals working at UK venues, including the Barbican, Manchester Arena and Brighton Centre, have joined an advisory group to help formulate a strategy once the survey findings are in.
Arts Council England, the government-funded body dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England, has found that only 4% of staff at organizations in the council’s national portfolio, and just 1.8% of staff at music industry organizations, consider themselves to be disabled.
“This is a significant disparity from the UK’s general population, where 19% of working adults are considered disabled under the Equality Act,” according to the findings.
While the disconnect may be due to barriers and discrimination, Attitude is Everything’s own research suggests many deaf and disabled people lack confidence to make their impairment known.
The Beyond the Music survey is funded by England’s National Lottery Community Fund. The program is taking a two-step approach: “supporting deaf and disabled people to gain the necessary skills, experience, support and contacts they require to work or volunteer in the music industry, while providing training, resources and guidance to help music businesses build a truly inclusive work environment.”
The responses from the survey will help shape the program over the next three years. 
Over that time, Attitude is Everything aims for the following:
– A Beyond The Music Network – a place for Deaf and disabled people working or seeking to work in the industry to meet, network, share ideas and find support around navigating the industry.
– Structured opportunities for Deaf and disabled people to develop their skills through training, mentoring, shadowing and skilled employment and volunteering opportunities.
– Accessible Creative Environments training – a new training course tailored to support companies within the industry to create a truly inclusive workplace culture.
– An Accessible Employment and Volunteering Toolkit 
– A Future Leaders programme – a year long skills development programme designed to help talented Deaf and disabled people develop the skills to lead the industry in the future.
Head of volunteering and skills development for Attitude is Everything, Paul Hawkins, commented: “This is a challenging time for everyone in the music business, especially within live events. 
“The industry’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign has highlighted the gravity of the situation, but, as we plot a pathway back from coronavirus, Attitude is Everything believes it is crucial that deaf and disabled people have full and equal access to any employment opportunities on offer. 
“Beyond The Music will allow us to try and identify why Deaf and disabled workers are so underrepresented in the sector, and to take positive action to implement change. The first step towards that goal is the survey we are launching today. 
“We are enormously grateful to the National Lottery for funding this project, and also for support we’ve received from venues and others in the business. More will be needed on the road ahead as we strive for equality and inclusivity.”