About Arts Access Advocates

The Christchurch advocacy group at Canterbury Museum, 2014

This project is about working with community participants to build their advocacy skills and forge partnerships across the country, using digital platforms such as websites, video and social media.

There are three parts to this project.

  1. The website: this is a platform for advocates around New Zealand to share and promote their blogs, video, photographs, events, examples of best practice and projects. It also has useful links and resources, both here and internationally.
  2. The video: this advocacy video includes a visit to The Civic in Auckland for a touch tour and audio described performance of CATS, as well as a visit to the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. 
  3. The symposium: a two-day event in Wellington on 28 to 29 November 2015 brought together advocates from the disability sector to share their knowledge, ideas and projects; learn more about social media and video skills; and form a national network.

Some background

“Nothing about us without us” is a principle that drives the various disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in New Zealand. These organisations are governed and run by disabled people, and include Disabled Persons Assembly, Deaf Aotearoa, People First New Zealand Ngā Tāngata Tuatahi and Blind Citizens NZ. 

This principle sits at the centre of this project, which aims to provide a vehicle and some useful tools so disabled and Deaf people can advocate for increased access to the arts.

Funded through the Ministry of Social Development’s Think Differently campaign, the project builds on what Arts Access Aotearoa learned and achieved in two earlier Making a Difference projects: one in Auckland in 2013 and the other in Christchurch in 2014.

In both cities, advocacy groups were formed to build skills among participants to advocate for increased accessibility and inclusion in the arts for disabled people. The groups consisted of people with physical and sensory impairment, intellectual disability and lived experience of mental ill-health.


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