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Beyond the Music helps deaf and disabled into industry

Attitude is Everything, the UK’s leading authority on live music accessibility, is launching a three-year programme that aims to boost employment opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the commercial music sector.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Beyond the Music will provide the necessary skills, experience, resources and guidance for deaf and disabled people and also for music businesses, in order to plug the employment gap and create inclusive work environments.

“Attitude is Everything believes it is crucial that deaf and disabled people have full and equal access to any employment opportunities on offer,” says head of volunteering and skills development for Attitude is Everything, Paul Hawkins.

“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.”

“Beyond The Music will allow us to try and identify why deaf and disabled workers are so underrepresented in the sector”

Beyond the Music’s accompanying survey will collect responses from deaf or disabled people, who work or aspire to work in the industry, which will help to shape the programme.

Attitude is Everything has also shared a number of objectives it hopes to achieve during the time period, including building a Beyond the Music Network, creating an Accessible Employment and Volunteering Toolkit and organising Accessible Creative Environments training.

“For a number of years UK Music has been a proud supporter of Attitude is Everything’s great work to improve access to music and the music industry for deaf and disabled people,” says UK Music acting CEO, Tom Kiehl. “Beyond The Music is an exciting new initiative that everyone must now get behind. We look forward to working with Attitude is Everything on this and welcoming them to the UK Music Diversity Taskforce.”

The initiative launched after findings from Arts Council England showed that just 1.8% of staff at music industry organisations consider themselves to be disabled, though 19% of working adults in the UK’s general population are considered disabled under the Equality Act.

Last year, Attitude is Everything revealed that its own research found that 70% of disabled musicians hid details of their impairment for fear of losing opportunities and that two-thirds had compromised their health to perform in inaccessible conditions.


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