New charter to help music venues change their tune on disabled access

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An organisation has drawn up a new charter which is designed to encourage small music venues to improve accessibility for disabled people.

Attitude is Everything secured £279,000 of funding this year and has just recognised a venue in Tunbridge Wells as the first small music site to be certified accessible for deaf and disabled fans under the charter.

The ‘Breaking the Sound Barriers’ programme will be transforming its mystery shopping programme and will encouraging disabled people from different communities to participate in mystery shopping to help improve access and advise on what changes need to be made at venues.

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A large part of the new programme is to work with the group’s current partners from the disability, live music and events industry sectors, AiE Charter of Best Practice music venues and festivals, music trade bodies and organisations, artists and policymakers.

“At Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we believe that the arts can enrich people’s lives, but for that to happen, there are obstacles to access that need to be addressed. ‘Breaking the Sound Barriers’ should give voice to the many music fans within the deaf and disabled community and help them to improve their experience of live music going,” said Moira Sinclair, chief executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which provided the funding.

“The venues are critical partners in this endeavour, providing local access to great music, and we are delighted to support them, helping them to open up even more to potential audiences across the UK.”

Meanwhile, Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything, said: “I’m very grateful to Paul Hamlyn Foundation for agreeing to support us from their “More and Better” programme and thus enabling our work to thrive in some new key areas.  It is particularly exciting as ‘Breaking the Sound Barriers’ is new programme of work for us, enabling us to give a voice to under-represented fans within the disability community, to try out new ways in which we can support disabled people to feedback about their experiences, and to focus on small, grassroots music venues in a dedicated way for the first time.

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