When you are developing accessible and inclusive activity and practice, it’s important to connect with the knowledge and experience of people with direct experience of barriers.
This resource lists some of the specialist organisations who provide resources, service and training. Use these links to find out more about any challenges specific to your members or that you are likely to find in your community.
There are many organisations offering support out there, so if there is a specific characteristic that we haven’t covered, let us know and we will look at adding it to this resource.
Euan’s Guide – Disabled Access Reviews
Euan’s Guide was established by power chair user Euan MacDonald. It is a disabled access review site where disabled people, their family, friends and carers can find and share reviews on the accessibility of venues around the UK. You can search for concert venues and filter for particular accessibility features. It also contains access tips for venues, useful for event organisers.
Attitude is Everything
Attitude is Everything improves Deaf and disabled people's access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry. This site is useful for organisers of live music events, whether you operate or hire a venue.
On the Attitude is Everything website: The Charter of Best Practice for Venues & Grassroots Venues | Access guide for online music events | Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations working safely through Covid-19
We Shall Not Be Removed - UK Disability Arts Alliance
The UK Disability Arts Alliance was formed as an emergency response to the pandemic in 2020. It is a forum to advocate, to campaign and support D/deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners and organisations through and after Covid-19.
On the UK Disability Arts Alliance website: Seven Principles for an Inclusive Recovery | Survey report on participation of creative deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people in the cultural sector
OHMI – Enabling music-making for the physically disabled
The OHMI Trust pioneered the development and adaptation of musical instruments for people who are physically disabled. Their objective is to enable children and adults with physical impairments to play the instruments they want to play.
On the OHMI Trust website: Information on hiring and buying adapted instruments and enabling apparatus | Research on music and disability | OHMI Competition to create/develop musical instruments that can be played without the use of one hand and arm
Dementia Inclusive Singing Network
The DISN supports groups in Scotland whose work focuses on people living with dementia and their carers in a specialist context. They also share information and tools to allow community choirs to support existing or new members who may be living with dementia, free and available to all.
On the DISN website: Resources (including songs) for anyone running a choir or singing group | Resource on making spaces more dementia inclusive | Resource on communicating with people with dementia | Resource on making online singing activities more dementia inclusive
Every Brain – Supporting and Platforming Neurodivergent Creativity
Every Brain is an evolving project designed to support and platform neurodivergent creativity. Every Brain defines neurodiversity as inclusive of all conditions that result in alternative or non-typical brain function.
On the Every Brain website: A guide for a guide for cultural organisations with advice on how they can better support neurodivergent creatives and celebrate neurodiversity. Includes links to more information on neurodivergences including Autistic Spectrum conditions, ADHD and Dyslexia.
Creative Differences: a guide to making neurodiverse-friendly workplaces (UMusic)
This handbook commissioned by Universal Music aims to help neurodiverse people thrive at work by teaching companies how to support them. It explores the experiences of people with specific facets of neurodiversity such as ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and Tourette Syndrome.
British Dyslexia Association
The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) is the voice of dyslexic people, working to achieve a dyslexia-friendly society for all.
National Deaf Children’s Society
NDCS is the leading charity for deaf children and a community of parents and professionals supporting deaf children and young people. The information is also useful for considering adjustments for adults and for event organisers.
On the NDCS website: Music Mark and NDCS guide - How to make music activities accessible for deaf children and young people | Information on enabling listening to music and on learning to play a musical instrument
National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters
NUBSLI is a branch of Unite and is made up of both employed and self-employed interpreters and translators.
Stagetext is a deaf-led charity focused on using technology to create subtitles and captions for live events.
On the Stagetext website: Resources for venues and event organisers to help you understand more about your deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences | A best-practice checklist for event organisers and venues
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
The RNIB is the UK’s largest community of blind and partially sighted people. They provide a Music Advisory Service to support people with sight-loss in any aspect of music making.
On the RNIB website: Information on the Music Advisory Service, on music education and on accessible formats (Braille, talking scores etc) | A factsheet for leisure organisations - how to make your services more accessible to blind and partially sighted customers
Social Mobility Commission
The Social Mobility Commission is a UK Government advisory public body, which exists to create a United Kingdom where the circumstances of birth do not determine outcomes in life.
On the Social Mobility Commission website: A toolkit for employers in the creative industries, to ensure you are adopting an inclusive approach to hiring and progressing staff from low socio-economic backgrounds
Sound Connections is a music charity in London working with children and young people. Their resources are open to view and have lots of guidance on inclusive practices.
Family Arts Standards
The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded to raise family engagement with arts and culture.
On the Family Arts Campaign website: The Family Arts Standards help families to find arts activities that are suitable for all ages; they cover the basic considerations for families visiting an arts experience | Age-friendly standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older generations
UK Music Diversity Taskforce
UK Music produced reports and research on diversity in the music industry from 2016 to 2019. In 2020 they established a Diversity Taskforce and a Ten-Point Plan to help drive substantial change. The plan aims to help increase diversity and boost inclusion at the trade bodies representing the majority of the UK music industry. This is useful for creating inclusion policies and plans at a strategic level.
On the UK Musicwebsite: UK Music Diversity Taskforce Ten-Point Plan
Inc Arts Unlock - Anti-racism toolkit for the Arts
Inc Arts Unlock is the result of an anti-racism conference (2020) and is based on suggestions for change made by those with lived experience of racism in the arts. Unlock offers a practical step-by-step process to think about what anti-racist action your group can take.
On the Inc Arts Unlock website: A toolkit to work through, prompting you to set and take action | Inc Arts has also collated the recommendations, demands and suggestions of those most affected by racism in the arts sector
Black Lives in Music
The Black Lives in Music campaign addresses the current inequality of opportunity for black people aspiring to be artists or professionals in the jazz and classical music industries. Black Lives in Music believes in real equality for black people to learn musical instruments at grassroots level and to allow them to pursue and realise their musical ambitions.
The Daffodil Perspective
The Daffodil Perspective is a podcast championing marginalised voices in classical music history. Each episode features 50% female composers (half of whom are women of colour) and 25% male composers of colour. This is useful if you are looking to include more diverse composers in your repertoire.
On the Daffodil Perspective website: Links to the fortnightly podcast and archive
Donne - Women in Music
Donne Foundation is a UK Charity which aims to redress gender inequality within the music industry. Their research on female composers can help source a more inclusive repertoire.
We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.