Cultural Inclusion Strategy – Consultation


Arts and culture make invaluable contributions to the education, health, and wellbeing of the nation, but disabled people do not have the same access as nondisabled people. Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Arts and Culture organisations have been setting a path towards greater inclusion of young people with disabilities for some time. And many research reports, networks, initiatives, and conferences have highlighted this as a common theme.

The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto has, since 2018, advanced inclusion through a unique coming together of arts and disabilities organisations; individual artists; disabled people; parents; and schools. Supporters of the Manifesto have agreed to a clear set of beliefs and principles which are designed to drive and guide inclusive practice.

The Manifesto has received a fantastic response from the cultural and arts, and disability sectors and has received over 200 signatories and has cross party support from both Houses of Parliament. The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto has hosted three key events, a conference in October 2018, a Parliamentary reception in January 2019 and a second conference online in February 2021.

It is now time for the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto to move beyond support for its principles to embrace action focused on driving inclusive arts and culture practice forwards. To this end the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto has come out of its incubation phase with Every Child Should and is now constituted as a Community Interest Company (no. 13306909).

Everything that has been achieved so far has been done at very low cost. The team behind the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto gave their time voluntarily and sponsorship and gifts in kind supported the events. Future actions, and their impact, will rely heavily on the ability to achieve an income, and longevity will rely on achieving a sustainable income.

This document outlines the emerging strategy for the next phase for the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto and invites your input. Questions are throughout, we invite your responses and your general thoughts on the strategic direction and activities and also any insight you are able to offer. The left hand side provides the strategy, the right contains questions, but free comments are welcome too.

Please send responses to


The Cultural Inclusion Strategy

The vision for The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto CIC is:

 All children and young people with disabilities have equal access to a broad range of artistic and cultural experiences.

Is this the right vision?

To progress this vision The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto will work with partners, leaders of arts and culture organisations, educators, politicians and artists to promote access and drive inclusive practice in the following ways:

  •  To Consume – to be audience members in venues, in school and online without barriers to access.
  • To Create – to be artists and performers participating in all art forms, accessing progression routes, training, and opportunities to showcase their talents.
  • To Connect – to engage with arts and culture through positive depictions of disabled people and identifying with disabled artists as role models.
  • To have Careers – to be arts and culture employees, to be amongst the next generation of leaders, and accessing progression routes.

Do these four areas cover the range of experiences?

The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto’s priorities are to:

  • Increase awareness of the importance of arts and culture to the health, education and well-being of children and young people with disabilities and its ability to transform their life chances. Engage with key partner organisations and politicians at the local, regional and national level to ensure that inclusion is central to policy.
  • Identify barriers to greater inclusion of disabled children and young people in arts and culture and to develop practical solutions in collaboration with others and disseminate them widely to stakeholders.
  • Be a repository for information that will help providers of arts and culture to be inclusive and to amplify and share good practice in inclusive arts and culture. Identify, capture and disseminate best practice widely to stakeholders to support organisations to improve their offer to disabled children and young people.
  • Encourage and support mentoring and strategic partnerships to increase representation and create more opportunities for disabled children and young people to engage with arts and culture.
  • Support organisations to audit their offer and ensure it is accessible for children and young people with disabilities and investigate the value of a kitemark accreditation for arts and culture organisations to meet, and show that they meet, standards for inclusion.

Would achieving these priorities bring about change?

To work towards these priorities our immediate actions will be:

  • Continue to promote the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto to gain supporters for its principles.
  • Develop and promote framework with standards for organisations to be accessible for children and young people with disabilities.
  • Seek funding. Identify prospective funders to support core activities and develop robust and compelling cases for support to inform funding applications.
  • Investigate the feasibility of a tiered, paid for, membership of Cultural Inclusion.
  • Form a Steering Group and recruit Patrons to support our work and amplify our message.
  • Identify prospective mentors across education, arts and culture and recruit them to a new matching service for signatories seeking expertise and support.
  • Produce a toolkit for developing local, regional and national cross-sector strategic partnerships.
  • Develop a broad range of case studies illustrating innovative work to increase access to arts and culture remotely.
  • Increase speaking opportunities at key events and forums (conferences, workshops and meetings of relevant All Party Parliamentary Groups) and identify the best person/people to participate.
  • Deliver an annual conference and a range of workshops for signatories and stakeholders on key emerging issues.
  • Develop our website further and produce a range of new high-quality content to drive traffic and increase the range of support and tools available to signatories and stakeholders.

Would these immediate actions be effective in working towards the priorities?

We are asking out signatories and supporters to:

  • Contribute to this strategy development process.
  • Provide expertise and experience to assist with the development of cases for support and the identification of best practice.
  • Support the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto’s communications efforts.
  • Support the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto’s fundraisings efforts.
  • Offer themselves or the people they work with to represent the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto at events and in the media.
  • Join Steering Groups and Working Groups to provide expertise to the development of new initiatives.

Are these reasonable asks of signatories and supporters?

Thank you for your interest The Cultural Inclusion Manifesto’s strategy. Together we can lead the next phase of our journey for inclusive arts and culture for children and young people with disabilities.

Matt Overd
Matt Overd
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