By | March 3, 2021

Marsha de Cordova, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, welcomes delegates to the Cultural Inclusion Conference 2021

This is the first video from the conference to be released. More of the presentations will follow once they have been captioned. We are also working on the overall conference report.

The conference on the 26th February 2021, brought together disabled people, parents, disability organisations, schools and arts and culture organisations to explore access to culture and heritage. Given the events of the previous 12 months the conference also explored: How has COVID affected opportunities for the inclusion of disabled young people in arts & culture?


Marsha De Cordova is the Labour MP for Battersea, and has been an MP continuously since 8 June 2017. She currently undertakes the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities.

Marsha says about the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto:
“As a disabled woman and Shadow Minister for Disabled People, I was proud to stand for election on a manifesto for disabled people that declared “Nothing about you, without you”. This also means full access to cultural life for disabled people – not just as spectators, but as active participants. The Cultural Manifesto is another step towards making this a reality for younger disabled people and allowing them to fulfil their full potential.”


See the conference programme and all speakers and their biogs here

An audio description of Marsha de Cordova's presentation

Full transcript

Audio description: A black woman with black hair in a cornrow style. She is wearing a black jumper with silver beads and is sitting in front of a grey wall with a whiteboard and a House of Commons poster behind her.

Begins. Good morning everyone. I am Marsha de Cordova, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities. I am delighted to welcome you to the Delivering Differently (Cultural Inclusion) Conference 2021.

As a disabled woman and former Shadow Minister for Disabled People I was proud to stand for election on a manifesto for disabled people that declared "nothing about you without you."

I believe that includes full access to cultural life, both as spectators and active participants. And that is why I was an early supporter and signatory of the cultural inclusion manifesto, and it's aim to ensure that this is a reality for disabled children and young people.

The pandemic has affected us all in a myriad of ways and has exposed the structural inequalities that without action would further impact the life chances and the quality of life for children and young people who have a special educational need. And this includes impacting on their access to meaningful inclusion and participation in artistic and cultural learning experiences.

As well as the impacts on disabled people themselves the pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the Arts and the cultural sector, which could undermine the gains that we have made over the last decade to increase cultural inclusion.

As the Arts and Culture sector emerges from the pandemic we have a real opportunity to ensure the needs of disabled people are at the heart of the recovery. And that is why this conference is very timely.

I wish you all the very best today as you come together with a shared goal of increasing cultural inclusion. I look forward to reading the report that is produced and working with you to ensure the recommendations are heard in Parliament. Ends.