Accessible Arts Festivals Forum 19 July 2011 V4 For Web


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The keynote address was to major festival directors to assist with improving inclusive practices for people with disabilities and others with access needs. Please references as:

Darcy, S. (2011, Tuesday, 19 July 2011). Keynote: Disability, Customer Service and Developing an Access Culture for Major Festivals. Paper presented at the Accessible Arts Festivals Forum, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House.

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  • Good morning – I was very glad when Sophie approached me to be involved with the forum as I have enjoyed going to many of the venues, events and festivals represented by the organisations in this room. While I ’m an academic I have also worked for a number of organisations in this room on mainstream research, undertaken access audit work, assisted with internship programs across venues & festivals, I have been a subscriber to theatre, avid attender of the Festival of Sydney events over January each year, attended parts of the Sydney film Festival, the biennially, Sydney TEDx, Crave and most recently Vivid. In other words, I immensely enjoyed being involved with the sector and know-how exciting yet stressful working on this event and festivals can be. Disability, access, customer service and developing a strategic approach to organisational access culture is just another one of the many things that you guys have to juggle on a daily basis. I’m here to provide an insight on what it is worth juggling these things from a human rights perspective, market dynamics, corporate social responsibility and as part of both a macro and micro business strategy.   Art Gallery of New South Wales Arts NSW Australia Council for the Arts Biennale of Sydney CarriageWorks City of Sydney ~ Events Department; New Years ’ Eve CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival Dungog Film Festival Office of Communities - Department of Education and Communities Parramatta Riverside Theatres Screen Australia Screen NSW Sculpture by the Sea Sydney Festival Sydney Film Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Sydney Opera House Sydney Writers ’ Festival The Festivalists    
  • And I could have picked one of 1000 images of major festivals and events to drive home the immensity and complexity of what each of you do everyday… This is just one that is based around the Opera house forecourt the harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens
  • So what are we going to do today… firstly, I am not here to lecture. I am here to point out some interesting ways of viewing the tremendous opportunity that your organisation could involve themselves with, capture, engage and invite all types of people that may not have thought about coming to your event or Festival. We will…
  • As per slide…
  • With regard to the types of disability, rather than worrying about individual impairments think about what it means for the dimensions of access for… Of course, there are many more than this including people with sensitivities, mental health, challenging behaviours and many more but in planning festivals these are the major groups were access inclusions occur.
  • Numbers in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world are phenomenal Particularly when you placed in context that one person with disability rarely travels by themselves and my research has shown that the group dynamics create powerful arguments whether it is an individual with a disability travelling with their family or friends or in my case when we are planning work based engagements then it is just not me who you lose from business but the 30 other people that I work closely with. Of course, with academics that includes a really large wine bill!
  • Further, these figures haven ’ t been plucked out of the air, but it now has been validated in Europe and the USA with major surveys undertaken by market research houses My most recent research with economist Larry Dwyer has shown that there is at least 25% latent demand if organisations were more conscious of inclusive organisational practice. The Australian figures come from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Tourism Research Australia and the Tourism Satellite Accounts.
  • Business case for access markets can be conceptualised in many ways The complexity… part of all markets (Different psychographics) Part of specific access requirements which when aggregated a specific market
  • Of course, as festival organisers you have done some absolutely brilliant work around the greening of festivals and I point to UTS Australia Centre Event Management ’ s event carbon calculator. Organisation to become far more financially effective and efficient, which in part is being driven by funding bodies and sponsor involvement. However, an area that has been a lot further behind when looking at triple bottom line has been social sustainability were engagement across marginalised groups has only started to be focused on. Festivals can increase participation across marginalised groups I communicating information in a way that signifies to these groups that they are welcome. This includes as participants, performerrs, volunteers, employers, employees, contractors, advisory boards and what ever other stakeholder role there may be with the festival
  • There are over a billion people with disabilities worldwide and 10% of those (101 million) earn equal to or above the average weekly wage of their country (Mark Bagshaw, IBM Australia) The US accessible tourism market is currently worth US$13.5 billion (Bruce Cameron, Principal, Easy Access Australia) There are two ways of thinking about people with disability and those with access needs Disability as part of driving niche markets Disability is part of every market segment Within your context, disability should be thought of as part of every market but with opportunities to create niche opportunities particularly for groups of people with disability (e.g. Children from major disability service organisations)
  • As our research has shown disability is part of every life-cycle group
  • Within the major day trip and tourism activities, this graph shows that people with disability identified by the blue bar participate in many event/festivals and a higher rate than the general population. For example farm visits art and craft workshops, festivals fares and cultural events and attend theatre/concert/performing arts. People with disability Love the creative industries…
  • How do you produce quality accessible festival experiences?
  • I could have said that the slide was designed to give you an idea of what it is like to have a vision impairment but that would be a white lie as this is just a dodgy JPEG and I could not find a clearer image! The point of understanding stereotypes of disability is highlighted in this slide. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Publication reviewing 10 years of the DDA states ‘ Don ’ t judge what I can do by what you think I can ’ t ’ However, what the flight represent is a philosophy don ’ t put your constraints about what you think a person ’ s ability is when providing opportunities for people with disability… We will surprise you! As Event and festival managers your responsibility is to provide participation opportunities and not to make assumptions re what people with disabilities can and cannot do. In A business context I have called this Maximizing Festival Participation
  • For example, I always wanted to have a V8 supercar experience and I can tell you it wasn ’ t the most accessible, it was difficult, it required planning, it required physical preparation but most importantly it required an experienced facilitator with the V8 supercar organisation to say “ yes, of course we can help you do this ” Further, they said whatever we can do we will do and we will assist in any way that you want.
  • This attitude was really borne out by the following quote which came from the Sydney for all project where people kept expressing to us that it was so hard to find cool accessible things to do… Nobody made it easy to have accessible experiences.
  • Similarly, when we were involved in that accessible alpine experience project a whole group of people thought would not be cool if we could all go to Mt Kosciusko and get to the peak… I understand that the Louise Savage is here and that if all where he is setting up on the peak of Mt Kosciusko! Not easy but doable with vision and buy in by the organisation to createthe opportunity
  • So how do you develop an access culture… Well there is a process and that process can be assisted through the principles of creating a disability action plan Importantly, you don ’ t have to do it all at once. Identify one important area that your organisation decides to focus access on and then move forward incrementally building on this
  • What are some of the considerations?
  • Iconography is a brilliant way of advertising your inclusive practices
  • Quite simply in the short term the Sydney Opera house will have to manage expectations about the experiences that they can offer
  • The Access all areas use the iconography to clearly convey their message together with a phone number/website address
  • … Preplanning, registering and having close off dates for access makes managing resources possible together with creating organisational responsibility for delivering what it is said that you were going to deliver… In this case camping and positional access for key performances
  • Melbourne comedy Festival had a different approach with respect to get access where they said preregister for shows and we will provide Auslan interpreters
  • Companion Card – fair ticketing to events and venues
  • Accessible Arts logo
  • Accessible Arts Festivals Forum 19 July 2011 V4 For Web

    1. 1. Disability, Customer Service and Developing an Access Culture Accessible Arts Festivals Forum Tuesday, 19 July 2011 Associate Professor Simon Darcy UTS Business School University of Technology, Sydney [email_address] Our vision is a society in which people with disabilities can contribute to and fully experience the arts and cultural life.
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Definition of Access for Festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Access market potential </li></ul><ul><li>Business case </li></ul><ul><li>Market dynamics </li></ul><ul><li>Cool accessible festival experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Developing an access culture </li></ul><ul><li>Concluding comments </li></ul><ul><li>Based on </li></ul><ul><li>Buhalis, D., & Darcy, S. (Eds.). (2011). Accessible Tourism: Concepts and Issues. Bristol, UK: Channel View Publications. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1. Definition of Access for Festivals <ul><li> a collaborative process between stakeholders that enables people with disability, including mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions, to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universally designed products, services and environments. </li></ul><ul><li>This definition adopts a whole of life approach where people through their lifespan benefit from access provisions. </li></ul><ul><li>These include people with permanent and temporary disabilities, seniors, obese, families with young children and those working in safer and more socially sustainably designed environments (adapted Darcy & Buhalis 2011, p10-11). </li></ul>
    5. 5. Dimensions of Access <ul><li>Mobility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ramps, lifts, circulation space, accessible unisex toilets, automatic doors, table heights, operational dexterity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tactile tiles, visual contrast, audible signals (lifts/street crossings), braille, large print, assistance animal respite areas, audio described, mp3 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hearing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual signals, Auslan Sign interpreters, captioning or Tele text, telephone typewriters, preprepared written material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cognition/learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plain English material, iconic signage, time, speed of communication, environmental stimulus, alternative modes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Others </li></ul>
    6. 6. 2. Access Market Potential <ul><li>Domestic Demand </li></ul><ul><li>Australia = 4.0m </li></ul><ul><li>New Zealand = 0.7m </li></ul><ul><li>Overseas Tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Europe = 127m </li></ul><ul><li>China = 62m </li></ul><ul><li>USA = 60m </li></ul><ul><li>India = 47m </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britian = 9m </li></ul><ul><li>Canada = 4m </li></ul>650 million Worldwide <ul><li>Group Dynamics = 2.8/day trip = 3.4/domestic </li></ul>
    7. 7. Economic Studies <ul><li>Overseas </li></ul><ul><li>Europe €80bn </li></ul><ul><li>German €3bn </li></ul><ul><li>USA $14bn </li></ul><ul><li>Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Day Trips $1.5bn </li></ul><ul><li>Overnight $4.8bn </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound $1.4bn </li></ul><ul><li>To the Australian economy each year. (Dwyer & Darcy 2011). </li></ul>
    8. 8. 3. Business Case for Access Markets <ul><li>Global Trends </li></ul><ul><li>Ageing of the population </li></ul><ul><li>Baby boomers </li></ul><ul><li>Increased opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Human rights declarations </li></ul><ul><li>Community expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>CSR – Social sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Part of all markets </li></ul><ul><li>A specific/niche market </li></ul><ul><li>New products - innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Non peak periods </li></ul><ul><li>Segregated  Universal </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible/integrated space </li></ul><ul><li>Group size </li></ul><ul><li>Networks and collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>Destination competitivness </li></ul>Global Financial Crunch
    9. 9.
    10. 10. 4.
    11. 11. Lifecycle Groups Source: Darcy 2011 based on NVS 2010
    12. 12. Activities Source: NVS 2010
    13. 13. 5. Quality Accessible Festival Experiences
    14. 14. Source: HREOC 2003
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Festival Experiences I just want to do cool things without the hassle ...
    17. 17. Summit Mt. Kosciusko
    18. 18. 6. Developing an Access Culture C ustomer Feedback Loop Access Market Use Circle Darcy, S. (2011). Developing Sustainable Approaches to Accessible Accommodation Information Provision: A Foundation for Strategic Knowledge Management. Tourism Recreation Research, 36(2), 141-157.
    19. 19. Planning an Accessible Festival <ul><li>Language, information and promotion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dignity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Venue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access/Toilets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers/Attendants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transport </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Transport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsibility? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who? At what level? Resources? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accommodation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proximity to Venue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of classes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Calendar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After hours information and/or program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restaurants/side trips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transport and Attendants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catering - special diets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tty/Signers </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Iconography Source: nysdoh/promo/events.htm
    21. 21. Managing Expectation <ul><li>All organisations have access warts! </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic approach…Disability Action Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Expectation = experience   </li></ul><ul><li>Expectation ≠ experience      </li></ul><ul><li>Information provision </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service culture </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational communication and commitment </li></ul>
    22. 22. Best practice examples <ul><li>The Access All Areas Film Festivals use the iconography to clearly convey their message together with a phone number/website address </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>… Preplanning, registering and having close off dates for access makes managing resources possible together with creating organisational responsibility for delivering what it is said that you were going to deliver… </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, at Glastonbury Festival camping and positional access for key performances </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>Melbourne comedy Festival had a different approach with respect to get access where they said pre-register for shows and we will provide Auslan interpreters </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    25. 25. 7. Conclusion <ul><li>All people have constraints </li></ul><ul><li>People with disabilities and others have access requirements </li></ul><ul><li>All people have a right to attend festivals in whatever role they choose to involve themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Don ’ t constrain people ’ s experiences by what you think their abilities are </li></ul><ul><li>Empower people to experience </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational responses need to address this issue from both the human rights and economic case </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of experience </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sense of festival ” </li></ul>
    26. 26. Companion Card <ul><li>Promoting the rights of people with disability, who require a companion, to fair ticketing at events and venues </li></ul><ul><li>4500 Cardholders in NSW since March 2009 </li></ul>
    27. 27. Contact <ul><li>Dr Simon Darcy </li></ul><ul><li>UTS Business School </li></ul><ul><li>University of Technology, Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>02 9514-5100 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>