Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Building strong foundations: Research on arts and disability needs and opportunities

May 24, 2024


This report is a summary of an arts and disability needs and audit conducted in 2023 for Creative Australia. Through desktop research and consultation with d/Deaf and disabled artists and creative workers, peak bodies and broader arts and cultural organisations, this research provides insights into needs and opportunities in the arts and disability ecology in Australia.


Key Insights

Consultation participants highlighted a range of needs and opportunities to strengthen support for d/Deaf and disabled artists, creative workers and audiences. These included:

  • service needs such as resourcing for arts and disability peak bodies, and a national arts and disability service provider to enable better collaboration and national coverage
  • investment that is self-determined, long-term and disability-specific; support for creative practice and new work; and devolved investment to support emerging artists
  • access and inclusion support for arts and cultural organisations, and incentives to improve their accessibility
  • capacity building to support career progression and leadership for d/Deaf and disabled people in the sector, such as inclusive residencies and training pathways, accessible networking opportunities and development of business skills
  • advocacy around access and inclusion, development of national industry standards, and a national arts and disability service provider to respond to emerging advocacy needs
  • sector engagement opportunities that enable visibility, connections between practitioners and supportive collaborations and partnerships.

Overall, the research pointed to a need for a cultural shift around disability and accessibility, and for education and awareness to address ableism in the arts and cultural sector.

This research is part of ongoing work informing policies, initiatives and investment to strengthen and grow Australia’s arts and disability ecology.