The Arts Council is aware that D/deaf, Disabled & Neurodiverse people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and many have real concerns about returning to public spaces, including theatres and arts venues.

With this in mind, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has asked Perceptive Insight, a Northern Ireland market research company, to undertake research with local disabled, deaf and neuro-divergent audiences to obtain their views on a new access scheme. They are running this scheme in collaboration with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and the British Film Institute.

The scheme will make it easier for disabled people to access the arts by:

  • Only requiring individuals to share their access needs once – these will be shared with venues they wish to visit in NI or the UK;
  • Enabling D/deaf, Disabled & Neurodiverse people book tickets online;
  • Providing free companion tickets; and
  • Enhancing front of house support.

To help ACNI understand the needs of D/deaf, Disabled & Neurodiverse audiences and to gauge reaction to what is being proposed, they have developed a short survey.

If you identify as disabled and you have an interest in attending the arts they would welcome your feedback. The survey, which has been anonymised to protect individual’s identity, can be found here:

If you need help completing the survey, contact the free-phone number 0333 323 696. The survey is open until Friday 15th April.

If you are a venue, festival or producing company and you feel your D/deaf, Disabled & Neurodiverse audiences would be interested in completing the survey, please feel free to share the link with this group.