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Arts and Disability Discussion Paper Released

October 20, 2008
A National Arts and Disability Strategy (NADSDP) Discussion Paper has been released for comment. Initiated by the Australian Governments Policy Document, New Directions for the Arts, this is a social inclusion agenda item aimed to give all Australians an equal opportunity to participate in the arts.
The (NADSDP) Strategy is an opportunity for the Australian Government and state and territory governments to make a national commitment on arts and disability issues, aiming to bring together programs and initiatives across the arts, health, disability and community services, ageing, education, employment, Indigenous affairs and infrastructure portfolios.
The strategy is also an opportunity to highlight best practice in the arts and disability field and to share stories of your experiences and what works well and is one of several cross-government activities designed to address social exclusion and remove barriers to full and active citizenship.
In 2003, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers identified that one in five people in Australia have some form of disability.4
Demand has grown in the area of the arts and disability in recent years, but Australians with a disability are still participating less in arts and cultural activities than the general population.
Physical barriers such as not being able to access or move through public spaces freely or independently are sometimes seen as the main barrier to participation.
Points for discussion include:
*How can we best give people with a disability a voice in the development of arts policy and practices?
*What are the most important areas for collaboration or partnerships in the area of arts and disability?
*How do we better coordinate and link existing resources and programs, plans and strategies across all levels and areas of government?
*What programs are there outside the arts portfolio at each level of government that might be of benefit to the development of disability arts?
*Are there examples of arts-related projects/initiatives already being supported through these programs which may provide useful case studies or models?
*Which of these programs have the most potential and which ones should be prioritised for action?
The paper invites all Australians to make submission, suggestions and comments on this paper and disability issues not covered by the paper by 3rd November 2008.

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