Curating for Change Report launched: Disabled People Leading in Museums

Curating for Change Report:
Disabled People Leading in Museums

What's it all about

Screen South, through our Accentuate Programme, is delighted to launch our report, Curating for Change: disabled people leading in museums.  This is based on extensive consultation we have undertaken over the last year in preparation for the Curating for Change programme (subject to funding).

During the consultation we spoke to a wide range of museums, sector organisations, disabled people’s organisations, and D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people working in museums or wanting to pursue a career in museums. The report is a summary of this consultation, highlighting the barriers disabled people are facing if wishing to pursue a career in museums.

Below we have put together some key information from the findings, and inlcuded a link for you to download and read the report in full.

Key findings from the report

    • Almost all of the D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people who took part in our consultation workshops expressed the positive opportunity Covid-19 has presented in terms of flexible remote working, interview practices and digital engagement for audiences.
    • The most cited reasons for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people not making progress in terms of pursuing a career in museums were: inaccessible recruitment practices; lack of flexibility as to working patterns; and unnecessary requirements (e.g. driving licence, ability to lift objects), that could be met through other provision such as Access to Work.
    • The main reason our Partner Museums wanted to take part in Curating for Change was to increase their skills and expertise. More specifically, they hoped to: increase understanding of how to recruit D/deaf and/ or disabled staff (94.1%); gain new skills regarding how to create fully accessible exhibitions and experiences (88.2%); and understand how to engage more D/deaf and/or disabled audience members (88.2%).
    • Many of those disabled people’s groups and disabled individuals surveyed stated they would like to see more of their heritage reflected in museum collections, exhibitions and events. In addition, they wanted to work more closely with museums to co-produce these outputs.
This report begins to explore where we are now in terms of engaging D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people with museums and urges the sector to proactively consider ways to increase this engagement, capitalising on the momentous shifts that have occurred during the past year, and preventing regression towards the long-held status quo.  Over the coming months and years we will build a suite of resources and will be reaching out to others to share best practice and positive actions for the museum sector.

If you require this report in a different format or would like to receive a hard copy by post then please email us at info@accentuateuk.org

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