Access to Literature seeks to spotlight barriers to access for disabled writers

Access to Literature seeks to spotlight barriers to access for disabled writers

Disability arts hub CRIPtic Arts and writer development charity Spread the Word are collaborating on research to understand the literature sector’s barriers to access for d/Deaf and disabled writers, poets and audiences.

Called Access to Literature, the research seeks to improve access to in-person and online literature opportunities. Through collecting responses via surveys and consulting focus groups, it will build a data and evidence base to support change and the opening up of opportunities for d/Deaf and disabled writers and audiences.

Two focus groups took place in September, facilitated by poet Jamie Hale and playwright Vici Wreford-Sinnott. One was for d/Deaf and disabled writers, and the other was for organisations such as literature festivals, writer and reader development groups, and live literature producers. The Access to Literature surveys and focus group research will be compiled into a report and online best practice guidance will be made available online via the Spread the Word and CRIPtic Arts websites.

Three training sessions for creative practitioners, funded and non-funded literature organisations will take place in October. The research is funded by Arts Council England. Anyone who is interested in the training sessions and the area of work can email hello@spreadtheword.org.uk. Spread the Word and CRIPtic Arts have previously collaborated on two online retreats for d/Deaf and disabled writers in the past year and a half, and are hosting free, online bimonthly writers salons for d/Deaf and disabled writers.