Image: Madeleine Little on the projector screen speaking via video conference at Arts Access Victoria’s The Art of Pride Disabled & Deaf Artist Networking Event, 2019. In the foreground, an Auslan Interpreter stands. There is a screen with captions.
We all know that disappointment comes with the territory of being an artist, but what do you do when discrimination is the barrier?
I have experience as a disabled artist, performer, and arts administrator. My research in accessible theatre practice led me to a greater understanding of the significance of unconscious internalised ableism and its impact on opportunity and success rates for d/Deaf and disabled artists in Queensland. In 2018, I was awarded the inaugural Stella Young Award from Arts Access Victoria, and received a Meeting Place travel grant from Arts Access Australia to attend Meeting Place 2018 (which I then spoke at). For more on my background, please visit the about page by clicking here.
In short: I am qualified in this area, and I have encountered my fair share of ableism. I know what it’s like, but I also know that it can be a very lonely experience.
With that in mind, I want to help you, too.
Do you need an advocate?
I am available to provide advice and support where:
You have been unable to apply for an opportunity you would otherwise have no trouble succeeding in because the application process is inaccessible
You are barred from training or professional development opportunities on the basis of access and/or discrimination
You can not access a performance or exhibition as a visitor or audience member due to inaccessible facilities
You feel that you have been denied a role or employment opportunity due to disability discrimination (ableism)
You would like to improve your own creative practice to make it more accessible
I can assist you with:
Providing general advice and feedback either by phone or an in-person consultation
Helping you work out the difference between rejection (which is normal in the arts) and discrimination
Helping you write formal complaint letters or request reviews
Acting as an advocate and support person in mediation settings
Acting as an access consultant for any creative project you are part of, working with the creative team to ensure the project is accessible for you
Please also note that I can only speak to my own experiences, and at times, I may need to direct you to other advocates or resources that may be better placed to assist. Disability is different for everybody, but I will do my best to support you.
I am available for a free initial consultation (up to 45 minutes) for anyone who may want support or guidance. Even if you just want to talk it out - that’s okay! Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who gets it. But if you need a plan to move forwards, I will help you with that as best I can.
If you require ongoing support or guidance, please note this will be subject to availability and my own access requirements. There are fees associated with ongoing access consultancy for creative projects, with quotes available upon request.
If the below form is accessible to you, please fill it out and I will be in touch within five business days.
If the form is not accessible to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘advocate’ in the subject line. Please advise of any access requirements for our consultation, such as using the National Relay Service, getting an Auslan Interpreter, or meeting in a quiet environment.