Marking the 10th anniversary of the Equalities Act coming into force and in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, 12 audience accessibility organisations and networks, alongside two Government sector champions, have come together to form the Audience Access Alliance.

The group’s first action is an open letter of support and solidarity to partners across the cultural, sports, heritage and tourism sectors, celebrating the progress that had been made prior to COVID-19, and advocating for continued collaboration to drive forward an inclusive recovery and further positive change for millions of Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people.

The letter notes that, despite Deaf and disabled people being among the most impacted by the virus, not every disabled person is medically “vulnerable” to COVID-19 and there remains a strong desire among many to participate in inclusive online events and return to in-person activities such as gigs, exhibitions and football matches as soon as rules allow. 

The alliance adds that its organisations are horrified by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the talented and committed professionals that it works alongside, and remains committed to helping those sectors survive this traumatic period. 

Instigated by music and event industry charity Attitude is Everything, the Audience Access Alliance letter is signed by Disability Collaborative Network, Euan’s Guide, Hynt, The Access Card, Performance Interpreting Inc, Shape Arts, Signed Culture, Stagetext, Stay Up Late, Transport For All and VocalEyes.