The case for an accessible program:
Croydon is home to an incredibly diverse population, including a rich community of deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people. The Access Advisory Group is led by people with access needs, following an ethos of ‘nothing about us without us’.
A cultural program which reflects Croydon authentically will be accessible to these communities, and this accessibility will drive the quality and innovation of our program in turn, not only for disabled people, but for everybody.
For This is Croydon to be a success, we need to involve every single community, in every single permeation. This will make our program stand out.
Access for disabled people is especially critical and urgent since Covid-19 has further isolated us from our communities.
We want to be ambitious and raise the bar for what being ‘London Borough of Culture’ means to disabled artists, participants, and audiences, tackling systemic ableism and access barriers head on.
This manifesto wishes to move the collective thinking beyond pointing out the boringly obvious – that access to arts in public spaces is a legal right (which of course, it is!), and instead aims to elevate and champion the ambition and creative quality which will be unleashed in Croydon when everybody is invited to take part.
The legacy of delivering this manifesto will be that Croydon becomes a more radically inclusive borough, loudly celebrating accessibility from DIY & grass roots levels, through to our cultural programs, and right up to structural and systematic change-making. Through collective action, mutual aid, collaboration and opportunities to learn together and skill up, we will take the practical steps needed for this change to be truly embedded.
This radically inclusive culture, modelled proudly throughout our cultural program, will lead to a fairer and more just Croydon.
In 2023 and beyond, we envision a community that is transformed, empowered, upskilled and passionate in delivering accessibility at every scale.