By Chris Cooke | Published on Tuesday 18 May 2021
Accessibility charity Attitude Is Everything has launched a new ‘Accessible Employment Guide’ as part of its ongoing work to “improve the inclusion of deaf and disabled workers in the commercial music sector”.
Having worked for years to make venues and festivals as accessible as possible for all music fans, in more recent years Attitude Is Everything has also been providing advice on how to make the music industry more accessible to deaf and disabled artists, songwriters and music industry practitioners.
Explaining the need for the new guide, Attitude Is Everything notes that “research suggests that disabled people remain hugely underrepresented at all levels of the UK music industry, despite significant increases in disabled audiences at live music events and the fact that 19% of working adults are considered disabled under the Equality Act”.
“More concerningly”, it adds, “a study published by UK Music in April 2021 found that one in five disabled people in the music industry have faced discrimination at work”.
The new guide, the charity goes on, aims to address and remedy this situation, by providing practical advice for music industry companies and employers, including small and middle-sized businesses that often have no focused HR function and which operate on tight profit margins.
“The free downloadable publication offers simple and straightforward tips on how to attract talented deaf and disabled workers with advice on everything from accessible job interviews and accessible meetings to suggested adjustments to office and work environments”, the charity says.
“Demystifying many of the stereotypes surrounding disability, the publication draws on Attitude Is Everything’s 21 years of experience in the live music and events industry, as well as new focus group and survey findings”.
Commenting on the guide, Attitude Is Everything’s Head Of Volunteering And Skills Development, Paul Hawkins, adds: “Our research shows that deaf and disabled people face barriers applying for jobs in the music industry and that many of those with impairments or health conditions who do work in the industry are concerned about the consequences of identifying themselves as disabled, especially if they are freelance or not in secure employment”.
“Over the last year, we’ve found that there is a lot of desire for a more inclusive and diverse industry but that organisations are not always sure of the steps needed to make that happen”, he goes on. “Our ‘Accessible Employment Guide’ is designed to be clear and concise and to give companies the information they need to start making changes today”.
“The events of the last year have turned many conceptions about the workplace on their head and we’re keen to support the music industry to build back for all and for the industry to come back a stronger, more effective and more diverse place where everyone can succeed based on their talents. We hope that this guide will help to make that happen”.
The guide will be formally launched with a panel discussion this evening featuring Robin Millar from Chrysalis Blue Raincoat Group, Jude McArdle from the Association Of Independent Music, freelance festival accessibility consultant Harry Jones, and Attitude Is Everything’s Paul Hawkins.
You can download a copy of the guide here and find out how to sign up to tune in to the panel discussion online here.