Good practices

Resource and Advocacy Service

Resource and Advocacy Service

Arts & Disability Ireland (ADI) is the national development and resource organisation for arts and disability.
Promote engagement with the arts at all levels – as professional artists, audience members and arts workers – for people of all ages with disabilities of all kinds.
ADI work towards arts programmes and arts venues becoming fully accessible experiences for all audiences. ADI advocate for inclusive policy and practice which provides real access to all aspects of the arts for people with disabilities, and for everyone.

Year(s): Since 1985 – 37 years

Target group(s): Artists and audiences with disabilities

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Through support for artists and audiences with disabilities they develop the work of disabled artists. Through advocacy with venues ADI promote access for both artists and audiences with disabilities.

Brief description of the outcomes

For artists ADI aims to ensure that Irish artists with disabilities experience no barriers in making art, and that their quality work is seen and appreciated in Ireland and internationally. For audiences ADI aims to ensure that audiences enjoy seamless, holistic, person-centred experiences. For the arts and cultural environment ADI aims to ensure that disability inclusion becomes a natural part of the practice of arts influencers and arts workers.
Progression: Initiate partnerships to expand the range of progression pathways open to artists with disabilities seeking to develop their practice at a professional level, through supporting training, mentoring, bursaries, residencies and commissioning opportunities.
Connections: Broker relationships between artists with disabilities and presenters, curators and producers that foster creative engagement and equitable, innovative collaborations.
Showcasing: Establish, in collaboration with theatres, galleries, multi-disciplinary arts venues and festivals, a broad range of presentation platforms aimed at showcasing new, high-quality arts and disability work in Ireland and abroad.
  • Pushing boundaries in contemporary Irish arts practice through the showcasing of work by artists and companies with disabilities from Ireland and abroad in collaboration with arts venues, galleries and festivals.


  • In championing the creativity of artists with disabilities Arts & Disability Ireland is committed to working with the arts sector to embed and mainstream access. The residency partnerships with Fire Station Artists’ Studios and axis:Ballymun are an opportunity for artists with disabilities to participate in a residency alongside their non-disabled peers in some of Dublin’s most dynamic and vibrant visual and performing arts organisations.
  • Mentoring offers professionally focused development for artists. It opens the potential for knowledge sharing and gives artists the opportunity to observe and formally review aspects of their own practice in action. Mentoring can involve a mentor/mentee relationship which brings an experienced artist together with a less experienced artist, to guide and support their creative process.


  • ADI expands the portfolio of development opportunities available to artists with disabilities by commissioning new work. ADI aims to create a bank of new and innovative work by artists with disabilities across all platforms.


Access: Support theatres, galleries, multi-disciplinary arts venues and festivals to integrate all access provisions in a holistic way across their spaces, programmes, customer service and marketing.

Audience development: Empower theatres, galleries, multidisciplinary arts venues and festivals to reach, develop and sustain audiences with disabilities as an integral part of their broader and ongoing audience development strategy.

Continuity: Establish local and/or regional partnerships to build continuity in access to arts programming for audiences with disabilities throughout localities and communities.

Accessing the arts

  • Arts & Disability Ireland provide access services to the arts for audiences with disabilities. ADI works with venues and festivals to promote access for audiences with disabilities through speech to text, loop system, relaxed performances, ISL interpretation, open captioning, and audio description.

The arts and cultural environment

Leadership: Grow, cultivate and champion all committed arts leaders who can contribute to the development of arts and disability in Ireland at the highest level.

Partnership and collaboration: Endeavour to model all partnerships and collaborations in line with our vision, mission and values.

Research: Seek, develop and collaborate in research initiatives to advance policy and practice leading to wider inclusion of artists and audiences with disabilities in Ireland.

ADI will monitor and evaluate its impact by tracking progress through:

  • capture and collate feedback from stakeholders at all of our public events
  • continue to enhance systems for tracking the direct and indirect impact of our strategy
  • keep abreast of what is happening in the external environment
  • reflect on and learn from our direct experience and the experience of others

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

Greater participation in and access to the arts for artists and audiences with disabilities.

Promoter of the initiative: Arts and Disability Ireland

Country: Ireland

Languages available: English

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