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Disability Arts Partnership Projects: Examining The Outcomes Of Cultural Participation In The Arts

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 14:01 authored by Simon Darcy, J, Green, J, Onyx, J, M Edwards, Faulkner, S, Hazel MaxwellHazel Maxwell
During the last twenty years many Western countries have adopted their own disability discrimination legislation, and more recently have adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability that includes the right to cultural life (United Nations, 2006). Article 30, uses the term cultural life to refer to recreation, leisure, the arts, sport and tourism. Yet, people with disability still have lower participation rates in all forms of cultural life than the general population (Barnes, Mercer, & Shakespeare, 201 O; World Health Organization & World Bank, 2011 ). If access to cultural life is constrained, inhibited or denied then the benefits of leisure are potential, rather than actual (Driver, Brown, & Peterson, 1991; Liu, 2009). Current cultural practices for people with disability reflect the historical contexts and issues faced by Australia's disabled population (Aitchison, 2003) and recent research reinforces that people with disability participate at a significantly lower rates in cultural activities (Compiled by Disability Representative - Advocacy - Legal and Human Rights Organisations, 2012; National People with Disabilities and Carer Council, 2009). Yet, cultural life has the potential to be an area where people with disability can be empowered, enriched and socially included (Patterson & Pegg, 2009). Yet, surprisingly little academic work has examined the outcomes of cultural participation of programs aimed at grass roots participation in the arts or professional development for aspiring artists with disabilities. This paper reports on a research project examining the impacts of creative participation in the NSW Arts and Disability Partnership projects, 2012-2014. The main aim is to examine the outcomes on participants of their participation in the projects. The research study seeks to determine the broad social impacts of funded projects (if any) on participants with disability, the organisations where the projects are located and on the networks established through the projects. To achieve the aim of the study, the research design has two phases. Phase 1 is a background scoping and positioning of the current state of play. This includes meeting with participating organisations and other stakeholders. The methodology for Phase 1 includes a comprehensive document analysis, interviews, focus groups and in-depth case studies. We will assess the wider, implicit perceptions of impacts, as well as gain further insights into aspects of likely social impact (and impediments to that). In Phase 2, we will use the information from Phase 1 to develop a data collection tool to measure the social impact of each of the projects. This paper reports on Phase 1 of the study with the data collection recently completed, thematic analysis currently being undertaken and case studies under preparation.


Publication title

Understanding leisure in a complex world: promoting a critical leisure studies




978-0-9806760-7 -5


School of Health Sciences


Faculty of Education, Monash University

Place of publication


Event title

11th Biennial ANZALS Conference

Event Venue

Melbourne, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


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  • Restricted

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Arts not elsewhere classified

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