Disabled Acccess Day at Glasgow CCA!
Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts has a year round programme of exciting exhibitions, festivals and arts events. They took part in Disabled Access Day this year to ‘deepen their engagement with audiences and communities’, and ‘to support universal access to the arts.’ Now, they’ve written this blog to share their experience as an arts venue taking part in Disabled Access Day!
CCA has conducted significant work to improve access in the building over the past two years. In the spring of 2015, CCA was part of the accessible tourism pilot project in Glasgow, which was led by VisitScotland and Euan’s Guide. This resulted in the development of an extensive access statement for CCA which is available on our website, and from our box office as a large print version. All of our front of house staff have completed VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism training, and we are working on building improvements including access loops, clearer signage and improved movement throughout our spaces. We decided to get involved in Disabled Access Day in March 2016 as it was a natural progression of our focus on improving accessibility to the venue.
For Disabled Access Day, we had several events programmed in the venue which became part of our offering for the day. It was the last weekend of Merlin James’ Long Game exhibition which attracted over 6,000 visitors. We offered a free tour of the exhibition with the artist, which featured a discussion of his paintings and an exploration of his approach to painting as an artform. Prior to the installation of this exhibition, we had contacted Euan’s Guide for advice on ensuring the hanging heights of the works were easily accessible, taking into consideration that this exhibition would be part of Disabled Access Day and our aim to make our gallery accessible to everyone. Our gallery is accessible by wheelchair, is always staffed and large print versions of our exhibition guide is available from our box office, along with a large print version of our event brochure.
In the evening, we hosted a gig by The Bathers, and a theatre double-bill of two new plays set in 1985. Both our theatre and cinema are accessible and we ensured that additional wheelchair provision was available in both spaces on the day. In line with our access policy, we provide a free ticket for accompanying carers to CCA events and for the theatre performance, to mark Disabled Access Day, we also offered free tickets for wheelchair users. We received some useful feedback from the gig regarding the provision of designated wheelchair spaces close to the stage which we have now implemented as standard for all standing events in our theatre space.
We were delighted to be a part of Disabled Access Day this year, and would certainly wish to become involved in the future. It was a very positive experience for CCA which allowed us to highlight the access work we have carried out in recent years, and also gave us useful feedback on how to improve.
Our future vision centres on continuing to widen access to CCA and making people aware of the resources and support that we can offer. We are committed to access as an organisation and aim to make more people aware that we are a cultural hub for all kinds of people and practices, and that we are open to everyone.
Are you a venue that’s interested in getting involved in Disabled Access Day 2017? Register your interest now!