How do people become artists? Most often they were arts consumers first--audience members. But when the arts--the performing arts, visual art, media--are inaccessible, you have cut off an important avenue for people who have disabilities who could become professional artists. For instance--I work with audio description (AD), making all manner of art forms accessible to people who are blind. If a young person doesn't attend theater because it's not accessible--does not include AD--he/she is unlikely to find the inspiration to pursue the arts as a career. And within the AD field, we must be more open to providing job opportunities for AD consumers--as consultants, as voice talents, as audio editors, etc. IMHO, a grantee of public funds should demonstrate that its programs are accessible, that it does significant outreach targeting people with disabilities, and pro-actively seeks out artists with disabilities for its production efforts and administration.
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