My name is Kitty Lunn, Artistic Director of Infinity Dance Theater in New York City. I am a disabled dancer using a wheelchair. I have a hard time finding qualified dancers for my Company, because disabled people aren't given the same training opportunities as their non-disabled peers. I won't put someone on stage simply because they have a disability.
It would be very helpful if State Vocational Rehab specialist would consider Arts as a career choice if they have a client who wishes to pursue an Arts training program.
For example, Dance programs exist in College and University settings. Disabled people wanting to dance are discouraged from exploring these programs because it is felt to be an unstable career path. However, there are many paths a Dance major can consider. Currently Disabled Dance and Physically Integrated Dance are hot topics. Programs will become more accessible if more students with disabilities would apply.
The UK is doing a great job at making Higher Ed Dance programs open to students with disabilities. They are refining the audition process to consider dancers with disabilities
Perhaps an Arts major with a more practical minor could be investigated. Unless we allow disabled students to explore Arts educations in Higher Education we will always be behind our European colleagues.
Where will our disabled artists come from in the future if they aren't given the same opportunities to learn, train and practice their craft?