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Call for proposals: From Access to Inclusion 2020; an Arts and Culture Summit

Posted: 5 August, 2019

Arts and Disability Ireland and The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Office of VSA and Accessibility are proud to announce a call for proposals for a unique European Summit titled From Access to Inclusion 2020 taking place from 11th -14th May in Dublin, Ireland.

ADI and The Kennedy Center will accept proposals for any of the summit session types outlined below. The deadline for abstracts is midnight GMT/UTC, Tuesday 12th November 2019.

From Access to Inclusion 2020, An Arts and Culture Summit is an international gathering of access professionals and advocates exploring how to provide seamless, person-centred experiences in arts and culture, through a dynamic programme of keynotes, discussion panels, snapshots, case studies and demonstrations.  The Summit offers an unprecedented opportunity to exchange ideas and discover new and innovative ways to include and welcome everyone, with an accompanying evening programme of cultural events featuring access and inclusion in action.

ADI are delighted to be partnering and collaborating with The Kennedy Center. This Summit is modeled on The Kennedy Center’s conference, Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®), the largest annual convening of access professionals and advocates in North America.

Find more information on previous LEAD® Conferences HERE

The Summit session types will include:

Capacity Building Workshops: in-depth, hands-on professional development workshops addressing a specific topic related to cultural arts access. Capacity building workshops can be 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, and may be repeated on multiple days and will be offered from 11th-12th May in cultural venues across Dublin city.  All Capacity Building Workshops must include an interactive component that will engage adult learners and can be offered in several formats:

  • Classroom – These sessions provide practical tips, tools and resources that attendees can use to start or improve initiatives, programmes, or services.
  • Skills Building – These hands-on sessions are designed to teach participants a tangible skill.
  • Think Tank – These highly interactive and discussion-based sessions provide an opportunity for conversation.

From Access to Inclusion Symposium: A dynamic programme of keynotes, discussion panels, case studies and demonstrations which will take place at Printworks Conference Centre, Dublin Castle from 13th-14th May.   The Symposium is intended to offer the opportunity to exchange ideas and discover new and innovative ways to include and welcome everyone in the following formats:

  • Snapshots: 15 minute informal presentations given at round tables with 10-15 participants at a time.
  • Discussion Panels: 1 hour chaired discussions offering in-depth multiple perspectives on or approaches to a single topic.
  • Case Studies: 10 minute presentation reflecting on innovative ways to include and welcome everyone.
  • Demonstrations: 5 minute presentation on a new technology making arts, cultural and visitor experiences accessible.  

ADI and The Kennedy Center will accept proposals for any of the summit session types outlined above.

ADI and The Kennedy Center ask that proposals focus on the following themes:

  • Access Services and Programmes
  • Accessibility Policy
  • Aesthetically Accessible Performances, Exhibits or Visitor Experiences
  • Customer Service and Staff Training
  • Evaluation and Research
  • Leadership and Advocacy
  • Legal Requirements (in different jurisdictions)
  • Marketing and Audience Development
  • Education, Outreach and Public Engagement
  • Organisational Buy-in and Planning
  • Technology
  • Universal Design

The Summit audience will include:

Professionals at all levels in the arts, cultural and tourism sectors such as those working in: venues, festivals, galleries, museums, heritage sites and visitor experiences.  In addition to those who deliver, programme or present accessible and inclusive experiences, From Access to Inclusion 2020 is relevant for policy makers, funders and administrators who are committed to embedding a more holistic approach to accessible arts and cultural programming at a local, regional, national and international level.

Submitting a proposal:

The deadline for proposals is midnight GMT/UTC, Tuesday 12th November 2019.

Abstracts must be sent using WeTransfer to Síle Stewart, Arts & Disability Ireland, at and must contain:

  • Full name, job title and institution (if applicable)
  • Email address and telephone number
  • Personal Biography (150 words max)
  • Proposed Theme(s)
  • Proposed Title
  • Proposed Format
  • Proposal Abstract (350 words max)

Sessions will be selected by and at the sole discretion of the Summit content committee under the supervision of ADI and The Kennedy Center.

Speakers must be available to present in person from 11th – 14th May 2020. The language of the Summit will be English.

Please note that as the Summit will run 11th-14th May, presenters may be asked to cover some of their own costs for attending. This may include travel, hotel accommodation, ticketed evening events and meal costs.  All arrangements will be outlined in a letter of offer to selected presenters.

Presenters may submit one proposal. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

The Summit will not address professional development for artists with disabilities or arts education. For resources for artists, please visit the ADI website:

How to use WeTransfer:

  • Go to
  • Add your files: select all of the files you want to submit
  • Email to:
  • Your email: (insert your own email address)
  • Message: From Access to Inclusion 2020 application – (insert your name)
  • Click Transfer

You will receive a confirmation email from WeTransfer stating that the files have been sent and a confirmation email when the files are downloaded by ADI.

Find a printable version of the brief and supporting information HERE

Categories: Artists, Audiences, The Arts

Tags: Access, Arts and Disability, Call for Proposals, Case Studies, Demonstrations, Inclusion, Summit

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