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From Access To Inclusion, An Arts and Culture Summit


9–25 March 2021

We officially launched From Access to Inclusion, an Arts and Culture Summit on Tuesday 26th January 2021.

With 22 presenters, from 16 cities, representing a range of organisations such as Theatres, Museums and Galleries, Festivals, Cinema and much much more, From Access to Inclusion, taking place from 9th – 25th March 2021, will be an essential opportunity to exchange ideas and discover new and innovative ways to include and welcome everyone.

To give you just a hint of what’s in store at this international gathering of arts and cultural leaders and advocates in access and inclusion, we held an in conversation with Pádraig Naughton, Executive Director of Arts & Disability Ireland, and Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

They were joined by our two incredible Symposium Keynote presenters; Cymie Yeung, Manager, Accessibility Office at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, and Emmanuel von Schack, Director Access Programmes, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, who spoke about their work and shared their hopes and aspirations for the Summit and beyond.

Watch it today with captions, ISL, BSL and ASL interpretation.

Stay up-to-date on all future announcements by subscribing to our Summit newsletter here.

From Access to Inclusion gathers the most thought-provoking leaders and advocates in access and inclusion in arts and culture from across the globe. This dynamic international Summit is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and discover new and innovative ways to create accessible and inclusive experiences.

The Summit includes three event strands; intimate online Workshops by leading experts in access and inclusion, a three day Symposium taking place online Tuesday 9th, Tuesday 16th and Tuesday 23rd March 2021, and a programme of online Evening Events showcasing access in action from a range cultural venues and organisations.

Sessions will be essential for 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 is relevant for policymakers, 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.

The Summit is not intended to address professional development for artists with disabilities or arts education. For artist resources, find out more here.

There are many reasons to attend From Access and Inclusion, but here’s a quick taste of what to expect:

  • Professional Growth: Our international Summit focuses on providing accessible programming in arts and culture, we provide an intimate, rich atmosphere to build skills and practical knowledge for arts professionals of all experience levels.
  • Making Connections: With a range of networking opportunities during the Workshops, Symposium and at Evening Events, come meet and mingle with colleagues.
  • Skills Sharing: Connect and learn from the collective brain trust of arts managers from museums, theaters, parks, zoos, and other cultural venues from around the world.
  • Peer to Peer: We have engaged leading thinkers in accessibility to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Make it Happen: You’ll leave with ideas and practices that can be implemented in your organisation right away.
  • Something for Everyone: We have sessions and workshops for beginners and the more experienced. It doesn’t matter what your background or experience level is – we have sessions for you.
  • Access in Action: The Summit provides an opportunity to learn about and experience accessibility services and programmes. Through our Workshops and at Evening Events with access services, you can see access in action!


Come and join us!



  • Kennedy Center logo
  • Arts Council logo

Arts & Disability Ireland are delighted to collaborate with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Office of VSA and Accessibility, Washington, D.C. to deliver this inaugural European Summit. From Access to Inclusion is modelled 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.

Arts & Disability Ireland would like to thank The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Office of VSA and Accessibility for their support and guidance throughout the development and delivery of this ambitious event.

Arts & Disability Ireland would also like to acknowledge and thank the Arts Council, the British Council (Ireland Office) and Creative Europe Desk Ireland for their support.

About Arts & Disability Ireland

 Arts & Disability Ireland is Ireland’s national development and resource organisation for arts and disability.

We promote engagement with the arts at all levels – as professional artists, audience members and arts workers – for people of all ages with disabilities of all kinds. We work towards arts programmes and arts venues becoming fully accessible experiences for all audiences. We advocate for inclusive policy and practice which provides real access to all aspects of the arts for people with disabilities, and for everyone.

About the Kennedy Center Office of VSA and Accessibility

Serving the international disability, education and arts community, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Office of VSA and Accessibility provides opportunities for people with disabilities, of all ages, across the globe to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. A Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability program, the VSA and LEAD international networks support and offer a wide array of programs in cultural access, as well as the art and arts education programs and experiences for artists with disabilities. Please visit us at: