The history of the State of Access Report
Posted on 01.02.2016
The State of Access Report is intended to provide a biennial snap-shot of the live music industry when it comes to accessibility and inclusion for Deaf and disabled people. The aim is to highlight areas of good practice and progression, both in terms of those venues and festivals that have benefitted directly from our assistance, but also across the wider industry. At the same time, the report is an opportunity to reflect upon the barriers that Deaf and disabled people continue to face, and consider best practice solutions.
The first State of Access Report, published in December 2011 and launched by Matthew Hancock MP in the House of Commons, led to a series of debates in Parliament and meetings with Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy. The report culminated in a set of aspirations centred on furthering the concept of access provision being promoted and enforced via the licensing process. The report gained good press coverage, including an article in the Guardian.
The second State of Access Report was published in January 2014 and launched at the Roundhouse in London. The report revealed that 95% of Deaf and disabled people questioned had encountered barriers when seeking to buy tickets to live music. Its call to action focused on ticketing and access-related bookings, with the central aspiration being development of a system to provide universal proof of disability for access provision-booking purposes, and thus the implementation of equality of access when it comes to online ticket bookings.
A major outcome of that report has been the formation of the STAR Accessible Ticketing Working Party, a coalition of ticketing retailers, venue and festival management and Attitude is Everything that is working to create online ticketing schemes that include Deaf and disabled customers needing to book access facilities.
The third State of Access Report will be published later this month. This report revisits many topics highlighted in the previous two reports, with central themes being the importance of access information provision, the benefits of viewing access as an extension of customer service, and the need for facilities to be fit for purpose.
As Attitude is Everything has tracked the state of access across live music events over multiple years, it has become clear that there is growing momentum when it comes to positive change in this field. There now exists a significant body of best practice within the industry that is closely related to the work and campaigns carried out by Attitude is Everything since 2000. However, Deaf and disabled people still face significant barriers at all stages of seeking to and actually attending live music events that will be explored in the 2016 edition of the State of Access Report.