Ableism has long been a problem in the theatre industry. It has led people with disabilities or special needs to shy away from expressing their talents and creativity. Hence, taking the necessary steps to create a diverse and inclusive space for them is vital. Here are some ways in which ableism can be fought against in the theatre industry
Creating More Awareness Among Theatre Owners
As more theatre owners become aware that disabled people occupy an important place in the theatre industry, they will be required to design the theatre and its vicinity, ensuring maximum convenience and safety for people with disabilities.
The theatre owners must provide adequate information about the measures taken for disabled artists and audience members. The disabled audience members must have a clear idea about the venue. They can even be given free companion tickets.
Simple steps like creating designated parking spaces close to the venue and ensuring that there are enough seats that can be reserved for them. They should also take into consideration that disabled people may require quiet spaces in the event that they experience any side effects from the sounds and lighting. It is also necessary to ensure that the acoustics and lighting are reasonable.
How Event Organizers Can Support People with Disabilities
Event organizers play a vital role in the process. They need to be empathetic to the needs of people with disabilities and ensure a safe and non-judgmental space for them. The space where they practice and rehearse must be free of potential triggers.
There must also be the necessary script provisions for deaf and blind people. They may also require some people on the location to provide them with support and assistance for movement.
The Need for Real Representation
There is a strong need for the theatre industry to reconsider its practices and attitudes around disabled people. Unfortunately, ableism has become systemic in the theatre industry to the point that non-disabled people are often hired to play the roles of disabled people.
Hence, there needs to be a push toward authentic representation. This gives them a chance for disabled artists to make money and enjoy a career that provides them with a sense of purpose and other positive mental health benefits.
Disabled people have long faced discrimination in the theatre industry. They’ve had their experiences invalidated through disabled mimicry and harmful stereotypes. Hence, the theatre industry must not treat the reasonable demand for more equality and inclusion as an inconvenience. Hence, organizational disability policies must be carefully reviewed, and the various access needs must be met.
To Sum Up
The journey to fighting ableism in the theatre industry is not easy but becoming possible and real day by day. People are showing a genuine interest in what disabled artists have to share. Hence, the focus must be on both increasing financial accessibility and physical accessibility.