For the first time, Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities will be able to participate in the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) organised by the National Arts Council.
The British Council announced their support towards the SWF’s first-ever Access Programme. The SWF Access Programme will introduce sign language interpretation for Deaf and hearing impaired participants at 12 selected SWF events. This pilot initiative hopes to increase arts access for local beneficiaries, and enable opportunities for them to be a part of the Festival.
The Access Programme was initiated by the British Council as part of the Council’s wider push to create a more inclusive arts sector. In March 2016, the British Council, in conjunction with the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation launched the inaugural Arts & Disability Forum, aimed at addressing disability and inclusivity in the arts and cultural sector. Access to arts venues and activities were some pressing issues discussed at the forum.
The British Council hopes to expand disability access to more festivals, events and arts venues in Singapore.
Speaking about the partnership, Dr Sarah Meisch Lionetto, Director of Arts, British Council Singapore said that, “Inclusivity, diversity and equality are very much a part of the British Council’s core ethos. By pioneering this programme, we are excited to support people with disabilities by enabling them access to equal opportunities to participate in the arts. Creating basic access to arts programmes allows a starting point for discussing an inclusive society and cultivating disabled artists. Through our ongoing art programmes, we hope to contribute to an even more dynamic and inclusive cultural scene in Singapore.”
“We have made efforts to implement inclusive programming to widen our reach, so that everyone can have the opportunity to attend and enjoy our events. In this way, every festival-goer can be exposed to the wonderful and exciting ideas being shared over the next 10 days,” said Mr Yeow Kai Chai, the director of SWF.
The SWF will run from 4 to 13 November 2016 at the Civic District.