New guide provides easier access to arts and events

The City of Sydney is sponsoring a new pocket guide, website and training program to allow people with disability or accessibility needs to more easily attend arts and culture events.

Produced by NSW’s peak arts and disability organisation, Accessible Arts, the new ‘Z-card’ printed brochure and website provides venue information on access and inclusion programs, including audio-described and Auslan-interpreted performances, and accessible amenities, such as wheelchair and hearing-loop access.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the information would help people with access needs and their carers plan their visit and have confidence the venue would meet their needs before arriving.

“Everyone should be able to access Sydney’s many fantastic arts and cultural venues in an easy and dignified way,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The Z-card will reduce barriers that prevent people from enjoying Sydney’s cultural and creative life.

“The City’s $30,000 sponsorship will also improve each organisation’s understanding of issues around accessibility, and highlight the need for clear and consistent communication.”

Addressing barriers to participation in cultural activity are identified priorities of the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan and Cultural Plan.

City Recital Hall
City Recital Hall

Sydney’s leading venues and events are detailed in the Z-card, including Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, City Recital Hall, Maritime Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Sydney Writer’s Festival, Art Gallery of NSW and Carriageworks.

Accessible Arts Chief Executive, Sancha Donald, said the City’s sponsorship would also allow them to produce a how-to style guide for participating organisations on developing best-practice accessible websites to assist in reaching audiences with disability.

“Partner organisations can use the how-to style guide and include the Z-card logo on their individual sites, helping audiences to easily locate access information,” Ms Donald said.

“The entire Z-card initiative, with pocket guide, website, staff training and how-to style guides, is going to be a great help to so many Sydneysiders, who can now enjoy a night out at the city’s cultural and arts venues without worrying about the details most of us take for granted.”

Accessible Arts will monitor the results of the pilot project to ensure it is working for people with disability or access needs.