National Gallery Disability Inclusion Action Plan
The National Gallery launched its inaugural Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) in June, a key part of its strategic planning to make access and inclusion central to all aspects of the organisation and its operation.
As Australia’s national visual arts institution, the National Gallery champions the role art plays in creating inclusive communities and supporting social change. The organisation believes art is for everyone and is committed to helping reduce barriers to participation.
Developed in partnership with Accessible Arts, the DIAP builds upon the work the National Gallery has been doing in the space for more than a decade, including its globally recognised Art and Dementia Program, its Art for Recovery program in partnership with ACT Health and its 2020 Know My Name Virtual Conference, which set new standards for access and inclusion through the development of an innovative digital platform to enhance user accessibility.
Led by Heather Whitely Robertson, Chair of the DIAP Working Group and Tim Fairfax Assistant Director, Learning and Digital, the DIAP is part of a suite of strategies demonstrating the National Gallery’s commitment to positive change, including a Gender Equity Action Plan, Reconciliation Action Plan and Sustainability Action Plan.
‘Our DIAP is a crucial component of our organisational planning and will shape how we engage with audiences, artists and our staff. Access and inclusion make good business and artistic sense – as a national public institution, we have a responsibility to make our work accessible for everyone,’ she said.
‘We are mindful of the challenges we face regarding the accessibility of our physical space and are taking steps towards improvement. While working with certain parameters and constraints, we are committed to finding ways around existing barriers and making meaningful change, now and into the future.’
The DIAP sets out a three-year roadmap for the National Gallery and focuses on four key outcomes: Attitudes and Behaviours, Accessible and Liveable Communities, Employment and Systems and Processes.
Among its priorities, the National Gallery is seeking to:
- Create a physical and digital environment that is universally accessible and inclusive
- Actively eliminate discrimination, so that people with disability have equal access and opportunity within the National Gallery
- Create a welcoming community through inclusive language and behaviour
- Be accountable and open to change