We believe DaDaFest changes lives

Through our work we seek to address the fact that disabled people are under-represented within the arts and cultural sector workforce in all role types and at all levels of seniority (Arts Council England: Making a Shift Report 2018).

In addition, disabled people are not only under-represented within the creative industries workforce but also within the workforce generally. In total, 44.3% of working age disabled people are economically inactive, a figure that is nearly four times higher than for non-disabled people. (Papworth Trust: Disability in the United Kingdom 2016). Disability remains closely associated with a range of other social issues including unemployment, homelessness, poverty, lack of qualifications, debt and most worrying of all, limited life expectancy.

Through our festivals and our work with young people and emerging artists we facilitate and support the active participation of D/deaf and disabled people in every aspect of arts and culture – helping create the future workforce of the sector. What we develop, support and present also helps change social attitudes towards disability. Through the arts we provide a platform that can be used to challenge the prevalent negative perceptions of disabled people, highlight inequalities and promote socially just alternatives.

We do this through the vibrant and wide-ranging programmes of activity, training, mentoring, workshops, performances and festivals highlighted throughout the pages of this site.

We know we make a difference

  • Our recent survey showed that 100% of Young DaDaFest participants had improved their self-confidence and skills, and one participant stated 'the last two years were the best! They have changed my life.'
  • In the evaluation of our last Festival in 2018, 80% of survey responders said that the work they saw or experienced had changed their perception of disability as a social issue.

At DaDaFest we firmly believe that the arts can help us develop new ways of understanding, connecting and accepting. We welcome any opportunity to work with organisations or individuals who share our values, who support our key principles of equality and diversity and who would like to share in our celebrations of success, skill, creativity and talent.

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