Impress supports promoters with a disability
We inspire confidence. Disablity groups want to participate in our project which brings theatre and dance to local communities. Our project is used by Disablity groups to increase social opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the boroughs of the Black Country (Sandwell, Dudley,Walsall and Wolverhampton)
We use the arts as a tool to reach disabled people, particularly people affected by sensory impairment and learning disability in diverse minority communities. We give Deaf and Disabled people help to organise and promote a show by professional companies using a venue in their local community. We provide informal training to achieve this. We guide individuals to work in a team, so they gain first hand experience of putting on events.
In the Black Country deaf and disabled people rarely attend mainstream events. Our preliminary research found that deaf and disabled people felt isolated in their community because of a lack of transport, information and and personal support outside of daytime hours. We consulted Deaf and Disability groups about these barriers, and this project invited disability groups to explore solutions. We worked with people with learning disabilities from a South Asian community in Dudley and Walsall, visually impaired people from Sandwell and Dudley as well as physically disabled people from Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
Organising events provided disabled people with the opportunity to use their own expertise about access to events. Working with groups we shared skills, knowledge and experience. By involving disabled people in the organisation of events we overcame barriers that disabled people face. For example, when choosing to go to a social event in the evening and weekends the barriers that deaf and disabled people experience are transport issues, use of BSL interpreters, information in an accessible format, and personal support outside of daytime hours.
Importantly, Impress is about Deaf and Disabled people organising an event. They choose the show, time, venue and get audiences to their event by selling the tickets.
Black Country Touring and Impress
Impress, supports promoters with a disability to put on shows. Impress began in spring 2007 with promotions by Walsall Deaf People’s Centre, Sandwell Deaf resource centre and Dudley M Power who are a user led group of people with learning disabilities.
In Autumn 2008, Impress supported Wolverhampton Disability Arts Charity Outside Centre to present funny man Lawrence Clark.
[fancy_titled_box title="Audience Comments"]
- “very funny and entertaining!!”
- “Got “the message” across in a way people would remember.”
- “Really enjoyable, funny and stimulating – my kids also enjoyed it.”
In December, Ideal for All, which is Sandwell’s Independent Living Centre celebrated International Day of Disabled People with a showcase of local and regional disabled artists. The drama of the Discovers, the dance of Side by Side and the cabaret of the Nasty Girls received a rapturous applause from a large audience of disabled people.
If you would like further information about Impress, the shows or even how to organise your own show please contact Black Country Touring.