Access Activators

Access Activators are committed to providing resources on Relaxed Performances (RP) and advocating for accessibility in the arts.

A group of approximately 30 people together for a happy photo
Access Activator Cohort at the Access Activator Training in Toronto, February 2020


What is an Access Activator?  

Access Activators facilitate Relaxed Performance training or consultations, using materials developed by British Council.  In October 2015, in collaboration with the Harbourfront Centre, British Council invited Include Arts (UK) to Toronto to offer a Relaxed Performance pilot training session to 30 arts and culture professionals. Following this pilot session, British Council in partnership with Include Arts designed an Access and Relaxed Performance Training Programme for five (5) Access Activators based in Ontario. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and in partnership with Tangled Art + Disability, Relaxed Performance trainings were delivered to twenty five (25) arts and cultural venues and more than 300 cultural workers across eight (8) Canadian cities between 2016 and 2018. In February of 2020 a new cohort of twenty (20) Access Activators from across Canada attended a four (4) day training in Toronto to support their facilitation of Relaxed Performance training and consultations.

What is a Relaxed Performance?

Relaxed performances were initially designed to make theatre spaces more comfortable and welcoming to audience members who are on the autism spectrum and those who live with sensory, communication and learning disabilities. Many individuals who experience their disability being categorized as disruptive, or who find the experience of theatre-going triggering and/or anxiety-inducing, benefit from Relaxed Performance. It is also an enriching experience for those who identify outside the disability paradigm and gives unique opportunities for disabled-identified people and their non-disabled loved ones to experience art together without compromise.

Resources and Additional Information:

If you are a theatre, cultural institution, or individual looking to learn more about access in the arts, Relaxed Performance, or to receive training or consultation on accessible practices and/or Relaxed Performances, please take a look at the links below for resources and information.

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