National Access Arts Assembly: Access Activator Training

Access Activator Training

February 19 – 22, 2020

For a screen reader downloadable PDF Program Description in English, click here 
Pour une description de programme PDF téléchargeable pour lecteur d’écran en français, cliquez ici.

For a screen reader downloadable PDF Application in English, click here 
Pour une demande PDF téléchargeable pour lecteur d’écran en français, cliquez ici.

Tangled Art + Disability and British Council, in association with Inside Out Theatre and with the support of Canada Council for the Arts, invite facilitators in the cultural sector committed to access in the arts to participate in a professional development training and join a national network of Access Activators.

This training will provide the tools and knowledge needed for facilitators to join the Access Activators Network and provide consultation on Relaxed Performances for live performance venues and other arts organisations. Participants will learn to consult on a range of topics, from welcoming audiences who benefit from a Relaxed Performance environment to accessible marketing techniques. This will be achieved through engaging presentations and discussions, collaboration exercises, and pulling from the expert knowledge of leaders within the Disability community.

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 deal with sensory, communication and learning disability. Many individuals who experience their disability being categorized as disruptive, or whom 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 opportunity for disabled-identified people and their non-disabled loved ones to experience art together without compromise.

Who is an Access Activator and what is the Access Activator Network?

Access Activators facilitate Relaxed Performance trainings or consultations, using materials developed by British Council. The Access Activator Network is part of a broad national network of trained Access Activators and outside consultants committed to providing resources on Relaxed Performances and advocating for accessibility in the arts.

How did the Access Activator and British Council Relaxed Performance training program start?

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. This training was received by 30 participants who work with venues, theatre companies, and festivals.

Following this pilot session, the British Council office in Canada in partnership with Include Arts (with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts) designed an Access and Relaxed Performance Training Programme for five (5) Access Activators based in Ontario to deliver Relaxed Performance trainings to venues across the country in 2016. With the support of the Ontario Arts Council, trainings were delivered in partnership with Tangled Art + Disability to 25 venues in the province of Ontario and in 8 Canadian cities in 2017-2018.

Are you interested in becoming an Access Activator? Would you like to be able to…
  • Deliver foundational information on Relaxed Performance theory and practice to theatre and arts organizations;
  • Nurture meaningful change in how arts venues connect and engage with disabled patrons and communities;
  • Foster growth, confidence and leadership amongst industry professionals and the cultural workforce on topics of accessibility and inclusion;
  • Become part of a national cohort of Access Activators and industry professionals committed to advocating for accessibility in the arts;
  • Utilize opportunities for creative conversation around the future of Relaxed Performance and how to expand its practice for other experiences of disability.
Do you have:
  • Facilitation experience;
  • An established understanding of the theatre and arts sectors;
  • Experience with Relaxed Performances.
Are you:
  • Available to meet (Skype, phone, in-person, etc.) prior to the training to discuss professional backgrounds, needs and expectations for this training;
  • Available to be in Toronto, Ontario between February 19 to 22, 2020 for training with British Council and Tangled Arts + Disability
  • Available for a one-day check-in 6 months after the training;
  • Available to act as an Access Activator and facilitate trainings and provide consultations in your community.

Please note that the training will be delivered in English and ASL. Training materials (handouts, power point presentations) will be available in both English and French.

For a screen reader downloadable PDF Application in English, click here 
For a screen reader downloadable PDFApplication in French, click here