Government drive to make Ireland’s nightlife inclusive for people with disabilities

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, today announced the launch of a new Night-Time Economy accessibility survey. This is in support of Action 7 in the Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce which highlighted the need for awareness raising about the challenges people with disabilities face when socialising or working at night.

The survey was developed by the Department in conjunction with Ireland Thinks and was informed by consultation with Disabled Persons’ Organisations, artists and other stakeholders across the disability community.

The purpose of the survey is to examine the challenges for patrons and artists with disabilities accessing the Night Time Economy. If the Night-Time Economy is to be truly inclusive and diverse, it is important to examine what barriers exist for people with disabilities when socialising at night in order to find practical solutions in consultation with those affected on how to deliver an inclusive accessible Night-Time Economy.

Questions include the accessibility of nighttime activities such as concerts, cinemas, theatres, galleries, restaurants, sporting venues or nightclubs. However, the survey also drills down into where difficulties might lie with accessibility, finding out about that online, getting transport to a venue and the role of staff.

Announcing the launch of the survey today, Minister Martin said, “The Night-Time Economy is where we meet friends, enjoy what our cities and towns have to offer and where we create and express ourselves. However, if we want our nightlife to be truly inclusive and diverse, we need to first understand the lived experiences that people with disabilities face when performing or socialising at night. I want to encourage people to participate in this survey so we can begin to understand the type of interventions needed to ensure we make nightlife accessible for all. I am looking forward to seeing the report from this survey and the set of actions needed to improve our nightlife for everyone.”

The survey results will be collated into a report by Ireland Thinks and will contain a set of actions to further the Night-Time Economy Taskforce objective of an inclusive, accessible nightlife. These actions will be considered by the Minister who will support and work with the relevant Government Departments, agencies and the Night-Time Sector to progress the recommendations.

Speaking about the survey today, DJ and activist Louise Bruton said,“This survey is a great opportunity for disabled people to point out all the ways in which the Night-Time Economy can become more inclusive. It will be a huge learning curve for everyone working in the arts and entertainment sectors in Ireland – possibly even a shock – but we cannot continue to exclude so many people from living fully enriched social lives any longer.”

If you are a person with a disability, an artist with a disability working in the Night Time Economy or an organisation working with persons’ with a disability, you are invited to participate in this research by completing an online survey.

Also commenting on the survey, artist Emilie Conway said, “As a disabled artist myself, I am passionate that more disabled people engage in arts and culture as both artists and audiences. But accessibility is a huge barrier. For example, some places are physically inaccessible, while some booking websites are inaccessible or very difficult to use for disabled people.

“That is why it is so important that as many disabled people as possible, respond to this survey. If you are disabled, please have your voice heard: respond to the survey as its findings will be used to lead to improving accessibility to arts & culture.”

For more information on the survey, including a short presentation from DJ, Author and disability rights activist Louise Bruton, please visit our website here.

For the main survey please click here.

For organisations that represent persons with disabilities please click here

If you are a person with an intellectual disability, or someone assisting a person with an intellectual disability, please click here for the survey.

The survey will close on Monday 10th June 2024.

(Source: Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media)

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