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New programme, Just Ask, launched to help deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people in live music industry

The campaign is the product of a partnership between Independent Venue Week and the charity Attitude Is Everything

New programme, Just Ask, launched to help Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people in live music industry

A new campaign has been set up with the aim of helping deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people as they navigate the live music industry.

Just Ask is part of a partnership between Independent Venue Week and music and live events charity Attitude Is Everything. Twenty promoters have already taken part in a pilot scheme as part of the campaign, and it's now being rolled out more widely, with guidance and monthly training programmes being offered.

Both are being extended with the intention of helping live promoters to make their events more accessible to deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people who wish to perform on the live music circuit.

In a statement, Attitude Is Everything said: "Promoters at all levels of the industry are now invited to join Attitude is Everything's Just Ask campaign and ensure that all artists (and their crew) are given the chance to share access requirements ahead of a performance, by asking this simple question: 'Do your or any of your crew members have access requirements?'"

The campaign comes after a 2019 survey carried out by Attitude Is Everything found that 70% of artists had withheld details of a health condition or impairment as they were worried that letting people know would cause problems and impact a relationship with a promoter, venue or festival. As a result, two in three said they had compromised their health or wellbeing to perform live. 

As part of the rollout of the campaign, Independent Venue Week will require all venues that wish to be part of IVW's events for 2023 to put Just Ask's guidance into action.

Attitude is Everything's Rich Legate said: "Just Ask is going to be a hugely positive and beneficial collaboration between promoters and artists, which will only enrich our live music landscape. We need to take the burden away from disabled artists to navigate the industry and show that they are expected and welcomed at all levels."

Find the Just Ask guidance here.

Independent Venue Week is running all through this week in the UK.

Revisit DJ Mag's May 2021 piece investigating how clubs can become more accessible for those with disabilities here.