Luisi Faiva has long wavy dark hair and she is wearing a traditional Samoan costume
Lusi Faiva: “As a performer with a disability, I have had to overcome barriers, with people saying that I can’t talk or dance. But it seems that I have proved them wrong.” Lusi Faiva is a Touch Compass founding member and its Artistic Direction Panel member. She is also the recipient of the Arts Access PAK’nSAVE Artistic Achievement Award 2021. Read more about Lusi Faiva

Deaf and disabled artists’ initiative

There are many accomplished Deaf and disabled performers, artists and writers in New Zealand. It's important their diverse perspectives and experiences are reflected in the New Zealand arts scene. It’s also important that Deaf and disabled people see their stories, culture and experiences represented in the arts we make – and for that work to be led by Deaf and disabled people.

This Deaf and disabled artists’ initiative (working title), facilitated by Arts Access Aotearoa, is about supporting Deaf and disabled artists to create work and develop their creative practice. We welcome *artists, writers and makers of all artforms.

The initiative is in development in collaboration with **Deaf and disabled artists. If you are a Deaf or disabled artist and want to stay up-to-date with these developments please fill out the form below, or contact Stace Robertson, Access, Inclusion and Participation Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa (E:  T: 04 802 4349).

We are building a test website and compiling resources and information. If you have ideas for useful resources, tools or information please get in touch. We would love to hear from you. It might be resources you would like to share or resources that you don’t have but would be useful for you.

When the test website is ready, we will send a link to those people who have expressed their interest in this initiative.

 The aims of the initiative are to:

  • support Deaf and disabled artists, practitioners and community members to create work and develop their creative practice toward sustainable careers
  • support Deaf and disabled artists to make work on their own terms
  • support Deaf and disabled artists to tell their own stories and histories
  • support the development of disabled-led arts projects, initiatives and organisations
  • support Deaf and disabled artists to advocate for their right to access arts spaces, funding and resources.
  • provide a space for Deaf and disabled artists to network, collaborate and support each other.

The website will include:

  • an artists section with a mini gallery and profile on each artist
  • a database of accessible performance spaces, rehearsal spaces, studios and galleries
  • funding and other opportunities such as internships and residencies.
  • information about key issues and areas of advocacy
  • tools and resources for Deaf and disabled artists, including resources written and developed by disabled artists
  • resources in accessible formats, including Easy Read and New Zealand Sign Language
  • a directory of interpreters and audio describers and mobility equipment hire organisations.


*Artists include anyone working in any of the following:
Visual arts, cultural / traditional arts, performance art, dance, theatre, music, writing, sculpture, ceramics

**Deaf or disabled includes anyone who identifies as deaf/Deaf or as having a disability or impairment, including chronic health conditions and mental ill health.

Becoming a part of the Deaf and disabled artists' initiative

Please fill in the form below. Your name and contact details will be added to Arts Access Aotearoa's database but you can change or remove your details at any stage. This information will be available only to Arts Access Aotearoa staff. We will not provide it to any other party without your prior consent.

Read our privacy policy.

Please view our terms and conditions.

* You must enter the fields marked with an asterisk.




Stace Robertson: Stace is Lead Accessibility Advisor, Arts Access Aotearoa (T: 04802 4349 E: Stace works Monday to Thursday.  More about Stace

About Arts For All

Arts For All guide

Arts For All news/blogs

Access Services Directory

Deaf and disabled artists' initiative

Making an event accessible

Funding information

Accessibility resources

Connect through music: this video was made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa and Chamber Music New Zealand.

Access for all:
“The good thing about being focused on access and accessibility is that you create a better experience for everybody,” says Philip Patston in this video, made by Lala Rolls of Island Productions Aotearoa for Arts Access Aotearoa. 


Our funders

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