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Disabled artists and writers

How do we ensure disabled people are involved as performers, visual artists and writers, as well as audiences? This page provides information and ideas, and links to stories and profiles of New Zealand disabled and Deaf artists and writers.

There are many accomplished performers, artists and writers in New Zealand and around the world who are disabled people. Reflecting and including their diverse perspectives and experience of disability in your programming will enhance New Zealand’s arts scene.

By challenging stereotyped portrayals, you can generate healthy debate and change attitudes. This can also lead to new projects and collaborations.

Disability-related art

Disability-related art can be work by disabled artists and disability companies: for example, New Zealand Deaf  Film Inc, which was set up in 2015 to provide opportunities for Deaf filmmakers to hone their skills, promote Deaf films and bring awareness of Deaf culture to a hearing audience. 

Or it can be work by mixed-ability or integrated dance companies such as Touch Compass in Auckland, WIDance in Wellington and Jolt in Christchurch; or theatre company Equal Voices Arts, based in Hamilton.

It can also be work about disability: for example, the play Tribes by Nina Raine is about communication, belonging, families – and being Deaf.

Think about ways your organisation can make your production or arts event relevant to a wider audience: for example, actors (Deaf or hearing) fluent in Sign Language could integrate signing into a performance.

Exhibition sparks conversation about autism

An invitation to speak at an Arts For All Otago Network meeting about making the arts accessible to autistic people sparked an exhibition at the Otago Museum of artwork by 28 autistic artists. Read more

New Zealand artists and writers

We profile just a few of the talented artists and writers in the disabled and Deaf communities.

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