Guides, toolkits and more

The following list of and guides, publications, useful links, surveys, strategies and policies complement Ngā toi mō te katoa: Arts For All, published in 201o and then updated in 2014 and 2020 by Arts Access Aotearoa with support from Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council. This guide provides practical and long-term ways to increase access to the arts, market your events to the disabled community and build new audiences.

Handbooks and guides

Ngā toi mō te katoa: Arts For All 

 Arts For All (PDF)

 Arts For All accessible (WORD)

New Zealand Sign Language video about Arts For All

Arts For All is a 92-page book filled with practical information, examples and ideas about how to make the arts more accessible to Deaf people, disabled people, and people with lived experience of mental ill-health. Watch the NZSL video about Arts For All

Working Together: Accessibility in Aotearoa Theatre

In this Arts For All Network national Zoom hui, Henrietta Bollinger and Nathan Mudge talk about the new Playmarket resource they wrote. A best-practice guide for working with practitioners and communities with access needs, it covers programming, planning, policies, budgets, contracts, riders, remuneration, rehearsal rooms, schedules, warm-ups, intimacy, costumes and make up, and design. It has an extensive section on casting advice, discusses creating new work and finding funding, along with information on audio description, New Zealand Sign Language, relaxed performances and content warnings. Watch the video and buy a copy of the book for $6 from Playmarket.

Attitude is Everything's DIY Access Guide

Planning a gig? Setting up a tour? You have disabled fans missing out on your shows because of simple obstacles you’ve never realised are there: they can’t queue standing a long time for tickets; they need there to be an accessible toilet; they don’t want to sit at the back where they can’t see. Easy things can be done to break down these barriers, bring in more customers and share your music. A UK organisation, Attitude is Everything, has created a simple, free guide called DIY Access Guide to help you remove barriers and be accessible to all your fans. For more

Design for accessibility: a cultural administrator’s handbook

This handbook is published by the National Endowment for the Arts in the United States and was updated in 2011. It provides guidelines for cultural administrators developing accessible and inclusive programming for everyone, including disabled and older people. It also details how to make access an important part of your planning, mission, programmes, outreach, meetings, budget and staffing.
Download Design for Accessibility  

Getting There: a practical resource for arts venues in Scotland to increase the inclusion of disabled people

Created by the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) in 2005, this resource for Scotland-based arts organisations addresses aspects of inclusive practice and includes  case studies from around Scotland.
Download the Getting There

Strategies, policies and the law

New Zealand Disability Strategy

The New Zealand Disability Strategy will guide the work of government agencies on disability issues from 2016 to 2026. It can also be used by any individual or organisation who wants to learn more about, and make the best decisions on, things that are important to disabled people. 
Find out more about the strategy and download it on the Office for Disability Issues' website. 

Building Act 2004 

The Building Act 2004 is the legislation that governs the building industry in New Zealand. Under the Act, access to facilities must be provided without exception in all new public buildings and, where reasonably practical, in any alterations to existing public buildings. Its specifications include width of doorways, height and shape of handrails, space to manoeuvre in bathrooms, gradient of ramps and provision of accessible car parking.
Read more or download a copy of the Building Act 2004

Human Rights Act 1993

This document details New Zealand’s Human Rights Act 1993 and its provisions. The Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice and protects disabled people from discrimination, including equitable access to public spaces, goods and services, and other areas.
Read the Human Rights Act 1993 

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

United Nations Enable's website is home to the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The website includes public information about topics related to disability, human rights and the United Nations' work for disabled people. Article 30 of the CPRD (Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport) is particularly relevant. New Zealand has ratified this Convention and reports to the UN on progress.  
View Article 30 of the CRPD 

Statistics and surveys

Aotearoa Disability Figures

The Aotearoa Disability Figures website collates data for and about disabled people in Aotearoa, to help improve people's wellbeing by allowing them to make decisions that are informed by up-to-date data. You can access data from reputable sources that is free for you to take and use. You can find data on disabled people's wellbeing, employment, housing, education, health, and more. You can also read reports that contain data about disabled people in NZ and other topics. You can also watch a YouTube video of the website's launch.

Census 2013: disability statistics

Findings in the New Zealand Disability Survey (Statistics New Zealand) show that one in four New Zealanders (24% or 1.1 million people) were identified as disabled in 2013. An estimated 14% of the New Zealand population has a physical impairment that limits their everyday activities. This is the most common impairment for adults and increases strongly with age.

For a breakdown of disabilities per region:

Number of people with disabilities in NZ regions 

Percentage of people with disabilities in NZ regions (EXCEL)

Arts For All survey: how accessible are New Zealand’s arts organisations and venues?

In 2011, Creative New Zealand provided one-off grants totalling $30,000 to 11 organisations for projects that would improve their accessibility. Arts Access Aotearoa administered the grants and monitored the projects.

At the same time, Creative New Zealand commissioned Arts Access Aotearoa to conduct an online survey and site visits to find out how accessible New Zealand’s key arts organisations and venues were. An online survey was completed by 41 arts organisations and Arts Access Aotearoa held in-depth interviews with 16 organisations around the country.

 Arts For All survey report 

Arts For All survey report

Accessible documents and websites

New Zealand Government Web Toolkit

This website details the Government’s Web Accessibility Standard 1.0 and Web Usability Standard 1.2. This information is helpful to content and communications people, developers, project managers and others who oversee website content. The links below include an overview of each standard as well as a link on how to administer the standards.
Read the Web Accessibility Standard 1.0 
Read the Web Usability Standard 1.2  

Blind Foundation guides on document accessibility

Two useful guideline resources for anyone interested in improving the accessibility of their digital documents (e.g.Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) for people who are blind or vision impaired.

Powerpoint icon Download Blind Foundation's Accessible Information 


Guidelines for producing accessible graphics

This resource, developed in 2022, is an updated version of 2005's Guidelines for conveying visual information. It offers suggestions and examples of ways in which visual information can be presented in an accessible format for people who are blind or have low vision. Examples are provided for a wide variety of graphics from logos, graphic novels and artworks to scatter plots, molecular models, network diagrams and more.

Accessible exhibitions

How to put on an accessible exhibition

This short guide is aimed at curators, programmers and exhibition organisers, and provides an overview of how to ensure your exhibition is accessible and inclusive of disabled people. It’s part of a series of free resources on art, disability and access, and supports an approach that considers access and inclusion from the very beginning and at all stages of an organisation or individual’s work. Read more

Access for blind and low vision people

Ways Of Seeing Art booklet

Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation in the UK, working to provide opportunities and support for disabled artists, as well as disabled individuals wanting to work in the arts and cultural sector. The Ways of Seeing Art booklet arose from a collaboration between Shape Arts and artist/trainer Zoe Partington, plus some key contributors to the Ways of Seeing Art event held at Tate Modern in London in February 2017. The aim, both in the booklet and in the wider programme, is to increase awareness of the barriers disabled people face in the arts – in this case, with an emphasis on blind and visually impaired people. There are seven articles about audio description and access to art, culture and heritage. You can read the e-version and listen to an audio book of the booklet on the Shape Arts website

Access for Deaf and hard of hearing people

New Zealand Sign Language online

This online NZSL dictionary is administered by Deaf Aotearoa. Users can search for NZSL vocabulary by English/te reo Māori words or through the visual features of the signs themselves. Each word entry includes a te reo Māori translation, making the dictionary accessible in three languages. A free NZSL dictionary app compatible with the iPhone and iPad dictionary is also available.
Access the NZSL online dictionary
Download the NZSL dictionary app here (version 2.1) 

Access for people with learning disability

Welcoming people with a learning disability to your venue

This report, published by UK charity MENCAP, looks at barriers for people with a learning disability going to the theatre, concerts and other arts events. It also offers solutions. Barriers such as lack of money, not feeling welcomed and transport can be overcome by providing concessions and good information, and following the policies and the procedures of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Download this report 




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. 


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