This research overview brings together published and unpublished data and research about arts and disability in Australia, and case studies highlighting arts and disability practice around the country. The overview is part of the evidence base for a renewed National Arts and Disability Strategy.

The overview takes a person-centred approach to looking at how people with disability engage with the arts. People with disability:

  • Practise as creative and cultural professionals.
  • Express themselves through participation in creative activities.
  • Connect with creative and cultural experiences as audience members.

The flow of people between these groups is ongoing. People may be in more than one group at a time and some people will constantly move between the groups.

This person-centred approach also recognises that these activities occur within a wider arts and cultural ecology made up of organisations and platforms that operate to support and facilitate arts practice and expression, and bring these to wider audiences.

The research overview identifies a number gaps in the available data and research. Forthcoming research from the Australia Council for the Arts, Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology and recently published research from First People's Disability Network may address some of these gaps. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and research is needed to understand how the creative and cultural sectors are adapting to the changing funding and policy landscape following the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

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