Actively pursuing diversity is a prerequisite for social justice. Moreover, it is an enrichment for everybody. The inclusion of artists with a disability gives rise to new forms of art and broadens the spectrum of artistic possibilities. Inclusion addresses not only what takes place onstage, but also what happens in an auditorium.
According to the Swiss Federal Office for Statistics, around 20 percent of the total population lives with a disability. These can be disabilities which may impede or even render impossible the access to cultural events. This also includes older people, a demographic group which is steadily increasing in our society.
Inclusion is a matter of great concern to the Migros Culture Percentage. Together with Kultur inklusiv of Pro Infirmis and Sensability – experts in inclusion the Culture Percentage has published a guide for inclusive events of the performing arts. It informs promoters of cultural events on the specific demands of spectators with special needs and how to dismantle access barriers for all forms of disability. The guide was developed in close collaboration with experts with and without disability. The document «Ein hindernisfreier Kulturbesuch» can be downloaded for free on the websites of Kultur inklusiv and Sensability.
As a proud wearer of the label «Kultur inklusiv», the Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps takes care to include people with disability into the cultural arena. It advocates the joint discussion of barriers and the exchange of potential solutions in the community of event organisers. The partner theatres of Steps implement the ideas autonomously, Steps acting as mediator and adviser.
The supporting programme of Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps is consistently expanding. Mediation work at schools and the workshops for dance professionels feature inclusive policies. Additionally, the hearing impaired benefit from surtitles of all spoken texts. As a further step, another format using simple language is being elaborated.
An advisory board of self-advocates supports the festival‘s implementation of its inclusion goals. The advisors for the 2020 edition are Inga Laas (accessibility for people with a hearing impairment) and Alex Oberholzer (accessibility for people with restricted mobility).
Simply put: In the texts about the companies you will find short descriptions of the shows in simple language.
Apart from ThiK Theater im Kornhaus in Baden and TPR Beau-Site in La Chaux-de-Fonds, all partner venues of Steps offer wheelchair bays, which can be booked directly at their respective theatres.
indicates theatres that have an audio induction loop system for visitors with hearing aids.
Photo Header: AXIS Dance Company «Flutter» © Steve Disenhof