Putting diversity into practice is not just a prerequisite for social justice, it is also an enrichment for everyone. Incorporating artists with disabilities allows new forms to emerge and broadens the spectrum of creative possibilities. In terms of the accessibility of cultural events for audiences, much can still be done. This affects ten percent of the Swiss population in total. Moreover, this is not just about people with disabilities: the proportion of elderly people in our society is constantly growing.
The Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps sees inclusion as a matter of importance. For this reason, the festival team has held talks with the Culture Inclusive office at Pro Infirmis, with the aim of jointly raising awareness about the concerns of people with impairments.
The festival itself has limited scope when it comes to taking tangible measures, as its partner theatres are responsible for implementing its ideas. In its community of event organisers, Steps strives to ensure that barriers are jointly discussed and that solutions are exchanged.
As a bearer of the “Culture Inclusive” label, Steps has set itself the following goals:
- Programming that takes into consideration inclusive productions involving dancers with and without disabilities
- Raising of awareness in the community of event organisers, firstly with regard to mobility and hearing impairments
- A programme booklet that has a barrier-free design and offers sections of text in simple language
- A barrier-free website (not yet implemented for this edition)
- Communication via channels that specifically address people with impairments
In order to achieve these goals optimally, Steps has set up an advisory committee of affected people to advise the festival in this regard.
Simply put: Within the texts about the companies, you will find simply worded short descriptions of the presented pieces.
indicates theatres, that have an audio induction loop system for visitors with hearing aids.
All Steps partner theatres offer wheelchair spaces, which can be reserved directly at the theatres.
Members of the advisory committee:
The severely hearing-impaired editor and environmental engineer Inga Laas writes for an environmentalist magazine and, as a moderator and advisor, strives to improve the accessibility of theatre and film for people with hearing impairments. "Cultural life in Switzerland is open to everyone," states Inga Laas."It cannot and must not exclude people with disabilities. Barrier-free accessibility should no longer be just an implementable vision – it needs to be tangibly put into practice."
Carine Pache has been tetraplegic since suffering an accident in the mountains. As she is a passionate traveller, she completed a training course (at Migros Club School) to become a travel agent, with the objective of developing travel offers that are suitable for people with limited mobility. In 2011, she joined the Geneva-based inclusive dance company "Danse Habile" as a stage dancer; she has participated in various projects, most notably working with Foofwa d'Imobilité in 2014. Carine Pache has been collaborating with the company Artumana since 2017.
Alex Oberholzer (MA) works at Radio24 and in the Communications department at the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO). He is the president of the international short film festival "look&roll", which focuses on disability. He is also a member of the Allianz Cinema Programme Committee in Zurich and Basel, as well as a member of the board at Theater Hora. As a wheelchair user, he considers accessibility to be non-negotiable.