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Artist Resources

All the tools and resources needed for an artist.

The Social Model of Disability

The social model of disability recognises that disabling barriers are present in everyday society and are not a result of a person’s medical diagnosis. These barriers manifest in many forms, such as – limited physical access, inaccessible transport, attitudes and assumptions, and communication. When these barriers are removed, people with disability can be fully included in the community and live independently. 


An example of the social model of disability in practice is: 

  • A person who uses a wheelchair cannot access a building because there is no ramp or lift. The problem is not that the person uses a wheelchair, it is because the building inadequately meets the needs of a person in society.  


In this context, the term ‘disability’ is used to describe these societal barriers, rather than a person’s diagnosis. 


For the arts and culture sector, committing to ensuring a venue, event, or function is accessible is essential to creating equal experiences for all people. 


To find out more about the social modal of disability, download The Social Model of Disability Factsheet by Inclusion London here.

Artist Resource Kit

This guide is a valuable tool for artists and people involved in the art community who aim to better the accessibility of their events. Additionally, it caters to disabled artists seeking to develop their artistic careers further.  

Artist Resource Kit

Plain Text Version

This guide is a valuable tool for artists and people involved in the art community who aim to better the accessibility of their events. Additionally, it caters to disabled artists seeking to develop their artistic careers further.  

To learn more, view our past and upcoming workshops.

Auslan Services

Auslan is short for Australian Sign Language and is the official sign language in Australia. Auslan is used by many people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing as a form of communication.  


The following organisations can provide Auslan services at events, venues and performances:


Location: South Australia 

Phone: 08 8463 1689   



Anytime Auslan

Location: Gold Coast, Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville  

Phone: 0412 388 944  


Auslan Avenue

Location: Brisbane and Gold Coast  

Phone: 0414 616 564  



Auslan Journey

Location: Sunshine Coast  

Phone: 0413 053 310  




Auslan Services

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 1300 287 526  

SMS: 0409 143 980  


Auslan Stage Left

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 0423 933 361 (Voice/SMS)  



Creative Access

Location: Brisbane 

Phone: 0418 185 300  



FAB Interpreting

Location: Australia wide  

Phone: 0432 891 281  



Gold Coast Interpreting Services

Location: Banora Point, New South Wales 

Phone: 07 5648 0576  

Mobile: 0406 600 064  

Strathmore Woods

Location: Brisbane 

Phone: 0429 883 385 or 0438 480 834 (SMS only) 


Sweeney Interpreting

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 0427 755 753  


Wesley Mission Queensland

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 1800 24 69 45 or 0427 671 261 


Deaf Connect

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 1300 773 803 or 0476 857 251 (SMS only) 

FaceTime: 0407 647 591  


Learn Auslan

Access Avenue

Access Avenue provide one-to-one or small group Auslan education and face-to-face Auslan tutoring in Southeast Queensland. Online tutoring is available Australia wide. 

Deaf Connect

Deaf Connect offers a range of online and face-to-face Auslan courses across two skill levels. They have beginner classes in face-to-face locations across ACT, QLD, NSW, SA and NT.  

Lisa Mills Auslan

Lisa Mills Auslan offers an extensive range of online Auslan courses, with study at your own pace.  



Melbourne Polytechnic

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a Certificate II in Auslan through online and face-to-face courses in Melbourne. 



Strathmore Wood

Strathmore Wood provided one-to-one tutoring in Auslan, both face-to-face and visual/online learning methods such as Zoom. 


Sign Language Australia

Sign Language Australia provides face-to-face Auslan classes in Adelaide.  
Classes run for two hours a week, over a five-week period. 


Audio Description

Audio description is the auditory narration of visual representations such as television programs, films and live performances. During gaps in dialogue, it describes visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes. 

Access Media

Location: Australia wide    

Phone: 0412 244 998  



The Captioning Studio

Location: Perth 

Phone: 08 8463 1639  


Vision Australia

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 1300 847 466  or 07 3727 2345  



Vantagepoint Audio Description

Location: Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast (available interstate on application) 

Phone: 0414 646 224 


Learn Audio Description


Foundations of Audio Description six-week course available. 


Future Learn

An online introductory course in Audio Description over a four week period. 


'Ways of Seeing Art' Booklet

An e-book and audiobook on Audio Description. 


Captioning is the text version of speech, non-speech audio and other sounds to provide content and information to people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.  


In live performances, captions can be displayed on stage screens, to the side of the stage, or through people’s handheld devices.  

Open captions are embedded in the video and cannot be turned off. On-screen captions above the stage or to the side of the stage are considered open captions.  


Closed captions are uploaded as a separate track to a video hosting service and are displayed when the viewer turns on closed captioning. Closed captions are often viewed by a person on a manually controlled device. 

Access Media

Location: Australia wide 

Phone: 0412 244 998  


The Captioning Studio

Location: Perth 

Phone: 08 8463 1639  


Reporters Ink

Phone: 07 3852 2276  

Mobile: 0404 495 708  


Learn Captioning

University of Melbourne

This website has detailed information on how captioning works and how to incorporate caption into a performance.  


A short course on video captioning. 


Performance Options

Relaxed Performances

A relaxed performance is a performance that has been adapted in ways that make it more accessible for a range of sensory and communication requirements.  


It is common for usual theatre practices to be removed, encouraging audience members to be themselves without judgment or restrictions. The aim is to welcome differences, in body, mind and cultural practice on and off the stage. 


Considerations for a relaxed performance:  
  • Reduce the intensity of sound and lighting. E.g., no spotlight on the audience, no strobe lighting, no sudden or loud sounds. 
  • Reduce fog and stage effects. 
  • Relaxed etiquette, allowing audience members to:   
  • React to the performance as they please. 
  • Leave the theatre. 
  • Freely move around the theatre.  
  • Make noise/vocalise.  
  • Bring in and use stimming devices. 
  • Have food and drink with them. 
  • Use screen devices on silent. 
  • Include a pre-show announcement of a relaxed performance. 
  • The theatre doors remain open. 
  • The house lights remain on, but dimmed, throughout the performance.  
  • Allocate a standing room. 
  • Open the theatre space early so the audience can relax in the area. 
  • Provide access to a Breakout (or chill-out) space.  
  • Provide space for service animals. 
  • Provide information about the show before the viewing, including a social/visual story or tactile tour. 
  • No bells, ringing or over-speaker announcements in the foyer. 
  • Reduce audience capacity. 
  • Offer reduced pricing tickets. 
  • Allow for additional staffing. 


Relaxed performances should not be reserved for children’s shows. Please consider notifying patrons about the relaxed performance before the showing.  


More information and resources on relaxed performances:  
  • Read about a study on relaxed performances here. 
  • Arts Centre Melbourne offers a comprehensive guide to planning and executing relaxed performances here. 
  • A_tistic offers a guide that can assist in creating relaxed performances here. 
  • Arts Centre Melbourne provides examples of social stories here. 
  • A_tistic provides a Relaxed Performance Guide here. 

Breakout Space

A Breakout or Chillout Space is a space or room designed to reduce sensory stimulation, such as loud noises, rapid movement, and intense visual effects. It allows patrons to take a break from the main action of the theatre.    

Breakout Spaces can include: 
  • A quiet zone. 
  • Gentle lighting. 
  • A screen playing a live stream or recorded version of the performance taking place in the theatre. 
  • Fidget toys/stimming objects. 
  • Noise-cancelling headphones and soft earplugs. 
  • Colouring in sheets with pencils or crayons. 
  • Comfortable seating, such as large pillows, bean bags or yoga mats. 
  • Snacks and beverages.  
  • Weighted toys and blankets. 

Social Story

Social Stories are short descriptions that explain the experience a patron might expect. They often include images and simple language. These stories can assist to reduce the stress or anxiety of attending an event and help people understand what will happen before they enter. 


There are two aspects to a Social Story – the venue and the show.  


The venue: 
  • Clear directions to the venue, including photos and access information from the car park, loading zone or bus stop to the theatre entrance. 
  • What to expect when arriving at the venue. 
  • Information about the facilities, such as the foyer, box office, bar, and restrooms. 
  • What venue employees will be available to provide additional guidance if required. 


 The show:  
  • Content warning/s, such as language or scenes.  
  • Length of show, including intermission. 
  • Basic overview of the plot of the show. 
  • Introduction of actors and characters in the show.  
  • Description of set and costumes. 
  • Warnings about loud music or sudden lighting changes. 


Tips for writing a Social Story: 
  • Publish in a minimum 14-point font size and a Sans-Seif font. 
  • Use simple language, for example, ‘hard’ instead of ‘difficult’ or ‘try instead of endeavour’. 
  • Write in first person, for example , ‘when I arrive…’, ‘I will see…’ and ‘I will hear…’. 
  • Use photos wherever possible to provide visual representation. 

Visual Story

A Visual Story is a preshow note for people who are blind and low vision. The Visual Story helps to communicate and create an understanding of the shows visual elements, including the set, costumes, lighting, and characters 

Touch Tour

A Touch Tour is sometimes called a Tactile Tour. It is a preshow tour of the stage, set, props and costumes. These tours allow people to understand how the stage is set by touching and feeling props or costumes. 


Writing Styles and Colour Contrast 
  • Be concise and use short, simple sentences when writing long or short copy. 
  • Consider using bullet points and numbering for lists. 
  • Break up longer text with headings. 
  • Use a minimum 12-point font for the body copy. 
  • Use San Serif fonts. 
  • A single-colour background rather than a multicolour or patterned background is best behind the text. 
  • Avoid capitals for long, continuous text.  
  • Use simple language and avoid jargon. 
  • Avoid acronyms without a prior established meaning.  
  • Left-align text and avoid centred text. 
  • Use a high contrast colour between text and background (e.g., black on white). 
  • Avoid italics and underlining text or headings. 



Digital Application  
  • Run the website through a digital accessibility checker, such as  WAVE.
  • Upload plain text or Word document files where possible, as PDF files are often unreadable by screen readers. 
  • Consider implementing an accessibility widget that allows users to format the website as required (e.g., UserWay) 
  • Avoid putting text in images or using image text (e.g., type ‘Welcome to Undercover Artist Festival’, rather than embedding a text image. 
  • Avoid using ‘click here’ when making hyperlinks. Describe the link; for example, hyperlink the phrase ‘more details on our next show.’  
  • Use Camel Case for hashtags, where the first letter in each word of a hashtag is capitalised. For example, #AccessibleMarketingGuide  
  • Use emojis sparingly and only when the emoji makes sense to the context of the text, e.g., ‘Mark your calendars, Undercover Artist Festival is back! 📅 
  • Include captioning on your videos, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have automatic captioning features. If you cannot caption, publish with a transcript. 
  • Consider doing an audio description version of a video. 
Alternative Text and Image Descriptions  
  • Use alt text to describe the image or video. 
  • Don’t include any paragraph breaks or styling in your alt-text. Alt-text can only be a string of text and punctuation. 
  • Don’t leave the filename in the alt-text. 
  • Use image descriptions at the end of posts or in comments. 
  • Use present tense.  
  • Use action verbs. 
  • Be clear and concise.  
  • Be objective. 
  • Any text in an image needs to be written out. 
  • Consider the important information in the image or graphic. 
  • Provide information about the visual appearance of spaces, objects, people, etc.
Additional access resources: 
  • Create audio versions of marketing material. 
  • Provide transcripts of videos in Word document format. 
  • Braille physical documents for blind audiences.  
  • Provide Easy English documents, using simple language and images to communicate a message. 
Print Application:  
  • Print onto thick paper and a matte finish (avoid glossy paper). 
  • Avoid using colour alone to convey information.  
  • Use a wide margin for printed materials if they are to be bound (e.g., booklets). 
  • Avoid complicated folds. 

Skills Development

Access Arts

Location: Queensland 

Specialty: Dance, Theatre, Music     

Phone: 07 3505 0311 


All Abilities Australia

Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Dance         

Phone: 0435 843 044  


BeLeste Dance

Location: Brisbane  

Specialty: Dance 

Phone: 0412 494 750  


Blue Roo Theatre Company

Location: Brisbane  

Specialty: Drama  

Phone: 0412 231 085  


Bust A Move Dance

Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Dance 



Circa (Circability)

Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Circus  


Phone: 07 3852 3110 

CircUp Arts

Location: Townsville 

Specialty: Circus 


Phone: 07 4778 3778 


Crossroad Arts

Location: Mackay 

Specialty: Theatre, Dance, Short Films, Wearable Art, Radio 


Phone: 07 4953 5122 


Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Drama, Musical Theatre 


Phone: 07 3342 0600 


InsideOutside Dance

Location: Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Sunshine Coast 

Specialty: Dance, Drama, Drumming 


Phone: 0428 156 688 

Screech Arts

Location: Brisbane, Maryborough, Sunshine Coast 

Specialty: Drama, Dance  


Phone: 1800 275 753 

Wesley Mission

Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Singing, Percussion, Dance, Drama 

Phone: 1300 207 162 


Sweet Freedom Singers

Location: Brisbane, Bald Hills 

Specialty: Singing 

Phone: 07 3510 2700 



UpBeat Arts

Location: Brisbane 

Specialty: Singing, Song Writing, Creative Writing  



Other Helpful Resources

Accessible Arts

Training and resources

A catalogue of courses about access and disability awareness training in the arts sector. And a collection of documents and checklists to help make an event more accessible. 

Accessible Events Guide

A large document outlining the importance of accessibility, including tips on implementing accessible practices and links to other valuable resources. 



Arts Access Aotearoa

A New Zealand arts organisation that has created an exhaustive list of resources to make your performance accessible.  




Live Performance Award

An award is a legal document that outlines the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment. The performing arts follow the Live Performance Award. 


Canva is a free online graphic design website that can help design social media and advertising resources. 




Wix is an easy-to-use website builder that offers many features for free. 




Creative Plus Business

Creative Plus Business offers a myriad of resources to help grow business skills. 




Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare

ASPAH offers educational resources aimed at helping performers manage and maintain their health. 


A website with popular topics in the Australian arts industry, including grants and opportunities. 



Handbook for Artists Working in Community

A practical manual for artists who would like to begin or deepen their artistic practice to include work in and with the community. 

Artist Statement Guidelines

Advice for writing an artist statement. 





Schedule posts, tweets, and pins for the week in one session using this handy tool. The basic version is free. 



Self-Tape for Beginners

With COVID-19, self-taping as a way of auditioning has become very common. Here is a website to help. 


Performers Rights

Actors, circus performers, musicians, dancers and other live performers may have performers’ rights in their performances. 

ATO – What can you claim?

This document outlines what can and can’t be claimed at tax time. 



GuildHouse Toolkit

A toolkit to help avoid mistakes and stresses involved with running a creative practice, and to offer insights into all aspects of what it means to manage and grow a creative career. 

Public Liability Insurance for Artists