A new association, Audience Access Alliance, has been formed through the combination of several groups working for greater accessibility in the live music industry.

The association has written an open letter to the industry, calling for inclusivity and continued support for deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people.

The letter notes that, despite deaf and disabled people being among the most impacted by the virus, not every disabled person is medically ‘vulnerable’ to Covid-19 and there remains a strong desire among many to participate in inclusive online events and return to in-person activities such as gigs, exhibitions and football matches as soon as rules allow.

A section of the letter reads: “We can connect you with deaf and disabled audiences, ensure that the gains we have jointly made are not lost, and help secure the widest possible audiences to support you in the difficult times ahead. With so much progress made, we want to work together whenever we can to ensure that your businesses and organisations can continue to play a part in making the vibrant cultural life of the UK accessible.

“If we want to ‘build back better’, it’s vital that we build back for all.”

Instigated by music and event industry charity Attitude is Everything, the Audience Access Alliance letter is signed by Disability Collaborative Network, Euan’s Guide, Hynt, The Access Card, Performance Interpreting Inc, Shape Arts, Signed Culture, Stagetext, Stay Up Late, Transport For All and VocalEyes.

Additional signatories are Andrew Miller, UK Disability Champion for Arts and Culture, and Heather Smith, UK Disability Champion for Countryside & Heritage.

The full letter can be viewed here.