Border Control Login

Ahead of its launch next week, Suzanne Bull MBE, founder of Attitude is Everything, reveals details of a new toolkit designed to make live events access for disabled people more environmentally sustainable.

At GEI6 (Green Events and Innovations) conference on 27 February, Attitude is Everything, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future will be launching a new toolkit that focuses on making access for disabled people to live events environmentally sustainable. It’s called No Climate Action Without Us.

Farah Ahmed, climate justice lead at Julie’s Bicycle and Teresa Moore, director at A Greener Future will introduce the principles of the toolkit, followed by a panel discussion which explores some of the ideas, conversations and solutions from disabled people and the sector on inclusive climate change. The panel will be chaired by climate activist Tori Tsui with Attitude is Everything Patron Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), Forwards Festival accessibility manager Harry Jones and Arts Council England senior manager for environmental responsibility Feimatta Conteh.

During lockdown, I could see that disabled communities were being left behind in sustainability solutions. Disabled people weren’t part of the conversation on climate change.  To put the impact of climate change on the disabled community in context, there are more than one billion disabled people in the global population. As a disabled person, I’ll experience the impact of climate change more than a non-disabled person. I’m twice as likely than a non-disabled person to die in disasters. I’ll find it harder to leave my home if I’m evacuated due to climate dangers.

Solutions that enable access and support environmental sustainability can often oppose one another.  However, I felt that it didn’t have to be this way.  Thankfully, the two leading organisations for climate change solutions in the UK, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future, agreed with me.  Funded by Arts Council England, we started a research programme to uncover the barriers and find solutions to include disabled people in live event sustainability.  Our starting point was 46% of the disabled community said that they felt excluded from participating in environmental efforts at festivals in a public survey conducted by Julie’s Bicycle.

The three organisations recognised that this work had to be done because we’ve reached the point of a climate emergency and there will be no access to live events for disabled people on a dead planet.

Our toolkit was the outcome of our research, bringing together ideas, case studies and some solutions from disabled people and the sector.

But this is only the start of change.  The toolkit doesn’t have all the answers or the solutions.  I’m calling on disabled people, the live events industry and suppliers to help build on the toolkit’s foundations.

The toolkit has three pledges:

  • To use the toolkit and to give us feedback – what has been missed, what can be included next time?
  • To report back on up to three ways that you have made sustainability solutions, accessible by September 2024.
  • To come together with disabled people, industry colleagues and suppliers to design, create and then increase the supply of accessible, sustainable products and facilities.

Access and environmental solutions can only become equal partners if we all work together.