Art Works Blog

Webinar Alert! Empowering Arts Professionals with Disabilities: Insights from Arts & Media Employers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people with disabilities are a force that’s more than 59 million strong, representing America’s largest minority group. Within that group is an untapped talent pool of artists, performers, storytellers, educators, cultural workers, and other aspiring professionals poised and ready to build a successful career in the arts world. Comprising 20 percent of the population, people with disabilities have been shown to have higher rates of workplace retention and productivity, and can add to important diversity and equity efforts, which can then lead to more innovation and creativity in the workplace and attract expanded audiences for arts organizations. 

Arts and media organizations can tap into this pool of talent by hiring, casting, curating, and otherwise incorporating people with disabilities into their workforce. Media companies such as WarnerMedia, an AT&T company, are adding disability to “Inclusion Riders” for their productions and participating in talent pipeline programs such as Lights! Camera! Access!, which provides mentoring and employment opportunities for people seeking jobs in arts and media. Similarly, the Frick Collection has partnered with the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to help create employment opportunities throughout their museum.

For more information on employing people with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and its Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion and Job Accommodation Network provide resources in recruiting, hiring, accommodating, retaining, and advancing valuable employees with disabilities.

You can also tune into the fifth in our series of webinars, in partnership with Art Beyond Sight, on promoting careers in the arts for people with disabilities and gain insights into these approaches on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm ET. Register for the free webinar here. (If you miss the webinar it will be captioned and archived on arts.gov. It will also be part of our forthcoming toolkit on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities.)

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