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The Accentuate Symposium

One year on from the Paralympic Games – what is the positive legacy for the Cultural Sector and what are the challenges and opportunities ahead of us?

As an incubator for ideas and leader of cultural discussion within the disability context, Accentuate is keen to explore if there has been a cultural shift for disabled people one year on from the hugely successful Paralympic Games.  Therefore we are partnering with The University of Brighton to bring together leaders from within the cultural sector to discuss what is working well, as well as the challenges being faced.  This event seeks to explore how we consolidate gains a year on from the Paraylmpic Games and map the new territory.   The Symposium will be held on Friday 5th July 2013 at the Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton.  To book a ticket to attend this event, please click on the following link:

The Paralympic Games offered a platform to profile disabled athletes at a level that had never been seen before.  Public attitudes were noticeably shifted, along with the sort of media attention which moved us from “tragic and brave” towards genuine discussion about sporting talent.  There was also a spotlight on creative talent, through the Cultural Olympiad events along with the spectacular opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games.  The future looked bright.  So where are we now?  It seems there may have been a reversion of focus.  Very many disabled people have real concerns and fears. So how can we continue the positive sea change in attitudes towards disabled people, that we witnessed during Games time, as well as providing real access to opportunities for disabled people to develop career pathways within the creative and cultural industries?

At this critical juncture we must provide evidence of the success stories and celebrate, because without these, how can we regret their potential loss?

A headline panel debate will be followed by three further panels exploring Disability Heritage and the Built Environment, Artists working in the Public Realm and Disabled Young People Building Resilience.  Accentuate will also premier a new animated short lecture by Dr. Tom Shakespeare which will introduce some of the key themes for the headline panel.

All panels will encourage questions from the floor, or at the time of booking tickets.  There will also be opportunities for people to take part in the debate through live streaming and Twitter feeds.

Symposium Programme

Animated Lecture, Dr. Tom Shakespeare

Headline Panel: How do we consolidate the gains and map new territory, a year on from the Paralympic Games?

Case Study Panel 1:  Young Voices Challenge and Change.

Case Study Panel 2: Disability Heritage: Disabled People Shaping the Built Environment throughout the Ages.

Case Study Panel 3: Disabled Artists Forging Careers in the Public Realm.

Speakers at The Accentuate Symposium currently include:

  • Vidar Hjardeng MBE - Broadcast Journalist, honoured for services to visually impaired people
  • Professor Nick Watson - Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research
  • Dr Alison Wilde – Bangor University
  • Hannah Morgan – Lancaster University
  • Adam Simmons – Young Participant
  • Kim Aumann – Direct of ART Amaze and part of The University of Brighton’s resilience department
  • Rosie Sherrington - Social Inclusion and Diversity Advisor at English Heritage
  • Dr David Bonnet – Architect
  • John D Walker - Senior Research Fellow - CUPP
  • Jonathan Banks – Chief Executive of Public Art Think Tank – Ixia
  • Wendy Mason – Director AA2A – Artists Accessing Art Colleges
  • Carole McFadden - Drama & Dance Adviser for East Asia, China & Hong Kong, Middle East and North Africa - Arts Group - British Council

There will be an opportunity for drinks and networking at the end of the event.

Book tickets now

For further information on The Accentuate Symposium or to book a ticket to attend this event, please click on the following link:

For further information on The Accentuate Symposium email:

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