Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

About CRIPtic Arts

What do you mean by disabled?

The focus of CRIPtic is on disabled people within the arts.

By this, we mean “all people who face disableist [including audist or neurotypist] barriers”, or “people who identify themselves as disabled and/or are identified by others as disabled in society”.

Audist barriers are barriers created assuming on a hearing world, which exclude and marginalise deaf people.
Neurotypist barriers are barriers created assuming on a world constructed for neurotypical people, which exclude and marginalise neurodivergent people.

Our definition of ‘disabled’ covers everyone who faces socially constructed disableist barriers in their lives. We recognise that many disabled people face barriers that emerge from their underlying condition (or impairments) which impact on their access to opportunities within the arts as well as socially constructed barriers.

We don’t focus on specific impairments, and include everyone who fits into the above as disabled. However, people whose experiences fit into the below categories (alongside many others not listed) might find a home for their work as CRIPtic.

  • Deaf, deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing people
  • Blind people, visually impaired and people with low vision
  • People with physical impairments
  • Mad people, people with mental health problems, mentally ill people, and people experiencing mental distress
  • People with learning disabilities
  • Neurodivergent people
  • People with chronic illnesses and chronic pain
  • People with energy limiting impairments

Certainly we recognise that not everyone who we have listed as possibly finding a home within CRIPtic would identify themselves as “disabled”. While “disabled” is valuable as an umbrella term for the people we work with, we don’t insist that people use it for themselves. This is because we see the word ‘disabled’ as reflecting the common route of our community’s oppression, and the solidarity we owe each other.

Why do you say ‘disabled’ rather than ‘deaf, disabled and neurodivergent’?

We say ‘disabled’ rather than saying ‘d/Deaf and disabled’, ‘deaf and disabled’ or ‘deaf, disabled and neurodivergent’, because our definition of disabled is designed to explicitly include people who are deaf and neurodivergent already. We don’t want to single out specific groups of people in a way that might suggest that they don’t ‘count’ as part of the disabled community, or suggest that we’re there for specific parts of the community more than others.

Our events generally have BSL and auto-captions, and we welcome Deaf signers.

What do you mean by the social model of disability?

We base a lot of our work on the social model of disability. By this, we mean that the source of the oppression deaf and disabled people face is constructed by society. While we might have our conditions, impairments, or illnesses (which might affect us all differently), society places barriers in our way which limit our ability to participate fully. Touretteshero explain it excellently here.

What types of access barriers are there in the arts?

  • Physical – these include people hosting events in spaces where they have not provided wheelchair access for performers, or for the audience. It also includes galleries hanging pictures where viewers can’t get close enough to see from a wheelchair or if someone is blind or has low vision. As well, places have dim lighting which then makes lip-reading and navigation difficult.
  • Informational – people not having captioned their videos or events without BSL interpretation. These include writing confusing and complex documents or formatting them badly for screen-readers.
  • Organisational – organisations not having considered that people might face access barriers. This means they might not have calculated them into event plans or project costs.
  • Technological – websites not being accessible via screen-reader, online events relying on people being able to see and hear everything currently going on and not providing audio-description and captions/BSL.
  • Attitudinal – assumptions that because of your ‘impairment’ you can’t do a particular artform, like be a blind aerialist (Tito Bone). These could also be people saying it’s impossible to accommodate someone with your impairment in a project

Why do you sometimes prioritise people facing specific access barriers

All deaf and disabled people face access barriers within the industry, and we design CRIPtic Arts’ projects with the intention of reaching everyone. However, we also recognise that whether due to unmet access needs, some people will face barriers that others don’t. These might include

  • Physical – people unable to leave their house, or people who require a Changing Places toilet to work in a venue
  • Informational – people who require information in BSL or Easy Read
  • Organisational – people with high access costs that projects refuse to cover
  • Technological – people who can’t access online events where captions and BSL aren’t being provided correctly
  • Attitudinal – people who use assistive or augmentative communication, or have learning disabilities, when people treat them as if they’re unable to work within the arts.
  • Intersectional – people who experience intersecting oppressions where new barriers arise and organisations do not meet requirements

As many other opportunities in the arts will not meet the needs of people with specific access requirements, we sometimes tailor part our work towards a particular group. However, we always also offer opportunities open to deaf and disabled people more widely.

If you have any other questions, please email

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