AmbITion Re:connected – DADA – previously known as North West Disability Arts Forum Case Study

This is a live blog of the AmbITion Re:connected  event at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester.  If you spot any errors or inaccuracies or would simply like to contribute to the conversation, leave us a comment!

Ruth Gould from DaDa, Disability and Deaf Arts – previously known as North West Disability Arts Forum now sharing about being involved in AmbITion.

Much work based around access and the different issues that disabled people face with accessing the arts.

Staff have various needs, profoundly deaf, visually impaired, learning disabled; all need different approaches for providing access.

New technologies would have a profound effect on access.

Had a website designed in 2001 but more of an electronic brochure.   Established DaDaFest – a disability & deaf arts annual festival with awards dinner and online voting.  Nothing national that achieves that.

All staff learnt on the job – reactive rather than proactive.

They have an impact;  13 million people have accessed their work through the media.

Here are Ruth’s slides:

Old website included large icons but not necessarily in line with their goal to be about an arts organisation and not just about disability in the arts.

Changed from NWDAF to Dada, Disability & Deaf Arts as a lot of people knew about the festival and not NWDAF.

Have now moved into the Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool City Centre.

AmbITion provided core funding for new equipment and applying for funding for a new website.

All the staff now have the same PC capabilities, new equipment and a new way of marketing themselves to the public.

New website, dadahello.com.  The site is designed with input from staff, board & volunteers, it is more than a windw our work.

Using it to grow audience, more audience based, plan to develop two online projects in 2009/10.

It has a variety of access options and currently staff are being training to add their own content and build relationships around it.

A lot of fear around using social networking.  They use automatic audio recognition on their website.

Facebook group, over 1000 people signed up in its first 6 weeks.  Facebook more accessible and easier to navigate round for disabled people.

MySpace, Twitter and working on developing new networks that can be more accessible.

Young People’s Ownership

12 week programme to train up 12 young disabled people on a digital arts project with FACT which wil form pages on our websites as a ‘Young Dada’.

Aim to link in more and more internationally as reflected in the engagement in the website & facebook relationships.

Have plans to expand digital capabilities as a staff team and have designed 4 half days of digital playtimes into our working environment in the next 3 weeks.

Learning how to make podcasts, play with digital cameras.

Need more training on how to do sexier powerpoints!

The AmbITion journey has really started for them now.

Next up:  New Wolsey Theatre share where their new website development is taking them…

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