Arts and culture play a fundamental role in society and in our lives, yet persons with disabilities are often unable to fully participate and enjoy cultural opportunities. Article 30 of the UN CRPD states that persons with disabilities have the right to participate in cultural life. But in most cases, State Parties have neglected its full implementation. Social services play an important role in ensuring that the cultural rights of the people they support are respected. At EASPD we work to develop the skills of our members on the subject, through knowledge sharing, research, and projects.
Amongst our membership we count many service providers that are leaders in the field. They work to make art and culture an important part of their users’ lives and support the professionalisation of artists with disabilities. But support service providers can’t make big changes to access to culture on their own. Partnerships with other civil society organisations and cultural associations are key. Most importantly more change is needed at a structural level to make a real difference. EASPD is working with the EU institutions to ensure that appropriate resources and solid legal frameworks are put into place. Only with political commitment and the right environment can service providers, persons with disabilities and cultural operators work together to make progress on the implementation of Article 30.