Burnavon in Cookstown awarded for disability work

PHOTO CAPTION: L-R: Bob Collins, Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, presenting Kate Keys, Marketing Officer and Tony McCance, Head of Arts and Cultural Services, with the Arts and Disability Equality Plaque in recognition of the Burnavon's on-going commitment to promoting access to the arts for all.

PHOTO CAPTION: L-R: Bob Collins, Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, presenting Kate Keys, Marketing Officer and Tony McCance, Head of Arts and Cultural Services, with the Arts and Disability Equality Plaque in recognition of the Burnavon's on-going commitment to promoting access to the arts for all.

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BURNAVON Arts and Cultural Centre has this week been given a prestigious award for their work in making the arts accessible to all.

The Arts and Disability Charter and Plaque, which was awarded and a gruelling 12-month assessment, marks the theatre out a venue that embraces the right of all to join in either as audience members, artists, participants or employees.

A panel of assessors examined five areas of operation of the arts centre.

These included the accessibility of all aspects of the centre to people with disabilities, participation by people with disabilities in the arts and in the audiences for events, as well as the development of policies and the employment of people with a disability.

Speaking at the presentation, Bob Collins, Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, founder of the Arts and Disability Equality Charter said:

“Part of the signature of being human is self-expression. Everybody has a cultural life, everybody has an inner life, and everybody has the capacity to enjoy themselves and the arts. We all contribute to publicly funded arts and it is very important that everybody is able to use and enjoy them.”

Tony McCance, Head of Arts and Cultural Services, Cookstown District Council said: “One of the aims of the Burnavon is to make all aspects of the arts accessible to everyone in the district and beyond.

This Charter award is recognition of the Council’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in the social and cultural life of the community.

“The Burnavon has made a commitment to long term engagement in addressing this issue of access and participation for all members of our community.

“We are continually working hard to provide an excellent service for all our customers, and this is the start of a journey of improvement that we will continue.”

The Arts and Disability Equality Charter is a hallmark of good access and is operated by a partnership of the Arts and Disability Forum, Adapt NI and Open Arts with funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.