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Attitude Is Everything seeks to make the music industry workplace more inclusive and accessible

By | Published on Tuesday 11 August 2020

Attitude Is Everything

Music charity Attitude Is Everything has announced a new initiative that will put the spotlight on that aspect of the diversity conversation which has often been ignored in the past, ultimately seeking to boost career opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the music industry.

Attitude Is Everything is probably best known for its work making live music events more accessible to deaf and disabled music fans, however it has also looked to support deaf and disabled music-makers in more recent years.

The new Beyond The Music initiative will focus on jobs in the industry, and will investigate why just 1.8% of people working at music industry organisations consider themselves to be disabled, despite 19% of working adults being considered disabled under the UK’s Equality Act.

The charity says “such a disconnect may be attributable to barriers and discrimination, but Attitude Is Everything’s own research suggests many deaf and disabled people may also lack confidence to make their impairment known”.

Based on its aforementioned work with music-makers, it also notes that “last year we revealed that 70% of disabled musicians hid details of their impairment for fear of losing opportunities, and that two-thirds had compromised their health to perform in inaccessible conditions”.

With funding from the National Lottery, the Beyond The Music initiative will undertake further research on the music industry workplace, while also seeking to enable deaf and disabled people to gain the necessary skills, experience, support and contacts they need to pursue a career in the music business. It will also offer support and advice to music companies on how they can build a more inclusive work environment.

The charity’s Paul Hawkins says: “This is a challenging time for everyone in the music business, especially within live events. The industry’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign has highlighted the gravity of the situation, but, as we plot a pathway back from coronavirus, Attitude Is Everything believes it is crucial that deaf and disabled people have full and equal access to any employment opportunities on offer. Beyond The Music will allow us to try and identify why deaf and disabled workers are so underrepresented in the sector and to take positive action to implement change”.

The programme is already being backed by a number of venues, fellow music charity Youth Music and the cross-sector trade group UK Music. The Chair of the latter’s Diversity Taskforce, Ammo Talwar, adds: “The music industry has to move with pace around access, inclusive behaviour and equality. This new scheme led by Attitude Is Everything injects new energy into this field and will create positive resources and experience for all involved”.

The research element of Beyond The Music begins with a survey of those in the music industry who identify as deaf, disabled or neurodiverse, or who have a mental health condition or another long-term health condition. You can access that survey here.