The arts sector appears to be making gradual progress on increasing the proportion of disabled people in its workforce, although many leading companies have admitted employing no disabled staff at all, a new report by the Arts Council has revealed.
The percentage of disabled people working for the larger organisations receiving Arts Council England (ACE) funding – its national portfolio organisations (NPOs) – doubled from just two per cent in 2014-15 to four per cent in 2015-16.
The proportion of disabled people on NPO boards has also risen sharply, from 3.2 per cent to seven per cent. ACE says the proportion of disabled people in the overall working-age population is about 19 per cent.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of disabled-led NPOs, increasing from five to 19 in just one year – which may explain some of the employment increase – while ACE said that three per cent of all of its strategic funds were awarded to disability-led organisations, compared to just two per cent in 2014-15.
But there are still question-marks over the rate of progress.