Saavutettavuus ja vastuullisuus musiikkialalla? -sarjan toisessa jaksossa GramexPressin toimittaja Sophia Wekesa, jazzmuusikko Kalle Salonen ja hänen managerinsa Teuvo Merkkiniemi Pertin Valinnasta keskustelevat saavutettavuudesta musiikkialalla.

Accessibility is a clear message

Production intern Satu Kankaanpää has been looking into the accessibility of the OAF festival. In this blog, Satu compiled some important perspectives on the topic.

It’s a very broad topic. Accessibility has many forms; physical, communicative, economic, regional accessibility, as well as supporting the different senses and understanding in different language versions and learning styles. A good rule of thumb for communication is that a clear message is the best one to get across. In Finnish, there is another word for physical accessibility. In English, accessibility is a beautiful and all-encompassing word.

Why is the OAF raising the issue?

Outsider Art Festival operates in the cultural sector. OAF is committed to sustainability and complies with the law on equality. The law states that people with disabilities also have the right to participate in cultural life on an equal basis with others and to enjoy equal access to publicly available services. 

It is also important for the OAF to reform production models and structures in the sector and to highlight the diversity of people as producers of content and events. All OAF working groups include people with specific needs. OAF staff are keen to develop in the field of accessibility, for example the production team learns Finnish sign language every week. It is good to realise that even if you belong to a minority or a special group, you may not know everything about the subject. 

When producing events, it is important to remember the principles of safer spaces and physical accessibility of events. Accessibility is also about an atmosphere and attitudes that take into account the diversity of people. It is important for everyone to be able to participate as themselves, alongside the general public, and this creates a sense of security. You can find Pertti’s Choice space accessibility info and the safer place principles of OAF and Pertti’s Choice here.

OAF supports and includes outsider artists in a variety of ways. A new feature this year is the inclusion of OAF artists through the Accessibility Rider. The Rider is a survey that allows artists to tell us about their needs.

Satu’s tips

The Culture for All website is a good place to start. It provides information and tools to help promote the accessibility of cultural services.

It’s always difficult to start, but even small things can improve accessibility. For example, a big difference can be made by correcting individual texts or visual contrast deficiencies. From small steps, you develop a routine and get a sense of the bigger picture. The learning process can affect your everyday life so that you automatically see accessible or inaccessible things in your environment. All this is a way of looking at the world differently, of seeing the person behind the difference.

Read more: Culture For All project, Gramex