Monday It's official: we hear today that Shape has been given an Inspire mark by the organising committee of London 2012 for our commissions for disabled or deaf artists to create work inspired by the Olympics. We've given four disabled artists and organisations the opportunity to develop new work that responds to London 2012. This recognition of our work is the first step in our ambition to help make London the most accessible city to host the games and to promote the work of disabled artists.
Tuesday We ran a competition to find a disabled artist to come up with a design for the internal glass windows in our new offices. It's an interesting and complex piece of work and one that is challenging both Bob, the manufacturer, and our budget. Bob and I have spent the morning wandering around the offices sucking our teeth - Bob because it's technically challenging, me because I know it's getting expensive. I offer Bob another cup of coffee and remind him of the trials and tribulations of running a charity in the present economic climate. "Tell me about it," he says.
Thursday I have spent the past two days interviewing for a new marketing manager. A presentation followed by an interview and a set of written tasks is gruelling work for both parties, but essential if we are to get the best person at the end of an expensive and time-consuming process. I am delighted that 25 per cent of the applicants were disabled; this is important and encouraging because it means we are speaking to disabled people and attracting them to our work.
I would ask you to pause and look at how many disabled people work in your organisation and what you could do to improve opportunities.
Friday I set off to Liverpool by rail, which is always an interesting experience for a wheelchair user. I am here for Dadafest, an international showcase for disability arts and an important opportunity to network and promote the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, an annual award we administer, hosted by the Bluecoat gallery and supported by Tate Liverpool this year. The wheelchair-accessible toilet is not out of order on this occasion, and staff are helpful. It always reminds me how vital our work is in training mainstream organisations in customer care when interacting with disabled consumers. The taxi from the station to the venue in Liverpool sets me back four quid - a refreshing change from the £20 it costs in London.
Shape aims to enable access to the arts for disabled and deaf people.