The Access to Culture Project 2011 - 2012

Download EBU ATC summary report and call for action

Download the EBU ATC Final Report, 2012.

Fact Sheet: EBU Access to Culture Project 2012

May 2012


EBU works towards an inclusive society with equal opportunities for full participation of blind and partially sighted people in Europe, based on human rights.

Contact: -  Tel: +33 1 47 05 38 20 –

Project Name:EBU Access to Culture (ATC) Pilot Project 2012 -  

Mapping current levels of accessibility to cultural venues and activities in Europe'

Runtime: 2012

EBU Access to Culture Project Description

Aim: to improve cultural accessibility for blind and partially sighted people in Europe, with actions based on the outcome of the EBU ATC Survey.


Policy context for EBU ATC project

article 30 of UNCRPD recognises the right of people with disabilities to take part in cultural life ‘on an equal basis' (2006). 

  • Council of Europe Recommendation R(92)6 calls for ‘lasting and significant improvements in access to culture for all people with disabilities (1992).
  • the EBU/St Dunstans "In Touch with Art 2010" conference Resolution calls for the implementation of disabled people's cultural rights

EBU beliefs for culture and cultural inclusion

  • full participation in society requires full participation in cultural life, therefore article 30 of the UNCRPD must be implemented in Europe
  • an inclusive society requires an accessible, inclusive culture, build on Design for All principles

Output: The EBU ATC Survey  Report 2012 and is widely disseminated to stakeholders. The EBU ATC Survey reportprovides an overview of:

  • current levels of accessibility for blind and partially sighted people to cultural sites, events and activities
  • good practice
  • national legislation and policies for access to culture

The report makes recommendations for strategic and policy change at local, national and European levels to improve cultural accessibility; and the report supports advocacy and campaigning for the cultural rights of people with a (visual) disability and visually impaired people specifically

Results: Findings of the EBU Access to Culture Survey 2012 show that

  • article 30 of the UNCRPD on cultural rights is being poorly implemented
  • research about cultural accessibility by people with a disability is almost non-existent   
  • cultural funding policies and practices discriminate against people with a disability (hundreds of billions of Euros of public money are spent on cultural activities which do not provide access)
  • there is good practice around, but the majority of cultural organisations do not do enough for cultural accessibility
  • disability rights legislation is necessary for progress in cultural accessibility
  • cultural rights need to be mentioned explicitly in disability rights legislation
  • progress is not being monitored, although Council of Europe and EU member states have agreed policies that commit them to do so.

Conclusions and Recommendations/action:

The EBU ATC Survey shows that the right to culture is poorly implemented in Europe. Based on the information collected, EBU calls on stakeholders for urgent action with:

  • 10 recommendations to local cultural organisations to plan inclusively for people with a (visual) disability
  • 6 recommendations to national governments to put in place legislation and monitor progress and develop comprehensive strategic policies to bring about lasting improvements in cultural accessibility;
  • 6 recommendations to the Council of Europe and European Union to develop monitoring tools and make a strategic contribution to implementing all relevant existing policies;
  • the specific request to the European Union to specifically mention article 30 of UNCRPD in any future Accessibility Act;

All stakeholders are to involve people with a (visual) disability and representative organisations at all stages of project, policy and strategy development (Nothing about us without us).

Impact/spin-off: The implementation of these recommendations will bring significant improvements of access to culture, not only for blind and partially sighted people, but also for persons with a disability in general.

Everyone is invited to contribute to an inclusive society in which the cultural rights of people with a disability are guaranteed.