A Green Paper’s purpose is to encourage thinking and discussion, and to prompt suggestions as part
of a consultation process.
DSP are now inviting submissions from individuals and stakeholder organisations, particularly people with disabilities, Disabled Persons’ Organisations and Disabled Persons’ Representative Organisations, to share their views on the proposals in the Green
The deadline for submissions is 15 March 2024.
Arts Council Actions
The Arts Council will be making a submission on the Green Paper proposals. An outline of what we intend to say is available below:
Responding to DSP Green Paper on Disability Reform
are also committed to supporting others in the sector to engage with the debate and make their own submissions. As part of this commitment, on Wednesday 29th November the Arts Council held a research briefing and consultation event at Project Arts
‘Artists with Disabilities – Rights, Work and Welfare: Research briefing and policy consultation on proposed Disability reforms’.
There was a strong turnout both in person and online, highlighting
the importance of this issue.
The event included:
- Welcome Address: Maureen Kennelly, Arts Council Director.
- Research Presentation: Artists at the intersection of work and welfare: Low-income disabled
artists’ navigation of welfare and working lives
– Dr. Philip Finn, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University. This was an interim
report from an ongoing 2-year research project. Due to data integrity and
privacy requirements, no recording of this is available, but a short interim report has been completed.
- The Arts Council’s proposed
approach to responding to the Green Paper: Toby Dennett, Arts Council Strategic Development Manager.
- Panel Discussion: Emilie Conway, Caroline Loughman and Pádraig Naughton, moderated by Andrew Clancy.
An impassioned and informed debate followed the panel discussion. This touched on several topics, including:
The Green Paper
- It was argued that the Green Paper demonises disabled people and that it is inappropriate to define a person with a disability by their capacity to work. It was suggested that a cultural shift is required in what we mean by productivity and value
- It was suggested that the process of putting together the Green Paper contravened the UNCRPD, especially article 33.3 – in that no disabled people or organisations were involved in drafting it.
- The Green Paper was criticized for not recognising any of the systemic barriers that inhibit access to work.
- Several attendees referred to a campaign calling for the scrapping of the Green Paper and advocated for a return to the drawing board.
- There were several mentions of the issue of unpaid labour. In particular the need for artists with disabilities to have to teach able-bodied people how to engage with them and work with them. This time and effort is not paid.
- Artists with disabilities also face burnout a lot of the time and there are few contracts / engagements in the freelance sector that take account of this. Thus, artists with disabilities are more likely to lose out on income because of the pressure
- It was noted that artists are creators of work for others – other artists, actors, sound engineers etc.
- An argument was made that welfare payments should not be means tested as disabilities are constant.
- It was also noted that most artists with disabilities cannot supplement their income with a part-time job in a restaurant, bar etc.
Representation of artists with
- There was discussion about the role organisations such as the Arts Council and non-disabled people can play in the debate.
- Disappointment was expressed that there were not more artists with disabilities in attendance. Was also suggested that there could be more diversity on the panel or in the voices represented in the session overall.
- It was argued that there needs to be a concerted and broad political campaign to address the issues with the Green Paper and that the allyship of organisations like the Arts Council is important.
The Arts Council will continue to engage with the sector and look to find more opportunities to develop the debate further.
We will publish news of any upcoming events or initiatives here.
If you would like to know more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.