• sarahgoddardartist

Opening the door

I prefer to call myself a disabled person rather than a person with a disability. I don’t carry my disability around like a handbag. If I did I might have been lucky enough to leave it on a bus years ago, along with my favourite hat and multiple umbrellas.


I have a collection of mental, physical and sensory conditions and impairments. They bring with them difficulties and pain: both mental and physical. But what disables me is the way in which I interact with the world around me. This world has been largely designed, built and run by non-disabled people, as so the varied needs of people with health conditions and impairments are not always taken into account.

Pen sketch of two doors. The left-hand door is closed. Above it is written “WHAT DISABLES ME?”. On the closed door are the words: Small print. Lack of transport. Stigma. Busy roads. Crowded places. Ignorance. The right-hand door is open. Above it is written “WHAT ENABLES ME?” On the open door are the words: Audio books. Smart phone. Clear signs. Understanding. Patience. Good public transport. Art. Music. Nature. Kindness.
Enablers and Disablers

This is why I have felt more disabled at some times in my life than others. Not just because of a change in impairments, but rather it has been down to a difference in the public spaces and services around me, and the attitudes of the people around me.

This is why I want to make my first solo exhibition as accessible as possible. I want to try to remove barriers to anyone being able to enjoy art. I have made sure that I will hold my exhibition in a gallery with level access. I will create audio descriptions for all of the artworks. And I will also create an online version of the exhibition so that people who are not able to visit the gallery will still be be able to access the exhibition.


It isn’t just disabilities that can create barriers to accessing spaces. I know that there are many reasons why people may feel unsafe, uncomfortable or unwelcome in some spaces. This is why I will also be hosting a collaborative community art project during my art exhibition. I want to do what I can to invite people in to this space, and to take some time for themselves to indulge in creativity in a welcoming space.

Do let me know if there is anything else that would help to enable you to enjoy an art exhibition. And register to join in with creating an art work.

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