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Artsline

Disability Access Information Service

Chief Executive's Report

I am very proud to be writing my first contribution as the Chief Executive of Artsline. My association with Artsline began as a volunteer way back in 1997 to take on the responsibilities of long serving Joe Cotter who passed away so unexpectedly. I left to go into full time employment a year later only to me drawn back as a trustee in October 2000 by another sadly missed staff member, Meena Jafarey. In October 2004 I became Chair of the Trustees taking over from the esteemed Anne Darnbrough OBE.

During my time with Artsline I have witnessed and been part of the changing role that Artsline has in providing access information for disabled people to the Arts and Entertainment in London. We no longer produce printed guides as the World Wide Web has made them somewhat redundant. Artsline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone who has access to the internet. Our database receives over 20,000 hits per month from all over the world as well as the United Kingdom. We have not forgotten those people who do not have (or do not want) access to a computer. We continue to receive telephone calls and letters requesting information about venues and we are very happy to respond by giving them the information over the phone or by sending downloads from the database.

These are exciting times for Artsline, we are enhancing our core services through our redesigned website and database. We are adapting to meet the new challenges that disabled people face. Many venues now include limited access information for disabled people in their promotional material but the lack of detail raises more questions then answers. We continue to work with venues to educate them into making their premises as accessible as possible.

We are also developing new projects that will increase number of disabled people participating in London's Arts and Culture. We will be working in close partnership with other organisations and recruiting new staff to run those projects.

Alan Kerr
Chief Executive Officer


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