Accessible Marketing and Environmental Literacy Training

Access & Diversity

Accessibility and sustainability for the Outdoor Arts sector

In March 2020 Without Walls organised a training day aimed at festivals and artists who want to incorporate accessible marketing practices and environmental sustainability into their organisations.

Supporting those who create and present work outdoors, the session asked us to consider how we can work together to reduce the carbon impacts of outdoor work and ensure that it is inclusive to all audiences.

Part One: Accessible Marketing

Alex Covell, Without Walls Access Advisor, and Access and Engagement Producer for GDIF/FESTIVAL.ORG, provided artists and festivals with tools to help them communicate more inclusively about their events, with the aim of forging stronger connections with Deaf and disabled audiences. This included creating accessible formats, exploring barriers to access, channels for reaching out to new audiences, and the information which needs to be included in your marketing (and what doesn’t). This was followed by attendees workshopping their own accessible marketing tools for their own organisation.

Members of the team from Walk the Plank also gave a short presentation sharing their experience of developing the large-scale outdoor show Zara in collaboration with Mind the Gap. Zara explores the story of a learning disabled mother’s plight to keep her daughter from being taken into social care and features an entirely learning disabled cast.

Part Two: Environmental Literacy

Chiara Badiali, Knowledge and Sector Intelligence Lead at Julie’s Bicycle, led this session, adapting the Environmental Literacy framework to the specific and practical challenges for the Outdoor Arts sector.  This looked at the implications in the creation and touring of outdoor work, aiming to give an overview of the role of the cultural sector/artists in responding to the climate crisis, develop an understanding of the direct and indirect ways to reduce carbon impact, and how to communicate the need for change.

Attendees then developed practical actions to take forward within their own work, considering the specific production and procurement challenges in the development of outdoor work and its presentation in different festival contexts. This included how to write a green rider, methods for monitoring/measuring carbon impacts, and exploring options for reducing the impacts of freight/travel.

Download the presentations at the bottom of the page for more insight into these two important topics.

We also want to thank our friends at Walk the Plank for hosting us on the day at their wonderful Cobden Works base in Manchester, check out their work here.

Language should be person-centred, situation-specific and not traumatic. It’s useful to know that some impairments are invisible, and that some people don’t define themselves as disabled.

Do use: Avoid using:
Disabled people/ person The disabled, person with disabilities, Handicapped, cripple, invalid
Has… (an impairment) Suffers from…, is a victim of…
Non-disabled Able-bodied, normal, healthy
Learning disabled person / has learning difficulties Mentally disabled, retarded, backward, idiot, special needs, downs
Wheelchair user Wheelchair bound, confined to a wheelchair, in a wheelchair
Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing The deaf
Deaf sign language user, BSL user Deaf and dumb, deaf mute
Blind or partially sighted, visually impaired The blind
Has mental health issues, is a mental health service user Mentally ill, insane, mad, crazy
Accessible/ adapted toilet/ ramp/ parking Disabled toilet/ ramp/ parking


  • How to measure and monitor impacts
  • Conduct surveys
  • Identify where you can make a difference


  • Translate into action
  • Achieve impact reduction
  • Evaluate your performance against targets and plans


  • Talk about what you are doing
  • Make it visible and felt


  • Develop a policy and plan
  • Embed sustainability in decision-making processes
  • Appoint a Green Champion(s)
  • Create a designated budget
  • Influence: engagement for artists, partners, audiences, suppliers
  • What are your targets? What do you want to achieve and why?

"It was great to get an overview and insight plus practical guidance on measures that we can start implementing"

Session attendee

"[It was useful to hear about] accessibility as we can work on this right now. Always good to check out what you think you are doing right and how you can use new ideas to improve."

Session attendee