In 2012, Taking Flight and with Disability Wales piloted 'Real Human Being',
a piece of Forum Theatre in schools in Bridgend in South Wales,
which sought to tackle disability hate crime and increase awareness
of issues of disability and access amongst year 9 pupils.
Forum Theatre allows young participants to watch a short piece
of theatre, identify where they think problems arise, rewind the
action and replay it, stopping and replacing certain characters as
they see fit to attempt to improve the outcomes. It is incredibly
powerful and in the case of 'Real Human Being', allowed year 9
pupils to practice how they might deal with negative behaviour and
bullying, in a safe, theatre environment.
Taking Flight is now aiming to secure funding from the Aviva
Community Fund, that will enable them to take 'Real Human Being' to
schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf - an area where economic and
geographic factors combine to isolate many disabled people.
You can help to make this possible by voting for Taking
Flight at the Aviva Community Fund website.
Truly integrated theatre company
The funding application comes at a crucial time for Taking
Flight. It was announced this week that they were unsuccessful in
obtaining funding from the Arts Council of Wales to undertake
their annual tour of inclusive theatre.
With this knowledge, Learning Disability Wales is asking our
members and supporters to come together to support one of our
favourite theatre companies, who employ disabled people year on
"In September we highlighted the work of Taking Flight Theatre
Company in our article on arts and Learning Disability," said Zoe
Richards, Young Person and Carers Manager at Learning Disability
Wales. "Yesterday we heard the sad news that they would be unable
to undertake their annual tour of inclusive theatre as they have
been unsuccessful in their application to Arts Council of
"We at Learning Disability Wales are under no illusion that the
work of Beth House and Elise Davison at Taking Flight is work that
Wales should be proud of. On a yearly basis we know that Taking
Flight are employing disabled actors as opposed to ticking a box
stating they are an equal opportunity employer.
"As a company they are resilient and approach each barrier they
face as a challenge. After repeatedly advertising for accessible
digs for disabled actors in Wales and being unsuccessful they just
went ahead and built their own.
"This is testament to their commitment and we believe that
should be supported, funded and held aloft as beacons of good
practice. Nearly 50% of actors that Taking Flight have employed
have been disabled actors. This is an enviable statistic - even in
the disability sector.
"While it is frustrating that Taking Flight have lost such
crucial funding from the Arts Council of Wales, the Aviva Community
Fund will go a long way to help people in Wales to benefit from
Taking Flight's brilliant and important work.
"Please spend a few minutes of your time and vote for Taking
Voting closes on 21 November. You can vote at the for Taking Flight at
the Aviva Community Fund website.