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VisAbility e.V.

We believe that inclusion in the arts and cultural sector for persons with disabilities is vital for prosperous and secure societies as it ensures the reflection of an open and diverse society in our cultural output, contributing to understanding, cooperation and tolerance. Our Global Arts and Disability programme offers international cultural connections and experiences that are designed to strengthen the resilience of persons with disabilities. We facilitate the creation of disability arts networks and assist in the development of skills for organisations around the world to support artists. 

We are currently working with Sri Lankan choreographer and dancer Mahesh Umagiliya (country rep for VisAbility e.V.) on a disability arts project. This project is run jointly by Visibility for delivery and Universities of Essex and Coventry for research on the impact and follows an earlier 3-year study by the respective institutions in this area. The project aims to use the arts (in this case, dance) to promote inclusive development for people with disabilities by challenging and changing community perceptions through Mixed-Abled Dance Workshops and Disability Rights Workshops. 

20+ trainers will be trained who will then go back to their communities and cascade their learning. This is phase 2 of a project which commenced earlier in 2019 where the project worked with 67 mixed abled participants in Vavunathivu and Paddipalai (Batticaloa District) and Puttur East (Jaffna District) where the public performance an audience of 500 – 600 across the 3 districts.  

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VisAbility e.V.

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VisAbility e.V.

In October 2016 we facilitated the Process of Play project between Sunera Foundation and Graeae Theatre Company, UK to develop skills of local organisations working with disabled persons. The purpose of the project was to support the inclusion, empowerment and dignity of deaf and disabled persons by using the arts to build understanding and tolerance, for creative exploration and developing skills. 

The training by the Graeae Theatre Company, led by the artistic director who herself was deaf, to 30 trainers from the Sunera Foundation was a threefold project working with trainers/practitioners, disabled participants and parents. It was implemented in Colombo and Kandy. The 30 disabled participants were an integral part of the project where trainers and the disabled participants jointly took part in activities to rediscover their creativity, build their confidence and ability to play. The project also worked with the parents of the disabled, to support their continued learning when in their care.  

We have also worked with UK dance companies, CANDOCO and Bird Gang, and partnered with local theatre company nATANDA in capacity building workshops, residencies and a dance for reconciliation project involving abled and disabled dancers across Sri Lanka.