§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what new initiatives he is taking to involve disabled people and their organisations in relation to fuller access to the arts.
§ Mr. Brooke
My Department aims to make the cultural life of the nation more widely accessible to everyone, including disabled people. To that end, the Department is taking the lead in an access initiative, to explore with our sponsored bodies how best to deliver this aim within existing resources.
In the specific field of the arts, the Department has demonstrated its commitment through its continuing support for ADAPT, established in partnership with the Carnegie (UK) Trust with the aim of adapting arts-related buildings to make them more accessible. For its part, the Arts Council for England has an established record in promoting the interests of disabled people, and is committed to maintaining its vigorous approach in these matters.