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Focus on…

Just what is Accentuate?

A big pink A with Accentuate written in it

A couple of weeks back we brought you information on the Cultural Olympiad to help people understand more clearly what opportunities were being created. Now it’s the turn of Accentuate itself – just what is it and what does it offer?

Read on!

A brief overview of Accentuate

Accentuate has a national ambition to achieve a cultural shift in the way disability is seen between now and the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Esther Appleyard at an Accentuate event

Each region has a Legacy Programme – a particular focus for work aiming to truly make a difference not just for 2012 but beyond. These have all been funded through the Legacy Trust UK. ( )

Accentuate is the 2012 Legacy Programme for the South East of England. It was inspired by the Paralympic Movement, which started at Stoke Mandeville and it focuses on disability, access and inclusion. ( )

Accentuate consists of 15 major projects across the arts, sport, film, heritage and tourism. They are being delivered in partnership with a number of organisations and agencies, including Arts Council SE, Museums Libraries and Archives, English Heritage, Tourism SE and Sport England. The projects range from commissioning opportunities for deaf and disabled artists, developing a groundbreaking website for young disabled and non-disabled people to make and share films, to international campaigns lead by young disabled people.

The programme is being led by two joint directors – Esther Appleyard and Emma Slawinski.

The five ‘Ambitions’

Accentuate poster

Accentuate has five ‘ambitions’ – and the projects all fit under these:

  • Create, Compete, Collaborate - That every young disabled person in the South East has the opportunity to create, compete or collaborate with a young person in another competitor country during the period 2008/2012

  • Accessible region - That the South East becomes the most welcoming and accessible region for disabled people in the UK

  • Lead region - That the South East region is recognised as a lead region in the UK for disability and deaf cultural activity and as a centre of excellence

  • Paralympic Region - That the South East’s role as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville is recognised by the world

  • Celebrate and Commission - commissioning work, networks and professional development opportunities which ensure equity of access throughout the Cultural Olympiad.

Although Accentuate appears complicated because it covers so many different areas, everything works to the same aim: to ensure disabled people across the arts, sport, film and heritage receive the recognition they deserve, by promoting talent and leadership through real opportunities.

Accentuate is funded by SEEDA, the Regional Cultural Agencies and Legacy Trust UK which is an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the programme is being managed by Screen South.

Accentuate Projects led by Creative Junction

Creative Junction logo

Creative Junction ( ) is leading on four of the 15 Accentuate projects.

  • Realise! - A project that aims to support & develop the entrepreneurial skills of young disabled people in the South East through a range of skills-based workshops, competitions and work-placements.

  • Campaign! - A project to celebrate collaboration between disabled young people in the South East with those from competitor countries, as they work together to build campaigns to raise awareness on issues that affect them in their respective countries.

  • Collaborations! - This project aims to create new collaborations between emerging and established disabled artists, working in partnership with disabled athletes. New work will be produced in creative collaboration with international artists and networks and presented to young people through a series of workshop and outreach events.

  • Gaming! - Young disabled people worked with industry gaming experts to design new, inclusive, interactive games based on the theme of the Paralympics and Stoke Mandeville.

Accentuate projects led by Arts Council England, South East

ACE logo

Arts Council England holds the responsibility for leading on three projects, and has subcontracted different partners to deliver these for them. The first two are being delivered by Dada-South ( )

  • Up-Stream (previously known as Fest) is a programme of showcase activities designed to raise the profile and increase the networks of more than 15 regional deaf and disabled artists.

  • Go Public – a programme of interventions by individual disabled and deaf artists and groups in the public realm to complement 2012.

The third project led by Arts Council England, South East is us - Sync South East ( ) and we are being delivered by a partnership between ADA inc and Cusp inc ( and )

What’s Sync South East? A programme of continuous professional development for selected artists and organisations in the region to ignite disabled leadership and to increase sustainability.

There are also two other projects linked to ACE, South East. These are both being delivered through the Creative Programmer for London 2012, South East, Caterina Loriggio
who is being hosted by Arts Council England, South East. (, 07545 421996, )

  • Celebrate will aim to ensure that the message of the Cultural Olympiad reaches the public and influences change in cultural provision over the 3 year celebration and beyond.

  • Commission - This project will develop and commission work, networks and professional development opportunities which ensure equity of access throughout the Cultural Olympiad.

Accentuate projects led by Tourism South East

Tourism south east logo

As one of the ambitions of Accentuate is to ensure that the South East becomes the most welcoming and accessible region for disabled people in the UK, its not surprising that Tourism South East is leading on two projects ( )

  • Major Events - A project which aims to attract world renowned disability sporting events to the South East. As the South East is the Birthplace of the Paralympics, their focus up to 2012 will include the hosting of more disability events. Through the Accentuate programme the major sports events manager is looking to attract world renowned disability sporting events. This will offer the opportunity not only for disabled people to compete in events, but will raise the profile of disability sport and provide the opportunity for more people to experience disability sport first hand. As part of the event legacy a wide range of activities will be available including educational activities and creative events. The legacy programmes associated with the events will provide a clear ‘pathway’ to further inspire and develop opportunities for disabled people to be involved in sport as a participant, coach, administrator or, event management.

  • Destination Zones - A series of audits and related training in the South East which aim to ensure that disabled people are better provided for within key destinations.

The remaining four projects

from playground to podium logo

Only four more to go!

Playground to Podium is an extension to the national initiative to ensure that disabled young people have the opportunity not only to participate but to excel in sport through high class coaching. This is managed by EFDS and Sport England (for general information on the national programme see ).

U Screen is a cutting edge fully accessible website, which comprises three main accessibility tools which aims to provide young people aged 14-25 years across the South East the opportunities to share, learn and collaborate on film-making. This is being developed by Screen South ( )

Creative Landscapes seeks to increase opportunities for engagement with heritage and the historic environment by Deaf and disabled people through creative exploration and is being led by English Heritage (www. ) - do look at information bulletin 8 on the Sync South East website to read more about Liz Porter and her work on this programme.

And finally, there is the focus on the Paralympic Region which is being led by MLA and Buckinghamshire County Council. This project will develop and improve access, both physical and intellectual, to Stoke Mandeville’s historic archive and histories of individual Paralympic athletes.

Our View

Our View is a steering group that sits at the heart of Accentuate.

our view logo

You may also have heard of Our View.

The Our View group will be ensuring that the views and contributions of disabled people inform every level of the programme. This group is led by Camilla Brueton, the Our View Project Manager who supports the 5 Core Advisory Group members: Sarah Playforth, Kristina Veasey, Colin Hambrook, Jon Adams and Jamie Beddard. They are providing their personal experiences of their ongoing journey with Accentuate, feedback on the events they have attended and their perspective on how they are helping to steer the vision of the programme.

You can read their comments on the Our View blog page on the accentuate website ( ).

Hope the summer is going well for you and that this gives you some clarity around the projects within Accentuate – enjoy.

That's all for now,

All the best,

Jo Verrent and all the rest of us at

Sync South East

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