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The Scottish Arts Council works to bring the arts closer to everyone in Scotland, whoever and wherever they are.

Continuous migration, both into and out of Scotland, has enriched the nation’s culture. The Scottish Arts Council believes that everyone who lives in Scotland should be able to tap into their creative potential without any form of obstacle or prejudice.

It believes that disability has to be in its thinking for everything it does, from the design of its application process to the expectations it places on the arts organisations it core funds, to provide access for all.

The contribution of the arts to physical and mental health and wellbeing is well recognised within the arts sector, and is now beginning to be widely acknowledged within the health sector. The Scottish Arts Council has formed a number of significant partnerships to promote the arts within the health sector. This reinforces its view of the role the arts play in enhancing health and wellbeing.

The Scottish Arts Council is a specified public body under the provisions of the Gender Equality Duty. This Duty means that public sector bodies legally have to take into account, within their policies, practices and services: (i) the need to eliminate unlawful sex discrimination and harassment, including against transsexual people; and (ii) the need to promote equality of opportunity between women and men. As a listed public authority, Scottish Arts Council is subject to specific duties, which includes the publication of a Gender Equality Scheme by 29 June 2007. The Scottish Arts Council Gender Equality Scheme and Action Plan can be downloaded here as a pdf or here as a Word document.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005, the Scottish Arts Council has ‘general’ and ‘specific’ duties to promote disability equality. One of the ‘specific duties’ of the new DDA 2005 is to publish a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) by 5 December 2006. The Scottish Arts Council Disability Equality Scheme and Action Plan can be downloaded here as a pdf. You can also download the Disability Equality Scheme here as a Word document here and the Action Plan here as an Excel file.

The Scottish Arts Council's Cultural Diversity Strategy sets out the approach towards developing and promoting creativity, the arts and other cultural activity in Scotland. It can be downloaded here as a pdf.

The Scottish Arts Council and the Scottish Government have jointly developed ArtFull, a national Arts and Mental Health initiative. You can download the ArtFull arts, mental health and well-being strategy 2006-2008 here as a pdf.

Published by the Scottish Arts Council in 2006, Getting There is a practical resource for arts venues in Scotland aimed at increasing the inclusion of disabled people. It contains detailed information, examples of good practice, profiles of arts and disability organisations and contacts. Getting There may be downloaded here as a pdf.

Details of all Scottish Arts Council funding and awards schemes, including current deadlines and applications forms, can be downloaded from the Scottish Arts Council website.
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