An Artsy Week in LD!

Disability Arts Online.

Disability Arts Online are an organisation led by disabled people, set up to advance disability arts and culture through the pages of our journal. Disability Arts Online aims to support disabled artists by getting the word out about the fantastic art being produced by artists within the sector.

Disability Arts Online gives artists a platform to blog and share thoughts and images describing artistic practice, projects and just the daily stuff of finding inspiration to be creative.

The website has Communities dedicated to learning disabilities, neurodiversity, LBGTQ, Black and Minority Ethnic and Feminism, as well as areas for specific projects and art types e.g. film, web and TV, Literature and Performing Arts.  There are also regular bloggers where you can read about events such as learning disabled artists presenting their final exhibition in the Perspectives series in the heart of Manchester city centre 29 January – 6 February 2019.

‘Self-Portrait’ by Ahmed Mohammed. Perspectives series, 2018

Although not an easy-read website, there is a section on accessibility (including information on programmes that read the content to you), and a contact for making suggestions. There is also lots of information about events, artists and opportunities for disabled artists. Visit here and follow them on twitter @disabilityarts.

Oska Bright Film Festival

Oska Bright Film Festival is the world’s leading festival for films made by or featuring people with learning disabilities, autism or additional needs (the rules are films can only be made by, or feature people with a learning disability, autism or additional needs!)

The event shows bold, exciting and different work from voices you might not have heard before.

At the most recent festival in November 2017, 66 films from 13 different countries were shown with 3,600 people attending the event in person and another 212,000 people joining online. The appetite for this work gets stronger each year.

Over the 4 day festival there are screenings of groundbreaking work, Q&A sessions, presentations, keynote speakers and industry panels. The festival ends with an awards ceremony, with awards presented by leading lights from the industry.

Watch a short video to find out how our call for entries is going so far, what they’re looking for at the festival this year and why you should submit your film. 

  • July 30, 2018 Opening Date for submissions
  • March 30, 2019 Final submission Deadline
  • July 31, 2019 Notification Date
  • October 23 – 26, 2019 Event Date

Read more here and here (and see previous winners and entries) and follow the event on twitter @OskaBright

Art Awards (and Tea!)

Two students from the Sybil Elgar School (National Autistic Society) were invited to tea by Lady Mayoress of London, Lindy Estlin, at Mansion House, in the city of London.  The students, Joyce and Melanie were invited as Joyce won the Vibrant City of London Art Competition last year, which was hosted by the Lady Mayoress. See Joyce fabulous art of the City of London and river Thames below and read more here.

Picture from the National Autistic Society.

Feeling Artistic (and Festive!!!)???

The National Autistic Society now accepting entries for their annual Christmas card competition! Adults and children on the spectrum are invited to submit entries and two winners (one adult over 18 and one child) will receive five packs of cards featuring their design.

Whether you want to feature penguins, robins, a festive scene or something else entirely, be as creative as you like and show what Christmas means to you!

Instructions on how to enter and the terms and conditions are listed on the entry form, which can be downloaded here.

The closing date is Friday 5 April and if you have any questions, please email at

LD in the News

Have your say!

Take part in the first national survey of people with a learning disability in 15 years! The Mencap survey provides people with a learning disability the chance to share their experiences and what’s important to them, including sections on friendships and relationships as well as health, employment and inclusion. It was fully co-produced by people with a learning disability and the findings will be shared later in the summer. Take part here. 

Events and Conferences

  • Belonging and Not Belonging’  The Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) have announced that their next Conference will be held at the Open University in Milton Keynes on 16th and 17th July 2019. This year’s conference marks 25 years of the SHLD group, and 50 years of The Open University, so it is a special one! The theme of the conference is Belonging and Not Belonging. You can find some more information about the conference here. You can also watch a short video below of members of the SHLD group talking about the conference.
  • Learning Disability Today London 2019.  28 November 2019. ILEC Conference Centre, Earls Court, London. Complimentary tickets are available for people with learning disabilities and their unpaid carers. Please email if you feel you are eligible.  Book here. Early Bird Delegate rate is £35 + VAT and  Early Bird Student tickets are £10 + VAT.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter – @glldcop

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