Accessible Instruments Challenge Showcase


Launched in June, the exciting Accessible Instruments Challenge has brought together a wide range of people with expertise in digital innovation and design technology, musical instrument making and lived experience of disability to focus on a series of practical and conceptual challenges that have the potential to materially improve access and inclusion in music making for disabled people…

For those who are hearing about this for the first time: Music is a universal language – or at least it should be. But what if having a physical disability makes it difficult – or impossible – for someone to learn and play a musical instrument? This collaborative project aims to address the accessibility challenges of people who want to play or produce music, but find it physically challenging to do so.

We are very proud that the MIA’s Chief Executive Paul McManus is a co-facilitator on the ‘Supply Chain for Schools’ project. This project is addressing how we can build an effective supply chain of adaptive instruments into schools, ensuring that disabled children are able to fully participate in music education. As co-facilitator, Paul is helping to manage and support the virtual team over the course of the project.

The culmination of the project saw Creative United and Plexal host an online showcase event where the challenge teams and other contributors came together to share their ideas, solutions and responses to the challenges.

It was a wonderful couple of hours, with a fantastic exchange of ideas, solutions and conversation. You can watch the full event here and hear more from each team as well as some super interesting Q & As!

Today, we wanted to share the 3-minute video presentations from each team where they explain their challenge and how they’ve worked to produce solutions. You might see some familiar faces here – Enjoy!

Trombone Stand Team Challenge
Digital Bagpipe Chanter Team Challenge
Multisensory Production Team Challenge
One-Handed Clarinet Team Challenge
Supply Chain for Schools Team Challenge
Virtual Band Team Challenge
Violin Bow Holder Team Challenge
One-Handed Recorder Team Challenge

Accessible Instruments Challenge Showcase

A reminder of why this is important: 

13.9 million people in the UK identify as disabled, that’s why it’s worth integrating accessibility into your business activity. Not only will it ensure you’re accommodating to as many people as possible, but it can also help attract new customers and maintain customer loyalty.

22% of the UK population identify as disabled (13.9 million people), 95% of disabled people search a venue’s accessibility info online before visiting, and £267 million is lost every month by inaccessible high street shops

Further reading: 

Reshape Music: A report exploring the experience of Disabled musicians in education and beyond