Arts and Disability Initiative 2022-24

This program is for d/Deaf artists or arts workers, or artists or arts workers with disability, seeking to undertake a project or activity to advance their practice, skills or career.

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About this initiative

The Australia Council for the Arts is offering six grants of $30,000.

If you are a d/Deaf artist or arts worker, or an artist or arts worker with disability, these grants can provide support for significant projects to extend your arts practice, networks, skills, and ambition.

Your project should be ambitious, bold, and innovative.  It should enhance your career and work, and strengthen your networks.  It must include a clear plan with the steps you will take to achieve your goals. It must also outline the structure and support you will put in place for your development to take your career or practice to the next level.

Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.

This initiative has been developed in response to Australia Council research involving artists and arts workers with disability, our Towards Equity: A research overview of diversity in Australia’s arts and cultural sector  report and a review of the Council’s arts and disability initiatives 2019-2021. This research has informed the Australia Council’s three-year strategic investment in artists with disability 2022-2024.

Please note: Your project must take into account the latest advice regarding COVID-19.

Easy English

Click here to read in English how to apply.

  • Only individuals may apply to this initiative. If you are part of a group, you may apply on behalf of the group.
  • You must identify as a d/Deaf artist or arts worker, or an artist or arts worker with disability.
  • You must be an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
  • You may only apply once to this initiative at the 2 August 2022 closing date.

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you are an organisation.

You can apply for:

  • skills development
  • mentoring
  • residencies
  • creation of new work
  • creative development
  • experimentation
  • practice based research
  • presentation and promotion
  • collaboration
  • travel.

Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.

Access costs are legitimate expenses and may be included in your application. We encourage applicants to ensure that their work is accessible to everyone. Therefore, budgets may also include costs associated with making activities accessible to a wide range of people (e.g. performances using Auslan, translation to other languages, captioning, audio description, temporary building adjustments, and materials in other formats).

You may apply for access costs associated with the use of an interpreter, translation services, specific technical equipment, carer, or support worker assistance. Please contact Artists Services to discuss your needs.

You can’t apply for projects or activities that:

  • do not involve or benefit practicing artists or arts workers
  • do not have a clearly defined arts component
  • have already taken place.

Applications to this initiative will be assessed by peers from the arts sector. For more information see How we assess your application.

All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application within 12 weeks of the closing date.

You must address three assessment criteria in this initiative.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what the peer assessors may consider when reviewing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point.


First criterion


Peers will assess the quality of your proposal. They may consider:

  • the quality of the proposed activity
  • the quality of your previous work
  • public or peer responses to your work
  • the quality of your collaborators or partners
  • how your proposed activity is ambitious, bold, innovative and career-enhancing.


Second criterion


Peers will assess the viability of your proposal. They may consider:

  • realistic and achievable planning and resource use, with a clear plan and steps to achieve your goals
  • evidence of structure and support in place for your development
  • the relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • the skills and roles of partners or collaborators, including confirmation of involvement
  • your COVID-safe plans for activities involving public presentations, national or international travel
  • where relevant to your proposal, evidence that the Protocols for using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts have been adhered to
  • appropriate payments to participating artists, arts workers, collaborators, participants, or cultural consultants
  • evidence of appropriate consultation with participants, audiences, or communities
  • the safety and wellbeing of people involved in the project
  • how you have addressed access in the proposed activity
  • where relevant, evidence that you have addressed the environmental impact of your project.


Third criterion


Peers will assess the impact that your proposal will have on your practice and career. They may consider:

  • how your activity will extend your arts practice, networks, skills, and ambition
  • how your activity will extend the arts practice, networks, skills, and ambition of other artists and arts workers involved.

Instructions and a link to the online application form are available here.

The application form will ask you to provide:

  • a title for your activity
  • a summary of your activity
  • a brief bio of the artist or arts worker applying
  • a detailed description of your activity
  • a timetable or itinerary for your activity
  • an outline of how your activity will extend arts practice, networks, skills, and ambition
  • details of the expenses, income and in-kind support for your activity, including any access and support costs
  • supporting material relevant to your activity. This may include examples of your previous work, bios of additional people involved, and letters of support from participants or communities.

All Australia Council grants information including guidelines and application forms are available in accessible formats upon request.

These formats include word documents, audio CD, Braille, Easy English, Auslan and large print. Please note that requests for translated materials will need to allow for a six-week turnaround.

We accept applications for all our programs in accessible formats.

Formats include Auslan, audio, video, printed, dictated, electronic and handwritten formats. Contact Artists Services to discuss your requirements.

You should submit support material with your application. The peer assessors may review this support material to help them gain a better sense of your project.

What you should provide

We do not accept application-related support material submitted via post. Application-related material received by post will not be assessed and will be returned to the sender. If you think you will have difficulty submitting your support material online, or need advice on what type of material to submit, please contact Artists Services.

There are three types of support material you may submit:

1. Artistic support material

This should include relevant, recent examples of your artistic or cultural work.

Types of support material we accept

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal. This may include video, audio, images, or written material.

These URLs can include a total of:

  • 10 minutes of video and/or audio recording
  • 10 images
  • 10 pages of written material (for example, excerpts of literary writing).

Please note: Our peer assessors will not access any URLs that require them to log in or sign up to a platform. Please do not provide links to Spotify or other applications that require users to log in or pay for access.

If you are linking to media files that are private or password protected like Vimeo, please provide the password in the password field on the application form.

Other accepted file formats

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your application in the following formats:

  • video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
  • audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
  • images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
  • written material (Word and PDF).

2. Biographies and CVs

You can include a brief bio or curriculum vitae (CV) for key artists, personnel or other collaborators involved in your project.

Brief bios or CV information should be presented as a single document no longer than two A4 pages in total.

3. Letters of support

Individuals, groups, or organisations can write letters in support of your project. A support letter should explain how the project or activity will benefit you, other artists or arts professionals, participants, or the broader community. It can also detail the support or involvement of key project partners, or evidence of consultation.

If relevant to your activity, letters of support must provide evidence of appropriate permissions and support from First Nations organisations, communities, and Elders. Please refer to the First Nations Protocols for more information.

You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page.

Details of the grant recipients will be published on the Australia Council website. These details will include the name of each recipient, their resident state or territory, the amount awarded, the panel which assessed the application (Arts & Disability panel) and the name of the round (the Arts and Disability Initiative). Please contact Artists Services if you do not wish to have your name published.

Additional resources

Frequently Asked Questions

The initiative is designed to support a wide variety of arts project or career development activities, including the creation of new work, career development, mentoring, residencies, research and development presentation and promotion.

Supported activities must last no longer than two years from the proposed start date.

The Australia Council expects that all artists and arts workers employed or engaged on Australia Council-funded activities will be remunerated for their work. Peers assessing applications for the Arts and Disability Initiative will consider remuneration when they look at the viability of your activity. You should make provision in your budget for appropriate payment of artists and arts workers. For more information, refer to the Australia Council policy on the payment of artists.

Artists and arts workers with disability face barriers in formal arts education and training. They have very diverse professional and career development parthways which need to be tailored to individual requirements and circumstances. Show how your project will have a positive effect on your practice and career, externing your arts practice, networks, skills and ambition of you and your collaborators. You can consider mentoring as an option (see below), or some of the following activities:

  • Formal or informal training
  • Feedback, critical reflection or peer review from your collaborators
  • Work placements, internships or learning and development activities with an industry or organisational partner
  • Structured learning and development activities with your collaborators, including peer-to-peer learning
  • Workshops or time spent with Elders, senior artists or community leaders
  • Documentation of your learning and development.

Mentoring is any supportive relationship that encourages the sharing of knowledge, skills and experience. Mentoring can be structured or informal and can include peer-to-peer mentoring.  Peer-to-peer mentoring assumes an even playing field and exchange of knowledge in the relationship, where everyone involved contributes and learns from different perspectives and experience. For the purposes of this initiative, mentoring is interpreted very broadly and is informed by the needs and priorities of the applicant. The Australia Council for the Arts Guide to Mentoring is a useful reference.

Australia Council staff are available to assist you in understanding the purpose of the grant, application requirements, and submitting your application. Staff can assist over email, phone, Teams, Zoom, and, where possible, in person.

We do not review draft applications. However, we can discuss any specific questions or issues you have about your application.

If you need help writing your application, we encourage you to contact one of the arts and disability peak bodies. A list of those peak bodies, along with further accessibility resources, is here.

Yes. We encourage you to submit your application using our online system. You can submit your application in any way that is accessible to you. Other formats include Auslan, audio, video, printed, dictated, electronic and handwritten format.

Contact the Artists Services team to discuss your needs well in advance of the closing date.

Applications to the Arts and Disability Initiative will be assessed by artists and arts worker across art forms and across states and territories. Most of the assessors will identify as d/Deaf or disabled.

No. You will be asked whether or not you identify as d/Deaf or a person with disability.

The information you choose to share about yourself in your application is entirely up to you. When outlining your project and your professional development activity, some applicants may choose to share information about their lived experience and how this informs their practice, access requirements, or needs and plans for professional development. There is no obligation to disclose anything other than information you feel comfortable sharing to enable the panel to assess your application.

If you are successful in receiving this funding, you will have the option of not publishing your name as a recipient of the Arts and Disability Initiative. Please advise Artists Services if you do not want to be publicly identified.

The initiative is not designed to provide indirect funding to organisations. Applications are only open to individuals and groups. Contact Artists Services if you are unsure.

Yes, but note that the initiative is not designed to provide indirect funding to organisations. Your proposal must demonstrate that the artist or arts worker with disability will have creative control of the project. Contact Artists Services to discuss your application if you are unsure.

If you are unable to complete the application form, a support worker or other person helping you with the application can sign on your behalf.