Accessible Arts & Media

Accessible Arts & Media is an award-winning, York-based charity working with young people, disabled people and local communities. The charity uses imagination, ingenuity and 34 years’ experience to create fun, inclusive arts, digital media and training programmes.

Accessible Arts & Media help people to find their voice through creativity. And to develop the confidence to have that voice heard. Across all of their projects they support people to develop new skills so that they can make a real difference in their local community.

In February Accessible Arts & Media applied for a Tech Surgery from CITA. Due to the fact that the vast majority of their funding is project related, with limited provision for core operational costs, up until recently the charity hadn’t employed anyone with a strong working knowledge of IT systems and IT had been a relatively low priority in terms of resource allocation, with priority given to delivery of core charitable aims. As such, the charity’s systems had developed in an ad hoc way over the past 10 years as the charity’s grown and were now proving to be not particularly fit for purpose. Accessible Arts & Media were in the process of securing funding to enable them to invest properly in new IT systems and were looking for support in carrying out needs analysis, process review and an audit of their current IT infrastructure, with a view to identifying which system(s) could provide the best match for current and future operational needs.

CITA volunteer, Steve Smith, provided Kirsty with a spreadsheet to assist with auditing their IT estate in preparation to migrate to a cloud platform. Steve advised Kirsty to tackle one project at a time rather than trying to upgrade their office applications while introducing new services. Steve also suggested that Accessible Arts & Media consider joining IT4Arts, a programme run by the Arts Panel of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. Steve also mentioned that they would be able to request more support from CITA in future to assist with their change projects and advised Kirsty to develop a Digital Strategy in line with their business plan.

“The advice and support provided by the Tech Surgery has helped make the previously overwhelming task of overhauling all of our IT systems into a manageable process, clearly linked to our strategic objectives for the next 5 years.” Kirsty Halliday, Development Manager, Accessible Arts & Media

Pictured are some members of Accessible Arts & Media’s Hands & Voices choir performing in concert.