National Gallery of Victoria
Disability Action Plan 2009-2011
26 March 2009
An introduction to NGV’s Disability Action Plan 2009-2011
The mission of the National Gallery of Victoria is “to illuminate life by collecting, conserving
and presenting great art.” The NGV is the custodian of the State Collection, owned by the
people of Victoria, and we therefore welcome every Victorian and residents from other parts of Australia - and the world - to experience what the NGV has to offer.
The NGV values are access, excellence and integrity. The Disability Action Plan 2009-2011 is
an important document as it demonstrates how we value access for all, and gives us the necessary focus to ensure that we are being inclusive of artists, visitors, employees, volunteers and contractors with disabilities.
As the NGV’s governing body, the Council of Trustees is committed to ensuring all members of the community have the opportunity to experience the NGV Collection, its exhibitions and facilities.
In support of our commitment to access for all, the Council of Trustees has approved this Disability Action Plan as a response to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) and the
Disability Act 2006 (Victoria).
This Disability Action Plan aims to contribute to the continuous improvement of NGV facilities and services within the context of strategic and operational plans.
The National Gallery of Victoria comprises two major public venues: The Ian Potter Centre: NGV
Australia at Federation Square, the home of Australian art collection; and NGV International on
St Kilda Road, which displays artworks from all over the world. The NGV presents a diverse range
of visual arts exhibitions, programs and activities throughout the year. The NGV also offers visitors dining and venue hire facilities as well as the NGV Shop.
The Plan acknowledges there are access challenges inherent in NGV buildings, and outlines actions to address a wide range of opportunities to enhance access to NGV facilities and services.
The NGV is committed to continuous improvement. NGV senior management will review this Disability Action Plan, monitor actions and ensure that it remains relevant to community standards.
This will often involve consulting members of the community with disabilities and with arts and disability peak organisations in order to ensure that the Disability Action Plan retains its flexibility and responsiveness.
The NGV has registered this Disability Action Plan 2009-2011 with the Australian Human Rights
Commission, which may be viewed online at
President, National Gallery of Victoria Council of Trustees
Definition of Disability
“Disability” for the purposes of this Action Plan encompasses the same areas as the Disability
Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA).
The term “disability” refers to any permanent or temporary condition, which affects a person’s bodily or mental function.
In 2003, 4 million people in Australia (20% of the population) had a disability, which restricted their everyday activities and had lasted, or was expected to last, for six months or more. There were 3.35 million people in Australia (17% of the population) aged 60 years and over. Of these, 51% had a disability.*
The DDA applies across Australia. Its purposes include the elimination, as far as possible, of discrimination against people with disabilities in a range of areas, including employment, education, access to premises, clubs and sport and the provision of goods, facilities and services.
The DDA makes it unlawful to discriminate because of disabilities which people: ; Have now, or which previously existed but no longer exist
; May acquire in the future
; Are imputed to a person
The DDA also protects a person with a disability against discrimination when: ; They are accompanied by an assistant, interpreter or reader
; They are accompanied by an animal trained to alleviate the disability (eg guide dog) ; They use equipment or aids (eg hearing aids)
The DDA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of a disability of their associates, such as relatives, partners, carers, or business, sporting or recreational associates.
The Disability Act 2006 (Victoria) provides the framework for a whole-of-government approach to enable people with a disability to actively participate in community life.
Section 38 (1) of the Act specifies that a Disability Action Plan is prepared for the purposes of:
(a) reducing barriers to persons with a disability accessing goods, services and facilities;
(b) reducing barriers to persons with a disability obtaining and maintaining employment;
(c) promoting inclusion and participation in the community of persons with a disability; and
(d) achieving tangible changes in attitudes and practices which discriminate against
persons with a disability.
*Cultural Participation by Persons with a Disability and Older Persons 2003, National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics, Australian Bureau of Statistics
About the Development of the NGV Disability Action Plan
This is the first time that the NGV has published a Disability Action Plan (DAP).
However the NGV has a long history of commitment to access to its collections and exhibitions for all. For example, NGV visitors enjoyed the Access Gallery from 1991 to 1999 in its St Kilda Road building and in 1999 a dedicated All Abilities program was launched, including services such as large-print guides and Auslan tours of the NGV Collection, in consultation with Arts Access and other peak organisations.
During 2009 the NGV’s access program includes the following elements:
; Training workshops in Visual Describing/Audio Description conducted by Vision Australia for
; Experiencing Arts, a free program in 2009 for artists with a disability, has been developed in
partnership with Arts Access;
; Regular free Auslan and Visual Describing gallery tours for major ticketed exhibitions;
; Art and Memory, free guided tours by NGV Voluntary Guides, are available by request for
people with dementia;
; Education Schools programs are offered to primary and secondary school students of all
abilities and integrated into all activities.
The DAP has been developed by the NGV’s Disability Action Plan Project Team, which has
been formed as a part of the NGV’s Access Committee which includes NGV staff from many
areas of the Gallery. The Project Team has sought advice from arts and disability peak organisations in developing this DAP.
The Disability Action Plan Project Team is chaired by the NGV’s General Manager Marketing who
is an Executive Officer of the National Gallery of Victoria.
The DAP Project Team has representation from the following NGV departments: Front of House, Assets & Facilities, Curatorial, Exhibition Management, Exhibition Design, Education and Public Programs, Registration, Human Resources, Marketing, Information Services.
Desired Outcomes of this Disability Action Plan
Outcome 1: People with disabilities will have a range of access opportunities at the NGV.
Outcome 2: Persons employed at the NGV will be knowledgeable about the access
requirements of people with disabilities.
Outcome 3: The NGV will provide inclusive employment opportunities for people with
Outcome 4: The NGV will actively promote the implementation of the DAP - through monitoring,
reporting and evaluation.
Planning and Reporting
Further research will be undertaken and more information relating to access for people with disabilities will be issued by the Victorian Government, including Arts Victoria, over the period covered by this Disability Action Plan.
The NGV will revise its DAP in the light of these new findings and will re-register its Plan with the Australian Human Rights Commission accordingly.
Members of the DAP Project Team will communicate and consult with NGV colleagues from their own or related teams as well as with many NGV stakeholder groups and peak organisations in order to achieve the actions in the DAP that are relevant to their area of operation in the Gallery.
The NGV DAP will be reviewed by the DAP Project Team and the NGV’s Strategic Leadership
Team on a quarterly basis to ensure the timely completion of actions.
Progress on the actions outlined in this DAP will be reported each year in the National Gallery
of Victoria’s Annual Report which is available to view or download from the NGV website at
Objective 1 – To reduce barriers to persons with a disability accessing goods, services and facilities
Action 1 – Create a register of and consult with peak organisations including those which have expertise in the visual arts in order to advise the NGV.
Responsibility: Marketing, Front of House, Education & Programs teams Timeline: Register completed by August 2009
Evaluation: Register will have been created and organisations consulted on an ongoing basis
Action 2 – Flag visitors’ access-related comments via the NGV’s Visitor Comments Register
and report results regularly to inform on the progress of the NGV’s DAP.
Responsibility: Front of House team
Timeline: Quarterly report to DAP Project Team from May 2009 meeting
Evaluation: Register set up to flag access-related comments and results will have been reported
Action 3 – Review the NGV offering for visitors with a disability including feedback from NGV staff and key stakeholder groups and develop recommendations for future delivery of these services to 2011.
Responsibility: Front of House, Education & Programs teams
Timeline: Review including recommendations completed by August 2010
Evaluation: Review will have been completed