Friday 04 November 2016


Inaugural Singapore Writers Festival Access Programme made possible by British Council 

British Council lends support to Singapore Writers Festival to make the festival accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals


Singapore, 4 November 2016 – For the first time, Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities will be able to participate in the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) organised by the National Arts Council.

The British Council announced their support towards the SWF’s first-ever Access Programme. The SWF Access Programme will introduce sign language interpretation for Deaf and hearing impaired participants at 12 selected SWF events. This pilot initiative hopes to increase arts access for local beneficiaries, and enable opportunities for them to be a part of the Festival. 

The Access Programme was initiated by the British Council as part of the Council’s wider push to create a more inclusive arts sector. In March 2016, the British Council, in conjunction with the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation launched the inaugural Arts & Disability Forum, aimed at addressing disability and inclusivity in the arts and cultural sector. Access to arts venues and activities were some pressing issues discussed at the forum. 

The British Council hopes to expand disability access to more festivals, events and arts venues in Singapore. 

Speaking about the partnership, Dr Sarah Meisch Lionetto, Director of Arts, British Council Singapore said that, “Inclusivity, diversity and equality are very much a part of the British Council’s core ethos. By pioneering this programme, we are excited to support people with disabilities by enabling them access to equal opportunities to participate in the arts. Creating basic access to arts programmes allows a starting point for discussing an inclusive society and cultivating disabled artists. Through our ongoing art programmes, we hope to contribute to an even more dynamic and inclusive cultural scene in Singapore.” 

“We have made efforts to implement inclusive programming to widen our reach, so that everyone can have the opportunity to attend and enjoy our events. In this way, every festival-goer can be exposed to the wonderful and exciting ideas being shared over the next 10 days,” said Mr Yeow Kai Chai, the director of SWF.

The SWF will run from 4 to 13 November 2016 at the Civic District. 


Deaf and hearing impaired participants will each be given complimentary festival passes to the selected events. Sign language interpreters will be present at the selected programmes.

Each event has reserved seating for up to eight Deaf and hearing impaired attendees.
As venue capacity is limited, and to assist us in planning, registration is required at

For the two ticketed lectures, attendees will need to purchase a separate ticket to attend. Festival Pass holders will be entitled to a 20% discount. 

More information on the SWF Accessibility Programme can be found at  Registration for programmes with sign language interpretation can be done via the SWF website,

Download the full press release below.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact:

Name & Designation: Joanne Tay, Programme Manager, Cultural Skills and Arts


Contact Number: 6470 7160

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. 

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

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