The Inklusion Guide partners with Penguin Random House UK to design and produce the inklusion Guide and meets its Phase 2 target funding of £13,750, after receiving support from ALCS, Faber & Faber, HarperCollins, Leamington Books, New Writing North, National Union of Journalists, Pan MacMillan, Penguin Random House UK, Saraband, Scottish Book Festivals Network, Watkins Media and Wigtown Book Festival. They also received support in-kind from CRIPtic Arts.
The Inklusion Guide was conceived by disabled writers Julie Farrell and Ever Dundas after they became frustrated by the litany of excuses about why literature events couldn’t be made accessible. They wanted to create an easy-to-use, best-practice guide for event organisers and individuals, to encourage consistent and reliable access in the industry.
The design and production phase will see the pair working with Penguin Random House UK to design and produce the guide in multiple formats including a limited-run A4 print, A4 Large Print, Easy Read, a PDF, web pages on the Inklusion website, and audio. They will also be working with a BSL translator on a BSL video version.
On the partnership, Meredith Adams, Social Impact Manager at Penguin Random House UK said: “Ensuring access to books and literary events is key to our goal of becoming an inclusive and representative publisher, which is why we are delighted to be supporting Julie and Ever’s research. By working with them to design and convert the guide into a range of formats, we hope this important research will reach and impact as many people as possible. We will look to incorporate the findings of the Inklusion Guide into our own event provision and encourage others to do the same.”
The guide is launching at Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 25th August in an event featuring Julie and Ever in discussion with PRH UK’s Head of Social Impact Zaahida Nabagereka, Literature Alliance Scotland’s Jenny Kumar, chaired by disability activist Sinéad Burke. Jeda Pearl will perform her poetry at the event.
Last year the Inklusion Guide hit its target budget of £18,574 to carry out the research and development phase, after receiving support from Penguin Random House UK, Hachette, Fane, National Centre for Writing, Literature Alliance Scotland, Publishing Scotland, Scottish Book Trust, Write Mentor and Edinburgh City of Literature, following an initial contribution of £4000 from Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Covering accessibility for both invited speakers and audience members, the Inklusion Guide will outline best-practice access for book launches, festival events, conferences, panels, workshops, fellowships, and residencies. It will include information on running in-person, online, and hybrid events.
Julie and Ever hope the guide will take the onus and emotional labour off disabled individuals to educate event providers and publishers. The pair have just completed a 5-month research and development phase where they collaborated with Cat Mitchell, Publishing Lecturer at University of Derby, interviewed disabled authors about their experiences, and discussed challenges faced by event organisers across the UK to inform the guide.
Commenting on the funding and appeal, Julie Farrell said: “We were thrilled to hit our phase one target funding so quickly and it’s been amazing to see support rallying once again for phase two. We’ve completed the research and development of the guide — consulting with disabled authors and literature organisations has given us a wealth of insight. The team at Penguin Random House UK are incredibly receptive to our ideas for the guide and they have a brilliant creative team who are passionate about diversity and inclusion and I’m so excited to be working with them on bringing the guide to life.”
Also commenting, Ever Dundas said: “I’m thrilled we’ve reached our funding goal for the production stage of the guide. We’ve had so much support from the industry, which has been very encouraging. We’re sure our guide will foster change, helping organisations make events accessible and welcoming to disabled authors and audience members, and enriching the industry.
“We’re planning an exciting launch event in August at Edinburgh International Book Festival and the team there has been amazing at making sure this is the best event it can possibly be.”
Notes to Editors
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