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Jam Buddies Evaluation: Equal Access to Music, the Arts and Life?

Our Youth Music funded Jam Buddies pilot ends on 11th August.

We have created lots of music and learnt a lot of things about #Inclusion and equal access and had a lot of fun... But did Jam Buddies make equal access to music, the arts and life a reality for young people (YP) with and without ‘learning disability’ or ‘autism’ labels?  The answer has to be… yes …and no.

Creating an accessible place where everyone’s contribution was valued and respected and young people with and without ‘learning disability’ or ‘autism’ labels collaborated socially and musically had its challenges for all of us. We moved through them in the same way as we always do: together.  The music we created, the journeys we each took, the formal recognition that some Jam Buddies achieved and our comments about what difference Jam Buddies made and what we think should happen next can all be seen here:

At times I think we did make ‘equal access’ a reality within Jam Buddies but to what extent did the Top Tips we’ve identified transfer to life outside the Jam Buddies bubble? Perhaps we:

  •     had a lasting impact on the aspirations of some young people,
  •     contributed to some journey’s that may otherwise not have been started,
  •     encouraged the wider community to think about #Inclusion and its responsibility in achieving that.

What’s clear is that to create ‘equal access’ in a bubble takes passion, creativity and an unshakeable belief that it’s not only possible but just. To achieve ‘equal access’ that extends beyond that bubble to the wider community is a huge challenge that requires changes in values, attitudes and expectations at every level of our society.

We’re all responsible for finding the ways in which we move through that challenge together.

Let’s talk about how we do that:

Written by Jane Williams, Published by Dom Palfreman