Rights in Light of Covid-19

TUE 14 JULY 2020
7 – 8:30PM (BST)


About the Event

Missed this event? Watch it here

Join us for a discussion about how Coronavirus has impacted disability activism, rights for neuro-minorities, and socially engaged artistic practices. This is the second online event in Autograph’s series exploring human rights in light of Covid-19 – and what this means for civil liberties now and in the future. Our focus will be primarily on the UK.

Speakers will be Deborah Williams, Artist and CEO of Creative Diversity Network; Kate Adams, Artistic Director and CEO of Project Art Works; and disability rights activists Kevin Caulfield and Tara Flood.

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In a livestreamed conversation, Deborah and Kate will consider the ways in which disability rights inform their creative projects and discuss the impact of Covid-19 on their work and the communities they support. Kevin and Tara will discuss the role of disability activism in creating lasting change in the face of systemic discrimination, drawing on their experience of campaigning at a local and national level.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.


This event will have BSL interpretation. A captioned version of the panel discussion will be made available on our blog after the event.

Have any questions? We would love to hear from you, contact us at info@autograph-abp.co.uk



Kate Adams is a visual artist, co-founder and director of Project Art Works. Project Art Works explores and promotes new practical and philosophical approaches to the meaningful involvement of people who have complex needs in visual art activity that finds its way into mainstream programming and is of exceptional quality in its concept, aesthetic and production.

She has initiated many responsive, collaborative projects with artists, galleries, psychologists, children and adults who have severe neurological impairment and their families. Kate’s experience as a parent activist and the mother of a man with complex needs is central to the organisation’s responsive and informed approach. It requires a high degree of knowledge and sensitivity to the ethical issues arising from the inclusion of people who cannot knowingly consent to their involvement in art and culture.

Kevin Caulfield

Kevin Caulfield identifies as a Disabled person, which is a political understanding that we are disabled and discriminated against by the way society is run and not by who we are as individuals. As a result he has campaigned for social and political change, including a legal right to independent living, meaningful co-production (working together to make decisions) and increased access to direct payments and self-directed support for all Disabled people to live their lives with choice and control.

He currently works for Hammersmith & Fulham Council in a senior role, providing cross Council leadership on co-production. This is to implement change so that Disabled residents can be part of decision making in policy and service development. The role follows on from the pioneering work of the Borough’s unique Disabled People’s Commission to which he was the policy officer. Kevin is also a founding member of the Disabled People’s Organisations legal network. This is a network, which brings together DPOs and lawyers, to uphold and defend the rights of Disabled people. Kevin has worked to the rallying cry of the Disabled People’s Movement which is ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ which links us together in struggle with many other groups resisting oppression.

Tara Flood

Tara Flood is a disability rights activist and until March 2019 was the Director at the Alliance for Inclusive Education, a campaigning organisation run and controlled by Disabled people. She is now the Strategic Lead for Co-production at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham where she has the responsibility of creating frameworks for change that will embed a new culture of working together with residents on policy development as well as service re-design and delivery.

Tara has been involved with the UK disability rights movement at a grassroots level for many years, and she is committed to creating social and political change that will deliver equality for all Disabled people at a local, regional, national, European and international level. Tara was involved in the discussions at the United Nations in the development of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is now working to get the Convention fully implemented.


Deborah Williams is an artist and CEO of Creative Diversity Network. Her career started in the mid-1980s with her first theatre company. She moved to The Pleasance in Edinburgh and became the first manager at Pleasance Islington. She was an actor with Graeae Theatre Company, worked with the London disability arts forum, and taught stage management at the Webber Douglas Drama School.

In 1999 she started Reality Productions and in 2008 went to Rich Mix where she was responsible for the one-day arts and activism event 6 Billion Ways. Deborah has worked with Arts Council England, leading on equality analysis and the introduction of the Creative Case for Diversity, and at the British Film Institute, leading on diversity and creating the BFI Diversity Standards. She travels around the world sharing her process and experiences on how equality, diversity and inclusion can lead change and transform the creative and cultural industries.

How to join this event

This event will take place online only, via Zoom, and everyone is welcome to join us. We will use Zoom for this event. Tickets are 'pay what you can', and there's no obligation to pay in order to attend the event. Autograph is a registered charity, all ticket proceeds support our arts and learning programmes.

Here's how to join us:
1) Book a free ticket on this webpage, on Eventbrite, or the Facebook event. To 'pay what you can' (and support Autograph's work), just add a donation with your tickets.

2) We'll send you an email confirmation of your booking.

3) This online event will use Zoom. For the best experience, we recommend using the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device. You can download the free software here. Or, you can access the event through your web browser without a download.

4) On the day of the event, we’ll send you a welcome email with a link to the event on Zoom. You will be able to join for the start of the event at 7pm (BST).

5) If you want to ask questions in the Q&A, you can submit them via the Q&A feature on Zoom.


Will this event be recorded?
Yes. The event will be recorded and posted on our blog at a later date. Participants will not be visible onscreen.

Who can I contact with any questions?
We would love to hear from you, contact us at info@autograph-abp.co.uk


Inclusion London's report highlighting the grim effects of discrimination and inequality on Disabled people during the coronavirus pandemic. The report is available here

The pioneering work of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Disabled People’s Commission sets out eight recommendations for change to start tackling and overcoming the barriers that local Disabled residents still face. The report is available here


Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
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Images, from top: 1) Lola Flash, Provincetown Mass, 1990. From the series Cross Colour. Courtesy of the artist. 2) Kate Adams 3) Kevin Caulfield 4) Tara Flood 5) Deborah Williams