National Disability Theatre employs professional theatre artists who create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling; change social policy and the nation’s narrative about disability culture; and provide a guiding model in accessibility for the arts and cultural sector.
NDT as one voice within the larger umbrella of the disability community, acknowledges that the experience of disability occurs alongside other identities, and that disabled people who are black, brown, trans, queer, gender non-conforming, or non-binary gendered have been historically marginalized within the mainstream disability rights movement. NDT aims to change that, and strives to create a brave, creative, theatrical space as free from oppression as possible.
To show that a large professional theatre company can be run by people with disabilities.
To radically transform theatrical practices by telling stories through a lens of disability culture.
To lead the nation in inclusion, representation, and access with support from the top leaders in disability and entertainment.
To powerfully spark greater inclusion for people with disabilities in all economic sectors.
• National Disability Theatre will use a co-production model to collaborate with professional regional arts organizations around the country to make theatre accessible— on stage and off.
• National Disability Theatre will hire professional actors and artists (directors, designers, craftspeople), to produce large-scale theatrical productions using the lens of disability culture.
• Ultimately, NDT will impact industries beyond the arts sector, demonstrating that people with disabilities can efficiently and productively undertake professional work at the highest level, and that accessibility is not only right – but also profitable.
• 20% of the American population has a disability. This makes people with disabilities both the largest minority group in the United States and also the least represented. Access not only affects this population's ability to participate in arts and culture, but also that of their spouses and families. That is a huge percentage of the American population that until now has not felt very comfortable or welcomed attending the arts.
• Currently 95% of disabled characters are played by non-disabled actors.
• The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is twice the national average of other protected groups.
• Over 50% of college graduates on the autism spectrum are unemployed.