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Access and inclusion

Empowerment, collaboration, generosity and inclusion are part of RISING’s DNA. We are committed to making our festival accessible and championing change in the arts and disability space through our approach to access and inclusion.

We define Access and Inclusion as removing and/or reducing barriers to participation for deaf, disabled and neurodivergent folk by creating processes where everyone (no matter their age, ability, gender identity, sexuality, or cultural background) can engage meaningfully within our festival program if they wish to.


We recognise that feeling truly welcomed by RISING extends far beyond what was possible in 2021. If you have a moment to share your experiences, please reach out and let us know what we got right—or what needs our attention—so we can continue to build towards the most inclusive festival we can collectively conceive.

Please send us an email at or via mail to PO Box 10, Flinders Lane, Victoria 8009. We’ll respond in writing within 48 business hours.


We will be offering several access and assistive services for different program items. More information and services will be added as we get closer to the festival. Check event pages for the icons shown on the Physical and Venue Access, Communication Services and Sensory Access tabs.

Companion Cards

Companion Card holders are entitled to free companion ticket to RISING events, experiences and performances. You can let us know via email or in the available text field when booking your ticket online. You can also present your card to our box office team on arrival. We welcome Companion Card tickets at all our events, however if Companions wish to partake in the meal aspect of our food events they will need to purchase a separate ticket. Head here for more information on Companion Cards.

National Relay Service

If you are deaf and/or find it hard hearing or speaking with people who use a phone, the National Relay Service (NRS) can help you.

A call through the NRS lets you communicate with a hearing person who is using a phone even if you can't hear or don't use your voice.

The NRS has specially trained staff called Relay Officers who help with every call.

Depending on the type of call, a Relay Officer will change voice to text or text tovoice and AUSLAN to English or English to AUSLAN.

Voice Relay number | 1300 555 727

TTY number | 133 677

SMS relay number | 0423 677 767

Experience filters

This year we have included "experience" tags in all the program listings. You can filter for these on the festival program grid and digital schedule. They are:

  • Sitting | the event takes place in a seated venue
  • Standing | a mostly standing room event. Limited seating available
  • Dancing | time for a boogie
  • Immersive | a rich, sensory and/or immersive experience
  • Mass Participation | an event where you can join the action
  • Food | food vendors are at this location
  • Beverage | bars are at this location (with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)


At RISING, we have plans and strategies in place to keep us on track—an Accessibility Action Plan, a Reconciliation Plan, an Equity Action Plan and a Community Engagement Strategy.

We recognise we won’t get everything right 100% of the time. We invite constructive criticism and we don't shy away from challenging the status quo. We're prepared to rip things up and start again. If you have feedback for us, please share it at

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    • Melbourne - Visit Victoria

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