To come to an accord...

Access and Support tl;dr - when you book, or join us on Discord, we'll invite you to have a chat about what would make it easier for you to get involved and feel comfortable, whether you're disabled or not. Together, we can make a unique plan for you, for that booking. (We use Accompanying for this.)  

Why 'accord'?

  Everyone who gets involved with our work will do so in a unique way. Not just unique to them, but also unique to that moment of time in that specific space.   Some things can be planned for in advance, but a need for support or reassurance might also arise unexpectedly.   Our ability to be responsive relies on participants feeling both welcome and comfortable to communicate their needs - not just beforehand but also whilst involved.   That sense of welcome often goes against the life experience of those who have access and support needs. We've found this can be especially true when it comes to neurodiversity: a lifetime of masking might have protected us from harm, but it might also have prevented us from seeking out or accepting support, even where it's offered.   Access needs don't begin and end with the provision of one 'accessible' performance, and besides, involvement with The Copenhagen Interpretation's projects will never be an invitation to attend one performance.   In fact, the name The Copenhagen Interpretation was chosen to represent our goal of responding to the fact that we are all different in every unique moment.  

It's science

  The scientific Copenhagen Interpretation purports that a quantum particle exists in all possible forms simultaneously until observed, at which point only one form is evident, and that can change every time it's observed, even under the exact same conditions.   We all experience live performance differently every time, even if we go to see the same show but on a different day. Access and support are complicated because we are all complicated, and we are further complicated by the kind of day we've had, where we are in our lives, what the world feels like today, and so on. It's all Copenhagen: different every time, for every person.   So instead of imposing access and support provisions that try to accomodate everybody, everytime, we will try to come to an agreement about the best way to support any individual who wants to get involved in any way, every time they do. Hence: we try to come to a unique accord.  

Our goal

  Our goal for the work is to hold a space around the individual in which they can choose to do some self-exploration. We aim to make that environment be:
  • accessible: anyone should have at least one way they can comfortably get involved
  • supported: the environment itself (the place, the platform, and the storytelling process) should be understandable and feel reliable
  • responsive: so the experience can be changed by the participation, as much as the participants can be changed by the experience
  How individuals get involved with that environment can then be more of their choosing.  

We all do what we can

  It is true that whatever project The Copenhagen Interpretation is doing, our resources, our abilities, and our responsibilities, will always be finite. There are some things we cannot offer, and some we are not best placed to offer.   On the other hand, we don't want to offer a typical list of access provisions and just assume that the usual way of providing them is going to work for everyone, every day.   A finite list of things means we'll always miss something, and maybe that something is actually the biggest thing that day for someone, but it isn't invited so it goes unmentioned.   On the other hand, everyone needs to know that the most common access requirements and support provisions will be met.  


  So this is an Accord, which is an agreement between everyone. Not just those of us holding the space, but everyone in the space. It requires some kind of open communication invitation, & that's a big part of our making process anyway, so we can hopefully accommodate it more easily.   The communication part can be the part that is tricky, for that person, on that day - so we need to find ways to support there too. One of the biggest access and support challenges is understanding what is needed in the first place, without forcing personal info out of people.   To start considering what your access accord might be, you have:
  • these connected articles about access and support
  • a team with a diversity of access and support requirements, so it's likely at least one of us will have a greater understanding
  • a member of our team taking your booking for live events, so you can have a proper chat about access and support for you - on the phone, on video, or by text
  • the time and space we make for access and support before we begin, and throughout the experience - and afterwards too
  • the option to be Accompanied for any part of the experience, or the whole thing, so you have a person with you whose job is partly to support you in your personal version of the access accord that day
  This is a living, responsive document. We'll keep changing it, adding to it, growing it as we keep making new discoveries about access and support. Where you see the Creative Commons License info in the footer of a page, please take, use, change what's on that page if useful for your work/intentions for access support. If you make new discoveries, we'd love to know about them.   Click on the links in the sidebar for more.

The Access Accord

"To come to an accord..."
Supported Space
Open Space Technology
Specific Access Needs
Blog post: comfortable, uncomfortable
How to join us
The Copenhagen Interpretation
This is still (always) in development, but we intend to provide this information in other accessible formats

This is The Copenhagen Interpretation of an Access Accord v5. This draft is dated 17th April 2022, developed for ADHD-inclusive digital platform usage for The Broad Cloth R&D 2022, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.   The contents of this draft have been shaped by Jenifer Toksvig for The Copenhagen Interpretation with support from the ADHD Hive (Marie Moran, Claire Stewart, Ross Watt), Ellen Armstrong, David Bellwood, Martyn Blunt, Chloe Coleman, Diana Miranda, Flo O’Mahoney, Wendy O’Mahoney, Chloe Mashiter, Laurie Ogden, Erika O’Reilly, Teatro Vivo (Kas Darley, Mark Stevenson), Zoo Co, and pets, as well as those who came to play with us on Zoom and Discord during the 2022 R&D, in particular Mark Aspinall, Solomon Foster, Rachel Hebert, Lorena Hodgson, Amy Ledin, Sue Lee, Beatrix Livesey-Stephens, and Jennifer Lunn. Some of this process has been inspired by, or directly uses processes from, other people including Harrison Owen's Open Space Technology, and Kit Whitfield Thomas's observation that, when you have ADHD and you speak while someone else is speaking, you're not interrupting them, you're harmonising with them. Others who have inspired these things include FFRPG writers Debra Phillips, Kate Sinclair, and Jamison Yager, and theatre makers Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson of Improbable, and Alan Lane of Slung Low.   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Everyone is free to share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format), and/or adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material) for any purpose, even commercially. If you use it and can let us know, you will be supporting our future fundraising work – thank you.