Its main benefit for me was the group learning and sharing common experiences. You always learn more when you do it with other people. I think that was the biggest driving force for me. Jason Knight, TAPS
The Get A Plan (GAP) programme developed from a training course called the eQuality Programme that ADA inc developed and ran for Yorkshire Arts/Arts Council England, Yorkshire, initially funded via the New Audience Programme.
That consisted of the creation of a handbook illustrating guidance and good practice and a directory listing contacts and sources of support. It also included the development of a series of training days where RFO’s in the region could meet to share experiences and gain practical skills and knowledge on key areas covered by the guides.
Sarah Pickthall was a guest speaker for one of the training days in Yorkshire. When she took up her post as Disability Officer for Arts Council England, she remembered the training programme and felt it would be a useful tool to adapt for the region.
ADA inc – Access, Disability and Inclusion - is a consultancy and training organisation based in Bradford run by Jo Verrent. Jo is the director of ADA inc, and she worked on the publication Disability Access, a Good Practice Guide for the Arts for Arts Council England, Capital services. Jo is well known as a disability equality trainer, working extensively with the Arts Council and many of the former regional arts boards, government departments and individual arts organisations. More about ADA inc can be found here...
Jo and Sarah worked together to devise the GAP programme throughout its life (for GAP 4, the direct liaison for the programme moved to Zelma Powell at Arts Council England, South East). Since the first Get a Plan, the programme has changed in relation to its design, but not its aim. It was not about creating plans that merely tick boxes or that sit on shelves getting dusty. It always focused on providing direct, timely and relevant supporting organisations to develop live and active action plans that become central to the planning and delivery processes of the organisations involved.