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Sussex student named new National Disability Arts Collection and Archive Chair

Jon Pratty

A Sussex student has been named the new Chair of the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive CIC (NDACA CIC), in advance of a major new project launch.

Jon Pratty, a former digital specialist at Arts Council England who is currently studying for a Masters in Cultural and Creative Industries at the School of Media, Film and Music, will be leading the development of the Collection and Archive with Shape Arts London ahead of the online launch on Wednesday 20 June at

An experienced digital producer, editor and curator, Jon began working in museums and the visual arts in the mid- 1980s at the Lewis Cohen Urban Studies Centre at Brighton Polytechnic, and was a member of Red Herring Artists group in the 1990s. He then retrained as a professional journalist before working for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and Guardian, and then as editor of Culture 24.

Jon, who is deaf and has other significant impairments himself, has 25 years’ experience in museums and archive development and has managed Disability Arts Online in the past. He is also currently judging the 2018 Tech4Good Awards.

Talking about his appointment, Jon said:

“I’m very pleased indeed to join the NDACA CIC Board at a time when the hard work done by Shape is just coming to fruition.

“Bringing our archive to a wider audience highlights the rich diversity within our society and the power of the arts to communicate and share. This project is about building for the future of the Disability Arts Movement, as well as looking to the past.”

The CIC are the parent body that will act as the legacy board to manage the Heritage Lottery-funded project after 2020, when the funding arrangement for delivery with Shape Arts comes to an end.

The NDACA project will include oral history films, over 3,000 images, learning resources and interactive, participatory on-line elements.

As the project develops, Buckingham New University will host a physical archive, offering accessible research opportunities for anyone to study the resource in more depth.

NDACA CIC is a disabled-led organisation which provides governance for the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive in the UK. The organisation aims to tell the unique story of the Disability Arts Movement: a movement which helped change the way disabled people are seen in the UK and beyond.

By: Patrick Reed
Last updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2018