Manchester International Festival (MIF) believes in enabling everyone to share in what we do, on an equal basis and with dignity and respect.

MIF aims to meet everyone’s access requirements. We create accessible performances wherever possible, explore new approaches to integrated access and work hard to ensure that all our venues are as accessible as they can be.

We understand disability through the Social Model (although we acknowledge that this has some limitations) and as such we believe that it is our collective responsibility – with our partners and collaborators – to make our work and our spaces accessible.

MIF is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events. In keeping with this, wherever possible we embrace creative approaches and employ innovative techniques to create experiences that redefine the possibilities of accessible performance.

We are committed to learning, testing new approaches and continually improving our access offer.

As part of our commitment to this belief, MIF has adopted an Access Policy as laid out below.

For the purposes of this document, ‘disability’ is understood in its broadest sense, and, as a minimum, covers all the disabilities within the scope of the Equality Act 2010.


These are the aims we’re working towards through our Access Action Plan:

  • Everyone can access and enjoy Manchester International Festival events and/or work, collaborate, participate or volunteer with us on an equal basis.
  • Disabled people are not treated less favourably by MIF for a reason relating to their disability than others to whom that reason doesn’t apply.
  • We take all reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids and services to enable disabled people to make use of our services or work with us.
  • Disabled people feel as valued and have as positive an experience of our services as anyone else we interact with.
  • Disabled people are fairly represented across the work we commission, in our workforce and in our governance structure.
  • At MIF, accessibility is seen as a creative opportunity. We actively encourage artists to explore and integrate new access approaches within their work.
  • Equal access as a guiding principle is part of our everyday thinking and embedded in all areas of our organisation.
  • We aim to first remove systemic barriers to participation for disabled people – if removal is not possible, we will then provide a range of structures and options to deliver equal access.
  • We acknowledge that not all disabilities are visible.

How we are achieving these aims

  • We offer discounts for disabled people and can provide a Personal Assistant ticket free of charge if you require one.
  • We offer a variety of types of accessible performance (including captioned, audio-described, relaxed and BSL-interpreted shows) both in-person and online across our artistic programme.
  • We provide up-to-date access information and details of MIF access performances on our website and enable people to join our Access Mailing List by setting up an MIF account and selecting their access preferences.
  • We offer online booking for all access performances and all types of access tickets. You can book online from any MIF event page.
  • We have a dedicated Access telephone number (0161 817 4547) and email address ( where you can contact us about anything to do with specific access requirements or MIF access performances.
  • We provide training in disability and accessibility awareness and etiquette to our core staff and as part of our volunteer induction.
  • We ensure that all staff are aware of this policy and can answer queries about access at MIF.
  • We have developed an Access Action Plan to help us continually improve access at MIF, and the progress of this is reviewed and monitored regularly  our staff and board.
  • We have a dedicated Access Manager who works specifically to embed access in everything we do and champions the importance of access across the organisation.
  • We have established a Disability Representation Working Group within MIF to drive forward our work in this area.
  • We provide Access Stewards at our large-scale events to act as a point of contact for access bookers and provide assistance as needed.
  • We’re transparent about our process – due to the nature of many of our commissions and the way they’re developed, we can’t always provide full access information from the moment events are announced, but we make sure that online information is always as up-to-date as possible.
  • We have an active Disabled People’s Engagement Group facilitated by Breakthrough UK who meet regularly to provide accessibility expertise on all aspects of operational planning for our move to The Factory.
  • We embed accessibility in our Procurement process and ensure it is part of our conversations with potential suppliers and providers.
  • We have an inclusive casting / commissioning policy to ensure that disabled artists and performers are fairly represented across MIF.
  • We are a Disability Confident L2 employer, and regularly review the accessibility of our recruitment and employment practices.
  • We acknowledge that things will go wrong and we will inevitably make mistakes as we work to embed accessibility-first thinking in our organisation. When things go wrong, we commit to putting things right in a timely and appropriate manner.

We welcome specific access enquiries – you can email us on

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