Fifteen artists with disabilities from Northern Ireland have been announced as recipients of the University of Atypical’s Individual Disabled Artist (iDA) Awards.  The iDA programme is supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The iDA funding programme is a dedicated annual arts development scheme enabling deaf and disabled artists who are working in a range of art forms to develop their professional artistic careers.  The awards provide valuable opportunities for award recipients to produce new high-quality creative work, receive training or professional mentoring.

Sean Fitzsimmons, Chairperson of the University of Atypical, said ‘the iDA scheme is invaluable in supporting D/deaf and disabled artists to produce exciting new work and has a successful track record in enhancing the careers of D/deaf and  disabled  artists. We welcome the support of our partners, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in this important initiative’. 

Gilly Campbell, Head of Community Arts & Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Congratulations to all fifteen artists.  These grants are given in recognition of the artists’ work to date and to provide them with the necessary support to take their careers to the next level.  The Arts Council is delighted to support this important programme through National Lottery funding, which encourages the creation of new, high-quality artistic work and addresses the need for disabled and D/deaf artists to have on-going training and skills development within the sector.” 

Through the University of Atypical’s support, D/deaf and disabled artists have developed unique artwork of extremely high artistic quality, some progressing to a level where they have received international recognition. The iDA scheme’s purpose is to identify, encourage and nurture individual talent amongst disabled practitioners.

iDA recipients are:

Billy Woods

Catherine McCabe

Colin Dardis

Cinzia Savonitti

Fionnula Doran

Jacqueline Wylie

Louise McClean

Luna Kalo

Robert Whiteman

Robin Price

Ruth McGinley

Sinead O’Donnell

Steph Harrison

Vikkie Patterson

William McClean

Notes to the editor:

The University of Atypical is a disabled-led arts charity, taking an empowerment-based approach towards supporting disabled and deaf people’s involvement in the arts. The organisation specialises in developing and promoting the work of artists who are disabled and deaf and in reaching disabled and deaf audiences.

The iDA awards is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

15 grants were awarded D/deaf and Disabled Artists across a broad range of disciplines.

The grants support D/deaf and disabled artists to develop new work or develop their careers through training or mentoring.

Contact details:

T: 028 90239450 



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