School of Creative


BA(Hons) Arts Management

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The state of arts and access: The professionalisation of accessibility in Singapore museums

In tandem with the incorporation of the value of accessibility into the International Council of Museums' (ICOM) museum definition, Singapore has been deepening its commitment towards the arts, culture and heritage for all. In response to this global and local shift, a new profession – the accessibility profession – is emerging within the local museum sector. The goal of this paper is to understand how the field of accessibility is being professionalised in the context of museums in Singapore, a state with nascent beginnings in arts accessibility. I will explore the profession from the perspective of current practitioners from four local museums – National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum and National Museum of Singapore – and situate the research within their context and lived experience. As this paper is concerned with the individual, I will be employing sociological theories on professionalisation. This paper will examine the attributes that make museum accessibility a profession, the infrastructure currently in place to support the profession and the external factors that influence its professionalisation.

Keywords: accessibility, professionalisation, museum, Singapore

Subtopics: professionalisation

Ong Wei Lin, Joanna

Ong Wei Lin, Joanna

Passionate about accessibility and inclusion, Joanna believes her role as an arts manager is to enable audiences of all abilities to enjoy and participate in the arts. She is committed to building meaningful connections and engagement through the arts.

Joanna has worked with several local leading arts organisations such as Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Gallery Singapore and Singapore Repertory Theatre in various capacities. She has spearheaded two ground-up initiatives — the SG Arts Channel, an arts resource and event listing broadcast channel on Telegram, and ViaRT Award, a children’s recycled art competition.

With a diverse work experience spanning marketing, performing arts production, community engagement and accessibility management, Joanna possesses the confidence and adaptability to work in any environment. As an inquisitive learner with a drive for excellence, Joanna is constantly in pursuit of new knowledge, insights and experiences. Joanna hopes to share her passion and knowledge with others, to pave the road towards an inclusive and accessible arts ecosystem.

Work experience

May – Aug 2021
Access Path Productions

Sep 2020 – Mar 2021
ARTWALK Little India (2021)
Digital retrospective team lead, finance coordinator

May 2019 – present
The Esplanade Co Ltd
Community workshop assistant, front-of-house causal