Alison Beck

Jazz / gospel / sessions / alt.

Are you a performing artist with personal experience of Access to Work?

I am researching deaf and disabled performing artists’ experiences and would love to hear from you.

I am a postgraduate student doing an MSc in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). For my MSc dissertation I am researching how the government’s Access to Work scheme is working for performing artists. If you…

  • are a professional performing artist (e.g. actor, performing musician, singer, dancer, spoken word artist…)

  • get at least some of your income from performing

  • have applied to Access to Work (and received a decision) at least once in the last few years

  • have a physical, sensory or mental disability or health condition

  • and your performing income comes from self-employment and/or short-term jobs

… then I would love to talk to you about your experiences. Our conversation would last 45-60 minutes and would be completely confidential.

Scroll down to find out more.

Frequently asked questions

Who are you & why are you doing this research?

I’m studying an MSc in Social Policy at LSE - and I’m also a self-employed musician. After I developed partial hearing loss a few years ago, I became very interested in how the state interacts with D/deaf and disabled people who work in the arts.

I am focusing my research on performing artists because they are an excellent example of people in the arts whose working lives tend to be characterised by insecurity and uncertainty.

What would be involved?

Our conversation would last 45-60 minutes, at a time and place that is convenient for you. It would be completely confidential and anonymous. During the interview, I would be asking you about your life as a performing artist and your personal experiences of Access to Work. I’m interested in hearing what you think about Access to Work and if you would change anything about it.

With your permission, I would like to audio record the interview. This is to help me remember what was said. It would not be heard by anyone else outside of the research project.

Participants will have any out-of-pocket costs covered, and will receive £10 as a small thank you for giving up their time.

Will I be identifiable?

No - everything you tell me will be totally confidential. If I quote something you said in my research, I will remove any personally identifying information.

When is the research happening?

I need to carry out the interviews between now and the end of July.

What is the scope of this study?

For this research project, I am looking for interviewees who have sensory, physical or mental disabilities or health conditions.

I hope to carry out a separate piece of Access to Work research in future, focusing on the particular experiences of people with learning disabilities.

Can I withdraw from the research?

If you agree to take part, you can withdraw your consent at any time before or during the interview, no questions asked. After the interview has taken place, you can withdraw from the study at any point prior to the end of July (because the research will be written up and submitted during August).

What will happen to my data?

Audio files and transcripts of interviews will be anonymised, stored securely, and will be destroyed after the dissertation is submitted at the end of August.

I will analyse the content of all the interviews and write this up into a written research report. This will be submitted to LSE as my Masters dissertation and it will be read by assessors who mark my work.

With the permission of the participants, I would also like to share the research findings with certain policy-makers in the House of Lords and 10 Downing Street who have expressed an interest in reading the report, and with organisations who have assisted me with finding participants for the research, including Equity, Deafinitely Theatre, and Inclusion London.

Getting in touch

If you are interested in taking part, please contact me at or on 07537121685.

Thank you!