Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

By Youth Theatre Arts Scotland

Welcome to our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion toolkit. If you’ve found yourself here, it is likely that you’re thinking about how to embed these principles into your work to help make the world a fairer, more inclusive space.

This is not a checklist, nor a finite set of rules to tick off.

This toolkit will likely always be in ‘draft’ form as things are always shifting and changing. But we encourage feedback, so please share resources with us that you think would benefit the sector.

So, how do we define Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?

You may sometimes hear it referred to as EDI.

Equality is about opportunity, and ensuring that participants are treated fairly and not discriminated against because of personal circumstances.

Diversity is about recognising and valuing difference and reflecting a variety of cultures, experiences and voices in the work we make.

Inclusion is about the removal of barriers to participation, both within and outwith the rehearsal room.

Together, these separate but very much intertwined elements work together to create a safer, happier and more empowering space to create rich and interesting creative work that has the capacity to change the world, one community at a time.

Why is EDI important?

Participation in community and cultural activities is not an activity reserved for a privileged few, it’s a fundamental human right. The UN agrees. In fact, it’s even stated in Article 27 of the Declaration of Human Rights that…

Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”.

Young people are more socially and politically aware than ever before. This is evident in their involvement in activism and their voting numbers. We need to encourage and harness this passion, and the youth theatre sector has an exciting role to play in this. So many participants acknowledge that their youth theatre is a safe space where they feel able to express themselves freely. We have a great opportunity to use this safe space to dismantle prejudice and acknowledge and create space for the increasingly diverse society that Scotland is becoming.

As a starting point, we invite you to use our EDI Reflection Questions sheets below. Consider where you are right now, and what might be some avenues to explore in the future. We’ve included some resources to offer some food for thought or support you in developing your policies and practice, and if you’re interested, we’re also happy to share our own EDI Policy.


EDI Reflection Questions: Dip Your Toe In
EDI Reflection Questions: Deep Dive


Creative Equity Toolkit
Resources for cultural equity and diversity in the creative sector, including stimulating articles, template policies, and more.
Cards for Inclusion
Cards for Inclusion is a card game helping those in the arts sector explore how barriers can be removed and how we all can make whatever we offer more accessible to disabled people.
Scottish Human Rights Commission: Case Studies
These case studies show how different organisations have put a human rights based approach into practice in their work.
Equality and Diversity Briefing
Explore what is meant by EDI and how you can make sure your group is as inclusive as possible. This briefing from 2013 is older now, but still relevant for youth theatres who are working on their practice in this area.
Children and Young People’s Rights
Helpful guides and resources to understand and implement a Children and Young People’s Rights approach in your work.
Is This The Best It Can Be?
What is important and what can be improved in your creative partnership project? Build a culture of reflection and curiosity using these helpful, downloadable tools.
Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Collection of documents relating to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation – a tool for identifying areas with relatively high levels of deprivation, including profiles for each local authority area.
Theatre and Autism: how do you include students on the spectrum?
Short article from the Theatrefolk blog including tips to ensure your creative space is inclusive and safe for young people on the autism spectrum.
Devising the Future: A Sector Revue
Recording of the Zoom session we hosted on Thursday 6 May 2021 to discuss the findings of the Youth Theatre in Scotland Sector Review 2020.
Youth Theatre in Scotland: Current Use of EDI Data
In 2020, YTAS conducted the Youth Theatre in Scotland Sector Review, where we asked the sector to tell us about their activity. At the same time, we also asked how they use EDI data.
Galaxies of Neurons Firing
Every Brain has produced a guide providing theatres and cultural organisations with advice on how they can better support neurodivergent creatives and celebrate neurodiversity. 
DramaCon 2023 Keynote: Adolescent Brain Development and Social Isolation
Dr Livia Tomova’s keynote speech on adolescent brain development and social isolation, at the National Convention of Youth Drama 2023.
Young theatre performers taking a bow
Embedding Inclusion
Keen for your group to be more inclusive but not sure where to start? Let Solar Bear put your mind at ease! In this film, Jonathan Lloyd shares his experience of working with Solar Bear’s Deaf Youth Theatre and how this has inspired his directing practice.
InSight Report
IYS’s InSight Report 2019 looks into the perceptions and experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people in Scottish schools.
Three creative dancers on stage
Creative Scotland’s EDI Resources
Creative Scotland’s resources and information is designed to help practitioners understand Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and how they might develop their practice or organisation to ensure that EDI is implemented across programmes and organisational structures.


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