top of page
Young asian woman with an iPad at home

The AD:Vantage

Leadership Programme

The AD:Vantage Leadership programme is a development opportunity for d/Deaf, disabled or neurodivergent people who work in arts, culture or heritage. 

The programme content is designed to be delivered entirely online to meet the greatest possible range of access needs.

This is a pilot programme for 5 people.  It includes group learning sessions, 1-2-1 support and mentoring from a chosen industry specialist.  It also includes an approach to learning that encourages peer support, as well as talks and workshops which will be tailored to your needs as we get to know you.

Web devArtboard 6.jpg

 Orientation Event

Duration: up to 3 hours

Required for all participants


1 x Orientation event where you will get to know your group members and start to get clear on what you want to achieve from participating.  The session is designed to get you off to the best possible start.

Web devArtboard 8 copy.jpg
Web devArtboard 8.jpg

Leadership Course

Delivered by Helga Henry & Lara Ratnaraja


This is the main teaching element of the programme and combines ideas, approaches and practical tips, reflection consideration and discussion.  We will vary the style and approach and ensure that we have regular screen breaks and monitor the energy of us all. 

A typical AD:Vantage group session includes an introduction to the topic with group exercises and then applying lessons to your own situation with practical "real" action plans.  We will look at key leadership themes, vision, communication, finance, strategy, planning and wider context setting.

Leadership Course

Mentoring & Guidance

Led by Lara Ratnaraja and an industry mentor


3 x 1-hour sessions with Lara. This is a chance to talk one-to-one about the success you want to achieve through the programme and how to apply it afterwards.  Lara will also work with you on what you might need from a specialist mentor and who that mentor might be.  Scheduling will be timetabled in advance – with slots available and booked in during induction.  They will take place at the beginning, middle and end of the programme.


4 x hours mentoring from an industry mentor


Industry mentors will be art form and cultural entrepreneurs who are leaders in their fields.  Mentors on previous programmes have included cultural leaders from Art Monthly,  The National Theatre, Southbank, LIFT Festival, BIrmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Encounters Film Festival, The Guardian, University College London,  IKON Gallery, Artichoke, LADA, RADAR and Spike Island. In previous programmes, mentors have continued to meet informally with mentees, introduced them to other potential mentors and employed them on projects.


We cannot guarantee all of these outcomes, but experience tells us that as a result of the support you will get by being on AD:Vantage you will:

Benefits of taking part


Work on specific development needs that we have jointly identified and that you want to focus on in order to advance your career.


Gain inspiration from national and internationally renowned speakers, proven content and from everyone else in the group to build confidence.


Find a new way of developing business relationships and how to build a personal network regionally, nationally and internationally.  You will learn how to do this in a way that suits you and your personality and which fits your available time and budget.  Your network will support you to gain work and get results.


Work with a mentor who can inspire your work and provide practical advice and support.


Focus on your next career move and be given opportunities to make the most of the major initiatives happening in the region in 2021 and 2022.


Create a personalised action plan to make your career work for you in a way that you feel comfortable to carry out your plan.

Web devArtboard 6.jpg

What you need to know

Elements of the programme

The programme has a range of types of learning experiences and a range of types of activity as we know that one single approach to learning does not suit everyone.  We will work hard in the delivery of the programme to make sure that the pace of learning is right for people who are taking part.  All sessions will be delivered to reflect the energy of the group – taking regular breaks from the screen for comfort and other needs.

In the programme you will get:

  • Some support to use the technology if you need it

  • A short orientation session

  • 10 half-day sessions of group learning (by Zoom) led by Helga Henry

  • “How I Did It” sessions – evening talks on Zoom with industry leaders

  • 3 x 1-2-1 career support sessions from Lara Ratnaraja

  • 4 hours mentoring from an industry specialist

  • A chance to attend the public programme of Masterclasses (held online)

For more details of these elements please see the FAQs

Reasonable Adjustments

We will also consider other access needs with each participant and work with you individually to find solutions (including using Access to Work) so that you can take part easily and comfortably.

Dates and Time

The programme will run from late August – December 2020 with a number of sessions, in the daytime and evening.  The dates and times are set out below.  We estimate that there will be a half /one day a week of direct contact time.  You may also want to set aside further time for reflection, thinking and recording your thoughts to get the most from the programme, but this is not essential.


Application deadline is midday 12:00 Monday 17th August.

Modern home office space
Web devArtboard 6.jpg

Dates and Times

Please ensure that you are available to attend all the group sessions (marked *) before you apply.


Wednesday 26th August      4pm – 6pm

Group sessions on Zoom*

First session Tuesday 15th September 10.30am to 1.30pm

Thursdays 10.00am to 1.30pm (with regular breaks):

  • 24th September

  • 1st October

  • 8th October

  • 15th October




  • 5th November

  • 12th November

  • 19th November

  • 26th November

  • 3rd December

1-2-1 sessions (1 hour)

Flexible timings – booked individually


Sessions held online or on the telephone


3 x 1-2-1 sessions of an hour each at the start, middle  and end of the programme (September to December)

Specialist Mentoring 1-2-1 

Flexible timings arranged with your mentor

October 2020 onwards – finish by December 2020

How I Did It Speaker Sessions

Sessions throughout programme from September 2020 – December 2020 (about once a month)


Flexible timings which we will fix with the group but likely to be early evening (4pm – 6pm) if that works for the group

Public Masterclasses

6pm – 8pm


(Exact dates depending on speaker availability)

Masterclass 1  – mid-September 


Masterclass 2 –  mid-October


Masterclass 3  – mid-November


Masterclass 4 –  mid-December   


Your most frequently asked questions about our programme

  • About Sonia
    Sonia Boué is an artist. Her multiform work explores home and the domestic as metaphors for exile and displacement. Sonia has a significant body of postmemory work. She is also a writer on autism and art, and a leading consultant for neurodiversity in the arts. ​ She is a Board member for a-n The Artists Information Company and Artist Member for CVAN SE.
A black man speaking on stage at a conference
Web devArtboard 8.jpg

Public Programme

The programme includes a number of public online events which will be Masterclasses with leading industry figures. 

Learn more
bottom of page