Academics, activists and disabled artists from across the UK and USA are heading to Birmingham to debate diversity.

The day-long event will see speakers and panellists from across the globe explore the history of disability as well as behaviour within the country's top institutions, asking questions around diversity and its place in culture.

Curators Amanda Cachia and Matt Smith will discuss whether museums are becoming more responsive to their audiences, recognising their different needs and interests, to ensure greater diverse representation.

Presented by disability arts development organisation DASH, in partnership with host venue mac birmingham, Symposium: Awkward Bastards is aiming to challenge the thoughts, ideas and practices surrounding diversity, using disability art as a focal point.

The event includes a panel of leading disabled artists including Christine Sun Kim, Gill Nicol, Sean Burn and the Vacuum Cleaner who will discuss the reasons why they feel it is difficult to define themselves as a 'disabled artist'.

Speakers include Professor David Turner from Swansea University and academic adviser on the recent BBC Radio 4 series Disability: A New History.

Also speaking is Amanda Cachia, from the University of California and author of the paper Disabling the Museum, and Lois Keidan, co-director of the Live Art Development Agency.

Mike Layward, artistic director at DASH, said: "I think everybody will have their own interpretation of the title.

"For me, it is that feeling when you are challenging the status quo and you feel a certain awkwardness in the air, the unspoken why don't they just shut up.

"The Symposium will challenge the idea that inequality around diversity (especially disability) is in the past.

"We are at a crucial time where (as artists) we need to redefine diversity and make connections across all the strands of diversity."

Arts Council England-funded Awkward Bastards takes place at mac Birmingham on Thursday March 12.

Tickets cost £50 or £40 concessions. Visit the mac website or call 0121 446 3232 for information and tickets.