Theatre

Curtain call for Stagetext CEO Tabitha Allum

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For the last decade, UK arts captioning organisation Stagetext has been led by the dedicated and talented Tabitha Allum. Tabitha steps down from her role as Chief Executive this month and as a leader in the field of accessible arts, Media Access Australia would like to bestow one final title upon her: Expert in Access. Read on to learn why.

Stagetext CEO Tabitha Allum


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Hong Kong art for everyone, By ALL Means

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Media Access Australia recently met with staff from Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) during their visit to Australia for the Arts Activated conference. Both organisations were able to share experiences in delivering accessible arts programs to diverse audiences.

香港展能藝術會 Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong logo

ADAHK was formed in 1986 as a result of the first Hong Kong Festival of Arts with the Disabled. Promoting arts for everyone takes on a two-directional and complementary approach for the organisation: horizontal and vertical.


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American theatre takes audio description to a new level

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Arena Stage in Washington DC has partnered with the American Council of the Blind to expand its established audio described theatre program to every performance of upcoming productions Fiddler on the Roof and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Washington, DC


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Annual LEAD conference for accessible arts set for August

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Chicago will host the annual Leadership Exchange in the Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference from 1-6 August this year, bringing together arts practitioners from around the world.

Established in 2000, LEAD attracts people in the arts industry whose common goal is to create cultural arts programs that are inclusive of people with disabilities and seniors. Presenters from around the world bring their expertise to the stage and this year’s conference includes presentations on:


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UK theatre captioners receive research funding

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UK charity Nesta has just announced its latest round of funding recipients under its Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts. One of the recipients is the UK’s premier arts captioning organisation, Stagetext. 

Stagetext is developing CaptionCue, an automated caption cueing system which will make it cheaper for venues to offer captioning for certain theatre productions to Deaf and hearing impaired arts patrons.  The system is being developed in London by Stagetext with Screen Subtitling Systems Ltd and Dr Pablo Romero-Fresco of Roehampton University.


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New pre-show notes service for audio described theatre

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Vision Australia has launched a new pre-show notes service for blind and vision impaired patrons of audio described theatre. Pre-show notes provide set design descriptions, character descriptions, synopses, local reviews, and background to the playwright, actors and more.

Audio description for theatre, delivered live by trained audio describers, provides patrons with verbal descriptions of transitions, movements, gestures, props, settings, costumes and scenery in a vivid and succinct manner during pauses in dialogue. To complement this in-theatre free service, Vision Australia will now email pre-show notes to increase access and enrich patrons’ experiences.


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National audio description survey for cultural venues

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Australia’s galleries, museums and theatres are being called on to participate in a national survey of how audio description (AD) is used to bring access to cultural venues for people who are blind or vision impaired.

The Arts Access Australia survey is aimed at all arts and cultural venues regardless of whether they currently offer audio description. Taking between five and ten minutes to complete, the survey will gauge the level of audio description offered compared to other access services venues are providing.


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