Theatre

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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Access achievements honoured at National Disability Awards

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Individuals and organisations committed to improving access to media foe people with disability were honoured at the National Disability Awards, which were held at the National Gallery of Australia on Wednesday night.

Michael Small, formerly of the Australian Human Rights Commission, was a joint winner of the Minister’s Award for Excellence in Disability Reform. During his time at the commission, Small was instrumental in achieving significant improvements in access to television, cinema and DVDs through increased levels of captioning.


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Captioning Award winners announced

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Last night the Deafness Forum of Australia celebrated the achievements of the media and entertainment industry in providing access to the one in six Australians who are Deaf or hearing impaired. Hosted by Rodney Adams, an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf, the evening was a celebration of the impact of captions on literacy, human rights and social inclusion.

The winners in each category were:


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Behind the scenes: audio description at the theatre

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For something different, Media Access Australia’s Eliza Cussen takes readers behind the scenes at one of Sydney’s most beloved theatres to reveal how audio description has become a vital part of what they do.

There’s a term kids learn in Year 9 Drama: mise en scéne, or ‘everything but the script.’ It’s used to help set the atmosphere of a performance, the light, the costume, the set design, the acting. It reminds everyone working on a play that the script is only the skeleton, on to which must be placed muscle, skin and clothes. For most theatre goers it is these elements which carry much of the play’s meaning, but if you’re blind or vision impaired, this meaning can be lost.


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Perth’s Shakespeare in the Park features an audio described session

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Shakespeare WA has paired up with the Association for the Blind WA to bring A Comedy of Errors to blind and vision impaired theatre fans. A special session of the comedy will be held on 1 February with audio description to convey the visual elements of the performance.

The Association jumped at the chance to be part of such a significant initiative for those who are blind and vision impaired after they were approached by the theatre company, said Dr Margaret Crowley, Chief Executive Officer.


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