Cinema & arts

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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Call for proposals for leading accessible arts conference

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The annual Leadership Exchange in the Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference has called for proposals for pre-conference workshops and conference sessions for its 2015 event which will be held in Washington DC during August.

The professional LEAD network explores practical methods of providing accessibility to the arts as well as sharing information among arts administrators and managers in the field of accessible arts.

The fifteenth annual conference will run at the Kennedy Center from 5-7 August, with pre-conference sessions on 3 and 4 August.

Digital media and technology: 

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Telstra introduces captions on BigPond Movies

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Telstra has released an initial batch of 14 BigPond movies with open captions, with a promise to expand the service in the future.

To find the captioned titles on BigPond Movies, click on ‘Movies’ on the home page, then ‘Open Captions’, which will bring up a list of them. The initial titles include The Lego Movie, Transcendence, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Veronica Mars. Because the captions are ‘open’, they will be visible when played on all devices.


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Leading Australian arts and disability conference is fully accessible

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The fourth national Arts Activated: Creative Connections conference will be presented in Sydney in late October. The conference is the leading arts and disability conference in Australia and is hosted by Accessible Arts (NSW).

The two-day conference features streams covering access through technology, creative practice, audience development, international collaborations, disability-led practice and community connections. The extensive program features 85 speakers from across Australia and the world.


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Phillipines introduce accessible cinema, inspired by American legislation

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Philippines cinema chain SM Cinemas recently held the nation’s first accessible cinema sessions, simultaneously screening accessible movies across a number of theatres.

The event showcased closed captioned and audio described movies, allowing people who are Deaf and hearing impaired, blind and vision impaired to enjoy cinema along with their hearing and sighted family and friends.


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Caption developments for cinema and the arts

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The last few years have seen major developments in cinema accessibility alongside the update to digital cinema. Theatre and musical theatre have also benefited from the digital revolution with a variety of new methods available to view captions or listen to audio description.

In an update on last year’s article on the Off-Screen Cinema Subtitling System we’ve learned that testing of this new technology has taken place in a UK cinema with the next stage being to finalise software for cinemas to use.


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