28 Jul 2017

A quick guide to accessible events

BSL? Captioned? Touch tour? We get behind the jargon to explain what our accessible events are all about.

This year, we’re striving to deliver the most dynamic showcase of art and culture that Hull has ever seen.

Everyone’s invited, so as part of our effort to make sure that everybody can enjoy what’s on in 2017 we’ve joined up with our creative partners, contractors and other community groups to provide a whole host of accessible events. And we’re working hard to make sure there are more great accessible events to come after 2017 too.

So whether you’re going to the theatre, an outdoor show or to one of the many exhibitions coming up in Hull, here are a few ways you can enjoy what’s on.

Audio Description

Audio description is a way of making events more accessible to people who are blind or partially sighted. Using lightweight headsets, you can listen to audio descriptions of installations, art exhibitions and outdoor spectacles.

In theatre performances, descriptions of characters, stage sets and costumes will be provided to give you more information about the visual makeup of events, and is timed so that it doesn’t overlap with any dialogue.

The Tiger Rags – The Fabric of Hull City AFC exhibition runs until Mon 1 Oct, and has audio description available.

BSL Interpretation

BSL stands for British sign Language, which is a visual form of communication using hand gestures, facial expressions and body language used by the hard of hearing or the deaf.

Exhibitions, art installations, theatre shows and music events can all be interpreted into BSL so you can understand performances and follow the story. The interpreter will usually be stood on stage or in a suitably visible location, and in effect perform the play for you in this visual languageBSL interpretations have proven to be very popular with audiences, as the interpreter can be very expressive and animated to enhance the experience. 

Alien Sex Capsule has a BSL interpretation on Fri 18 Aug at 10am.

Captioned Performance

Similar to subtitles on film and television, captioning converts spoken word into text for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The text is displayed on a LED unit placed in a suitable location for you, so you can follow what is being spoken or sung at events.

Captioning can be used for conferences, lectures, poetry and all kinds of other events. As well as displaying dialogue or lyrics, captioning can also provide descriptions of music, sound effects, character names.

As well as displaying dialogue or lyrics, the captioning also provides descriptions of music used in performances, sound effects, offstage noises and character names.

The Suitcase at Hull Truck Theatre has a captioned performance on Fri 8 Sept.

Relaxed Performance

In relaxed or accessible performances and events, the environment is adapted to provide a more suitable atmosphere for anyone with learning disabilities, sensory or communications disorders, and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance.

In many cases the lights are usually left on, any harsh or loud voices are softened, and audience members are free to come in and out of the auditorium/venue space as they please.

The Larkin: New Eyes Each Year exhibition runs until Sun 1 Oct, and will have a relaxed interpretation on Sat 19 Aug at 10am.

Touch Tour

Touch tours are a pre-show tour of the set or event space for those who are either blind or partially sighted. Having the chance to explore the event space and to handle props or furniture provides them with extra details to connect with theatre performances, music events and other events too.

During touch tours, an audio describer will be present to help describe the setup of the event, and give a full account of the items that you will be introduced to, and explain how they will be used and featured in shows, exhibitions or installations.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian at Hull Truck Theatre has a touch tour on Thurs 5 Oct, starting at 6.30pm before the audio described performance at 7.30pm.

You can find out more about accessibility during Hull 2017 and watch our accessible (BSL interpreted, captioned and voice over described) films by heading to our accessibility page.

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