Artis­tic vi­sion

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Kaylee Martin

BLIND or vi­sion-im­paired peo­ple will soon have the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess more lo­cal arts events and fes­ti­vals through a new, year-long col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­gram Ac­cess All Arts.

TWO or­gan­i­sa­tions have joined forces to launch a pro­gram aimed at in­creas­ing art and cul­tural ac­cess to peo­ple who are blind, vi­sion im­paired or deaf­blind.

Vic­to­ria Park-based Vis­Abil­ity and arts or­gan­i­sa­tion Dis­abil­ity in the Arts, Dis­ad­van­tage in the Arts (DADAA), launched the year-long pro­gram Ac­cess All Arts to make au­dio de­scrip­tion ac­cess avail­able at Perth’s large out­door fes­ti­vals and events.

Au­dio de­scrip­tion is the nar­ra­tion of ad­di­tional vis­ual in­for­ma­tion dur­ing pauses of di­a­logue and re­quires skilled nar­ra­tors who re­lay in­for­ma­tion to lis­ten­ers through head­sets.

Pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor Jac­que­line Homer said the pro­gram was de­vel­oped af­ter pi­lot­ing three tours in 2015.

“We will be in­cor­po­rat­ing lessons learned from the pi­lot se­ries into the new pro­gram to en­sure we de­liver high-qual­ity tours that work ef­fec­tively to in­clude par­tic­i­pants as part of the au­di­ence in main­stream events,” she said.

“New fund­ing also al­lows us to ac­tu­ally pur­chase the equip­ment that de­liv­ers live com­men­tary.”

Vis­Abil­ity will de­ter­mine the types of cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties to se­lect as part of the pro- gram, which will in­clude theatre, dance, com­edy and main­stream events.

Vis­Abil­ity’s Ad­ven­ture Group will test the au­dio de­scrip­tion ap­proach be­ing used and work with the newly trained au­dio de­scribers.

The Ad­ven­turer Group are a group of staff and clients who are blind or vi­sion im­paired but chal­lenge them­selves with ad­ven­tur­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in WA.

DADAA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor David Doyle said the pro­gram was part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s larger goal to fa­cil­i­tate so­cial in­clu­sion for all peo­ple.

“Un­til now there has not been the ca­pac­ity in Perth to of­fer the blind or vi­sion im­paired ac­cess to the city’s big out­door events,” he said.

There are cur­rently 40,000 peo­ple in WA who iden­tify as be­ing vi­sion im­paired.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.dadaa.org.au/pro­ject/4/ac­cess-all-arts.

Pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor Jac­que­line Homer.

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