actors on stage: jazz hands

Survey report: theatre re-opening and live-streamed events

Throughout September, VocalEyes and the Audio Description Association (ADA) teamed up to run a survey of users of theatre audio description either at venues or online. Its purpose was to help both VocalEyes and ADA members advise the venues that we work with how best to support audio description users in future.

The report detailing the survey findings can be downloaded at the bottom of this page, in PDF and Word format.

54% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would happily continue experiencing live-streamed or recorded productions with audio description, compared to 16% who disagreed or strongly disagreed. Some of the comments expanded on this:

“Sometimes I can’t get to live theatre, or aren’t feeling well enough, or can’t find someone to go with me. Then having the option to watch at home would be good.”

“Agree but […] would always prefer to attend in person if possible given the chance.”

“Obviously I would prefer live, but if this meant that there would be an increase in the amount of AD performances then that would be a good thing, because we are limited to when we can go, as there are only 1 or 2 if any AD performances in a run.”

We’re all keen to get back into theatres, and so to help ensure that blind and visually impaired people aren’t excluded, in the coming months, VocalEyes and the Audio Description Association will work together and publish a range of documents and guidance for venues to assist and enable Audio Description services to return to venues in parallel with the return of live performances, exhibitions, screenings and other media. It is vital that despite the huge impact which our industry has suffered over the last few months that access to the arts is not impacted as venues return to serve audiences and adjust to the new normal.

For enquiries about the report, please contact us at [email protected].