How the Blind experience live theatre shows...
Blind, vision impaired, and low vision show lovers now have theatre access. Many playhouses around the country are starting to provide tactile 'on stage' walking tours and audio described performances during a live show.
A pre-show tour may include walking on the stage, feeling the set and props, meeting the actors and touching the costumes. Touch tours before a show give those with sight impairment opportunities to touch and feel the textured costumes, wigs, explore the sets hands on, and talk with the actors, getting a feel of what is on the stage and how the performers are dressed. This provides a mental visualization and sets up the story for the live performance.
Audio described shows are used with headsets so the blind or visually impaired can hear the audio describers provide a live descriptive scenario of the visual components of the performance in-between the dialogues of the performing actors. Audio descriptions give detailed explanations of scenes and set changes through the headsets. Select performances will provide specially trained describers who verbalize what is happening on stage during pauses in dialogue. Individuals listen through a receiver with a single earpiece, keeping them informed throughout the show. Some theatres invite their sight impaired audience to come on stage after a show and have an instructed dance with the performers.
When researching for accessible live plays, it's good to know what theatres provide these individual services depending on the disability challenges. There are many symbols to look for when trying to book show tickets. Some of these include Open and Closed Captioning, Audio Description Live and Pre-recorded, Hearing Loop Systems and Hearing Assistive Listening Devices, Autism Friendly, Sign Language and Wheelchair Accessible. The Broadway theatre district, as well as theatres and playhouses in other states, are now starting to offer more and more accessibility to their audiences, so everyone can enjoy the show! http://theatreaccess.nyc/how-it-works
MaxiAids has many products to help enhance independence and accessibility so you or your loved ones can enjoy activities and entertainment to the fullest! Explore our products for the blind, low vision aids, blind accessories, and products for the visually impaired. For the hearing impaired there are products to choose from including hearing amplification devices and hearing aids. --Audrey Leonard