Communicate information about audio described performances effectively to a broad range of people with tips from this handy guide.
What is Audio Description (AD)?
Audio Description (AD) in theatre is a way of capturing the visual elements of a production for blind and partially sighted audience members.
Understanding the audience for AD
Gaining an insight into the existing and potential audience for audio described performances can inform your marketing and audience strategies. It can also inform your decisions around programming and service development.
Clear and consistent communication strategies will ultimately help your organisation achieve its aims in making a commitment to access and inclusion.
Who is AD for?
The primary target audience for AD is visually impaired people (VI). The term VI can be used to cover a range of people with a very broad range of sight levels. Generally they are broken down into two groups: blind and partially sighted.
AD users can fall into either of these categories and each individual may have a different perspective.
- Focus on how patrons see themselves: their preferences, outlooks and beliefs
- Don't make assumptions about how much people can see
What motivates them?
People with sensory impairments think a good theatregoing experience is one where they feel they have had an equal experience.
Once someone has had a good experience at a venue, whether at an assisted performance or not, they are more likely to become repeat attenders.
Blind or visually impaired people are less likely to want to, or be able to, come to the theatre alone. Some, mainly older people, enjoy attending clubs, groups or voluntary organisations.
However, around 15% of people who participated in the Network 1,000 survey (a survey of the opinions and circumstances of visually impaired people in Great Britain) said they do not do any leisure activities outside the home.
- Promote your desire to offer equal access
- Be transparent about any difficulties that you face in providing equal access
- Engage with local blind and partially sighted people to help find solutions to those barriers
- Encourage people to come with friends or create opportunities for meeting and talking to others
- Let blind and partially sighted people know about companion concessions
Download the guide to read on:
Marketing for Audio Description (PDF)