W Bro John Little SLGR reports
Work of the VocalEyes charity in enabling the blind or partially sighted to experience theatre performances has been further supported with a grant of £5,000 from London Freemasons.
Established in 1998, VocalEyes uses Audio Description (known as AD) to help theatre venues and producers meet the needs of blind and partially sighted audiences. VocalEyes also facilitates touch tours and accessible information about a production or venue, as well as training for theatre staff.
The live AD, which enables a blind or partially sighted person to experience the theatre, consists of a verbal commentary which provides information on the visual elements of a production. It describes action essential to an understanding of the play, as well as other visual information such as the set design and visual jokes. It is broadcast to the audience member through a special headset.
To help an audience member prepare for their visit to the theatre, VocalEyes provides an audio recording a week before the performance containing information about the set, characters and costumes, as well as access information and contact details.
A touch tour before the show provides an opportunity to explore the set, props and costumes, and meet members of the cast. Large print and braille cast and creative lists are provided.
VocalEyes chief executive, Matthew Cock comments: “There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss including 360,000 people registered blind or partially sighted. We believe that they should have the best possible opportunities to experience and enjoy art and heritage and that cultural participation enriches lives and empowers an individual to engage with the world. There is no doubt this generous donation from London Freemasonry will help us with our mission.”
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.