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Access into Action webinar series

Posted: 1 July, 2020

Arts & Disability Ireland presented Access into Action, a webinar series developed to support Irish arts and culture professionals to create accessible content and experiences for audiences with disabilities.

Access into Action provides practical knowledge that can be put into immediate action. Each webinar provided a brief context, explored why an aspect of access is important, discussed the benefit for audiences, shared practical know-how and closed with a facilitated Q&A to ensure participants get the most out of each session.

This series forms part of ADI’s Dublin Access Partnership, which has been running since August 2018 and is embedding a more holistic approach to accessible arts programming for audiences with disabilities.

To kick-start the series, we had Oli Webster, Programme Systems Manager at Stagetext, who presented Subtitling Online Content on Tuesday 14th July at 11am.

In this 60-minute webinar, Oli gave a quick overview of online access for audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing, along with a taster of Stagetext’s longer series of free training videos, available to view here.

Oli also briefly covered some of the reasons we use subtitles, the wider benefits of their usage, some quick tips for improving the online access you offer, and finally there will be a 20-minute Q&A session.

This webinar is now available to view here.

Next up, we had Roz Chalmers, a member of the resident team of describers in London’s National Theatre, The Old Vic Theatre, Chickenshed and the Park Theatre, who presented Writing Accessible Introductions on Tuesday 28th July at 11am.

In this 60-minute webinar, Roz gave an overview of accessible introductory notes for online performances for audiences who are blind or visually impaired.

Roz also shared why it’s important to create introductory notes, the benefits and their impact, some quick tips for writing the introductory notes, and finally there will be a 20-minute Q&A session.

This webinar is now available to view here.

Each webinar has open captions provided by Stagetext.


Oli Webster
Hello! I’m Oli, Programme Systems Manager at Stagetext. What this means is I manage the digital subtitle programme, and our internal tech and processes across programmes. I graduated from Durham University with a BSc in Psychology, did a stint in marketing analysis at an energy price comparison website, and then the stars aligned and I made the move to Stagetext! I’ve always been enthusiastic about theatre and the arts, both as an audience member and actor, performing in shows at school, university, the Chickenshed Theatre, and Arcola Theatre as part of their Queer Collective community group. As a deaf person myself, I always relied on Stagetext as a user to be able to enjoy the theatre, so when the opportunity to join the team appeared, I knew that’s where I needed to be, bringing together the analytical skills I learned studying science and doing marketing analysis, with my love of arts and theatre, and my personal vendetta to make the world a more accessible place for people like me.

Roz Chalmers
Roz Chalmers has been working in audio description for over twenty years.  She is part of the resident team of describers in London’s National Theatre, The Old Vic Theatre, Chickenshed and the Park Theatre.  She also works as a freelance audio describer for VocalEyes. She has described drama, musicals, comedy, opera, circus, ballet and contemporary dance, outdoor events and arena shows as well as architecture and collections in museums, galleries and heritage sites.  She is an audio description trainer and apart from the UK has trained describers in the US, Hungary, Portugal and Hong Kong.  During the pandemic she has been providing recorded audio description for streamed productions and regular online workshops for small venues and individuals in the UK and elsewhere to help them improve their offer to people who are blind and visually impaired.

Now we want to hear from you… What are the topics you’d like to see covered in our future webinars as part of this series? What practical knowledge will help you and your organisation put Access into Action?

Share your thoughts and ideas by emailing today!

Categories: Artists, The Arts, Uncategorized

Tags: Access into Action, Audio description, Captioning, Subtitles, Webinar series

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