Captioning Awareness Week will take place from 11-17 November 2019 at arts venues in London, Sheffield, Bolton, Watford and Hull, including the National Theatre, the British Library and Sheffield Theatres. The campaign will see theatres, museums, and galleries holding captioned and live subtitled events in order to promote access, find new audiences, and improve people’s experiences within the arts.
Around 11 million of the UK population are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing – that’s 1 in 6 people. Yet fewer than 1% are fluent in British Sign Language.
The charity Stagetext, which coordinates the campaign, says that arts venues need to do more to be inclusive to deaf and hard of hearing audiences. The charity points to a report it published in October 2019, which found that only 19% of theatres list captioned performances on their websites, with 26% failing to share any access information whatsoever.
The charity claims that making arts venues more accessible is important for tackling social isolation, particularly amongst the elderly. A 2016 ComRes poll found that three quarters of older people say that arts and culture is important to making them feel happy, with half saying that arts and culture is important in helping them to feel less alone.
Stagetext is also calling for arts venues to make accessibility integral to its strategy rather than just be viewed as add-on.
For further details about the campaign, visit: http://www.stagetext.org/captioning-awareness-week