VocalEye Descriptive Arts

 "VocalEye helps me experience what everyone else in the theatre can see."  VocalEye's described performances include brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes ten minutes before curtain. Once the show begins, important visual details and physical actions are described between the characters' lines. All descriptions are voiced live and in real time by a trained Audio Describer. Only VocalEye users can hear the description through a small handheld receiver and simple headset, available from the VocalEye table in the lobby. Patrons are welcome to use their own earbuds or portable headphones, if preferred. Touch Tours may be offered at select performances, where VocalEye users and their guests are invited to the stage for a guided tour of the set, props and costumes. Cast and crew are often on hand to share backstage secrets and answer questions.  VocalEye’s Theatre Buddy volunteers are available to guide able-bodied Members age 18 and over from a designated meet up location to and from selected theatres for the described performance. Theatre Buddies must be arranged in advance. Tickets for VocalEye described performances are purchased through the theatre company’s Box Office, unless otherwise instructed. Ticket prices include all applicable VocalEye services and equipment.  VocalEye Memberships are free to anyone with vision loss. Membership includes a subscription to VocalEye’s e-newsletter, Theatre Buddy assistance, convenient pickup of equipment without a deposit, ticket discounts and rebates where possible. We describe theatre for young audiences as well as adults. We've described special events including Fireworks and an Alice Cooper concert as part of our research and development. Purpose: VocalEye's programs and services help to lower barriers to participation in theatre, arts and cultural events for people with vision loss. We also promote access to theatre, arts and cultural events through education and outreach.  Participants: people of all ages who are blind, visually impaired or partially sighted.  Outcomes: Attendance has increased from 78 in 2010 to 298 at the end of our 4th season. The number of productions described has increased from 15 to 28 per year. The number of theatre partners has increased from 5 to 10.

Framework/Philosophy: Living with vision loss can be isolating. Our programs are designed to make participation in the arts easier for people who are blind and visually impaired. A good part of what we do involves education and building bridges between communities: between the low vision community and the arts community and between the low vision community and the sighted community.

Time: September 2010 - Ongoing
Location: Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Victoria
Art Modalities: Drama/Theatre, Storytelling/Poetry

VocalEye Descriptive Arts
Steph Kirkland, Executive Managing Director
Email: director@vocaleye.ca | Web: www.vocaleye.ca | Phone: 604-364-5949

Image Source: www.vocaleye.ca