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Course to fill gap in trained audio describers

21 February 2014
By Ben Jones
A shortage of audio describers in Wellington prompted Arts Access Aotearoa to offer a free audio describer workshop in March. It is now calling for applications from people wanting to participate in the three-day workshop.

Nicola Owen audio describes the New Zealand Opera production of The Bartered BrideArts Access Aotearoa is organising the training in partnership with Wellington City Council and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 5pm 26 February.

Audio description makes theatre and other live performances and events such as musicals, concerts and gallery tours accessible to blind or partially sighted audiences.

In between the pauses in dialogue

Audio describers provide a live, objective description of the action and visual elements of performance. This includes descriptions of the characters, costumes, movement and gestures, props, lighting, action and facial expression provided in between pauses in dialogue, sound effects and sometimes music.

Robyn HuntThe two trainers are Robyn Hunt, who runs communication company AccEase and has vision impairment, and Nicola Owen, one of the first trained audio describers in New Zealand.

"It is great to see the enthusiasm for audio description in Wellington from people who are keen to implement it in their performance or exhibitions, and those who enjoy the richer experience it brings,” Robyn says. “Now we need more trained audio describers to meet and grow the demand.

“Audio description has deepened my enjoyment of theatre and encouraged me to go beyond listening to opera to attending audio described productions. Audio description makes performances and guided tours much more satisfying and memorable"

Solid grounding on introductory day

The introductory day on 9 March will provide participants with a solid grounding in the use of audio description and the access requirements of blind and vision impaired patrons.

At the end of the day there will be an audition process for those wishing to attend further training over the weekend of 29 and 30 March. This intensive training programme will focus on practising audio describing skills and developing scripts.

People who complete the full programme will enter the pool of trained audio. To apply for training you must be articulate, pay attention to detail, have experience in performing arts, and be computer literate.

For more information and application forms contact Claire Noble, Community Development Co-ordinator, Arts Access Aotearoa (E: claire.noble@artsaccess.org.nz T: 04 802 4349).

Course to fill gap in trained audio describers

 
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