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Case study: Arts and Disability Ireland

1 February 2011

Arts and Disability Ireland is a national arts development organisation, based in Dublin. Pá¡draig Naughton, Director of Arts and Disability Ireland, talks to Arts Access Aotearoa about Arts and Disability Ireland's role, some of its key partnerships and projects, and its plans for 2011 and beyond.

One of the things he is most pleased to have achieved is its provision of audio description and captioning services for live performance in Ireland.

“We pioneered this work in 2006, with funding support from the Arts Council. This enabled us to buy audio description and captioning equipment; train people to become audio describers and captioners; and work with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin to run a pilot project. From two assisted performances in 2006, the Abbey Theatre now offers a captioning and an audio description performance for every production. There are also notes in Braille, large font and audio.

"It’s definitely building new audiences for the theatre. On Saturday 4 December last year, when we had all that snow, most places cancelled their performances but the Abbey Theatre stayed open and played to an almost full house. This included six visually impaired or blind people and 12 Deaf people.  Because the service is offered for each production, people know about it and can plan ahead.


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