Audio Description and AD+ training service

Live Audio Description is a verbal commentary that lets visually impaired theatre/event-goers know about the visual elements of a performance as they happen, that otherwise might be missed.

The description includes details that are necessary to the understanding of the story, such as visual humour or dramatic action. A describer will succinctly state what is physically happening on stage such as: body language and facial expressions; changes of set, scenery, and props. This is delivered in the gaps between the characters’ dialogue so as not to talk over them.

How the blind or partially sighted person hears the description will depend on what equipment the venue is using. Usually it will be through a discreet infra-red or radio headset, or via Wi-Fi using earphones and an app on their own smart phone, or using the venues’ own iPods.

Audio Description service

As a qualified Audio Describer for live events I can provide:

Pre-show introduction notes:
These include detailed information to set the scene for the story; key sets, props and scenery, and descriptions of the main characters and costumes.
It will be provided to you as a Word document and a media file. Before the show you can forward this to any blind and partially sighted patrons who have booked for the AD itself. I will read the notes live 15 minutes before the start of the performance. This is an ideal way for your blind and partially sighted patrons to test that their headset equipment is working.

Touch Tour assistance:
Being able to go onto stage before an audio described performance is an essential way for patrons to gain a greater understanding of the scale of the set, key costumes and props. I will help you facilitate the tour.

Live Audio Description of the show:
I will prepare a script in advance and deliver it live at the pre-specified performance.

Additional delivery of the live AD at subsequent performances is available at a reduced rate

Please note:

  • A video recording of the show (DVD or media file) will be required in advance (at least one month) and I’ll need to see the performance at least once, plus do a full technical dry-run before the AD.
  • I’ll need access to an area with either a live or monitor view of the stage. I’ll need a pair of headphones with integral microphone and a small sound-mixing desk.
  • You will need the necessary equipment to enable visually impaired patrons to hear the description. Options include: infra-red or radio systems, and Wi-Fi-based systems that run off iPods or patrons’ own smart phones plus earphones.
a photo showing my audio description set up for a live theatre show in the corner of a technicians room. There is a live monitor relay of the stage, an open laptop, headphones with a microphone and a small mixing desk.
A cosy corner for my Audio Description delivery.

The AD+ service:

To help you improve your AD provision for your blind and partially sighted visitors I can provide specific training for you and your teams:

Comprehensive advice: what’s involved in setting up an Audio Described event or performance; working with production teams; equipment required and maintenance; FoH staff training.

Building your audience: marketing and outreach work; developing interest and engagement.

Checklists and resources: step-by-step guidance and resources to help you successfully deliver an AD performance.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not training on how to become an Audio Describer.

“It’s so important to a disabled person to be treated as another human being and being able to interact with others in the same way as they can.  It was certainly due to Trish and her awareness and hard work for Access that has done this for me.”
Jenny, a theatre-goer with a visual impairment, Bristol

Please note:

  • The service includes up to 4 hours of contact time, made up of the training session plus any time spent in one-to-one advice sessions (but not the AD prep itself).
  • Additional assistance will be charged at a pre-agreed hourly rate

I qualified as a describer on the VocalEyes Theatre Audio Description Training course in 2019. I have provided professional Audio Description for the following:

& Juliet – the musical at The Shaftesbury Theatre, London – 10 March 2020

Flexible rates

Please contact me to discuss pricing options. Discounts for smaller venues or community groups are available. I will always work with you to accommodate your budget.

Please fill in the form below or contact me directly to discuss any of these options in more detail: