NEWSREADER: Experiencing the arts has often been frustrating and limited for vision impaired people but it’s hoped a new Smartphone app could provide them with better access to live theatre and events.
JOURNALIST: Enjoying a night at the theatre is something many take for granted.
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But for those with vision impairments, it can be a night they’d rather forget. At the moment they can listen to live audio descriptions of what happens on stage using headphones and an FM radio system. But there’s often interference, poor sound quality or it simply doesn’t work.
JOANNA CHUA, VISUAL ARTIST: As a person who goes to theatre, to live performance, on quite a regular basis, with the FM transmitter, it’s really annoying and really disappointing.
JOURNALIST: An Adelaide company has developed a new Smartphone app called ‘GoTheatrical’ which it says will deliver reliable digital audio quality.
ALEX FRENCH, THE CAPTIONING STUDIO: When people download the app, they connect to the Wifi in the theatre and they run the app and literally press ‘Listen’ to be able to listen to the audio description, and when they’ve had enough, they ‘Stop’, or when the show’s finished, they ‘Stop’. It’s as simple as that.
EMMA BENNISON, ARTS ACCESS AUSTRALIA: There’s an onus on people who are blind or vision impaired to ask for the service at their local venues and theatres, art galleries, conferences, but also on the venues and producers to get on board and take it up because I think it’s going to revolutionise audio description.
JOURNALIST: Talks are already underway with Australian venues and production companies to roll out the new technology, and the company has also set its sights overseas. Emma Rebellato, ABC News Adelaide.