The Arts

Curtain call for Stagetext CEO Tabitha Allum

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For the last decade, UK arts captioning organisation Stagetext has been led by the dedicated and talented Tabitha Allum. Tabitha steps down from her role as Chief Executive this month and as a leader in the field of accessible arts, Media Access Australia would like to bestow one final title upon her: Expert in Access. Read on to learn why.

Stagetext logo


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Hong Kong art for everyone, By ALL Means

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Media Access Australia recently met with staff from Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong (ADAHK) during their visit to Australia for the Arts Activated conference. Both organisations were able to share experiences in delivering accessible arts programs to diverse audiences.

香港展能藝術會 Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong logo

ADAHK was formed in 1986 as a result of the first Hong Kong Festival of Arts with the Disabled. Promoting arts for everyone takes on a two-directional and complementary approach for the organisation: horizontal and vertical.


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American theatre takes audio description to a new level

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Arena Stage in Washington DC has partnered with the American Council of the Blind to expand its established audio described theatre program to every performance of upcoming productions Fiddler on the Roof and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, Washington, DC


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Digital Theatre productions with captions

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UK not-for-profit captioning organisation Stagetext has partnered with on-demand live arts service Digital Theatre to offer captioned versions of theatre productions.

A digital theatre production is where the play is recorded live and then distributed online, like a ‘film’ of the theatre performance. The addition of captions means that these productions are accessible to Deaf and hearing impaired people around the world.  This is part of the push to provide a different form of physical access when a person cannot attend the performance at the venue.  It also means that the performance is available multiple times and can be watched when the viewer chooses.


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Call for proposals for leading accessible arts conference

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The annual Leadership Exchange in the Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference has called for proposals for pre-conference workshops and conference sessions for its 2015 event which will be held in Washington DC during August.

The professional LEAD network explores practical methods of providing accessibility to the arts as well as sharing information among arts administrators and managers in the field of accessible arts.

The fifteenth annual conference will run at the Kennedy Center from 5-7 August, with pre-conference sessions on 3 and 4 August.

Digital media and technology: 

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Leading Australian arts and disability conference is fully accessible

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The fourth national Arts Activated: Creative Connections conference will be presented in Sydney in late October. The conference is the leading arts and disability conference in Australia and is hosted by Accessible Arts (NSW).

The two-day conference features streams covering access through technology, creative practice, audience development, international collaborations, disability-led practice and community connections. The extensive program features 85 speakers from across Australia and the world.


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Accessible cinema to get a legislative boost in the USA

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Last week the United States Attorney General signed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which recommends amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide captioning and audio description of movies.

The ruling will provide a consistent approach across the United States for cinemas to exhibit closed captioned and audio described movies. While the majority of movies released by American studios have captions and audio description, the number of cinemas making use of these features is varies widely across the country.

Some of the rulemaking inclusions are:


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