Sydney Festival expands accessibility

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Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:35pm

The innovative program of events to be staged at the upcoming Sydney Festival is set to be more accessible and inclusive than in past years. The festival runs throughout January 2016 and will feature many performances with specific accessibility components for those with vision, sensory, hearing and mobility impairments and disabilities.

Image of the sensory-friendly ‘Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon’ show.

Audiences at the Sydney Festival will be able to enjoy captioned, audio-described, Auslan-interpreted and relaxed performances, as well as a unique sensory installation, all designed to maximise audience inclusion.

Some of the upcoming accessible performance highlights include:

  • Audio description for the Helpmann award-winning opera The Rabbits.
  • Tactile tour for the world premiere of Pleasure Garden, with a trained audio describer joining the artist and the horticulturalist to present this session.
  • Pre-show description for the Sydney Chamber Opera’s production of Pascal Dusapin’s Passion. Two audio describers provide a pre-show description 30 minutes prior to the performance of program details, along with descriptions of the stage setting.
  • Relaxed performances present a safe and welcoming environment for children on the autism spectrum and people with intellectual disabilities, along with their friends, carers and families. Two performances have been created with this in mind, being the fun and funky Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon and the circus themed Tolu.
  • Live theatre captioning for people with impaired hearing presents the audience with accurate dialogue including ad-libs, song lyrics, musical descriptions and other sound effects, on large screens at the side of the stage. Featured shows include All The Sex I’ve Ever Had, Cut The Sky and The Rabbits.

Complete information on events can be explored by choosing from a variety of accessible media formats on the Sydney Festival website. Choices include MP3, PDF, Interactive PDF, Accessible Performance Guide, Access Calendar and a large print word document. A braille option or audio CD can also be obtained by contacting the Sydney Festival team on 02 8248 6500 or via email.

Media Access Australia can be contacted on (02) 9212 6242 and

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