Welcoming blind and partially sighted patrons to your venue
Before the accessible performance, be sure to go through these tips for welcoming blind/partially sighted people to your venue.
- Make sure that meeting places for Touch Tours and collection points for headsets are out of the general flow of the incoming audience, and that the blind or partially sighted patron is made aware of them in advance.
- When you approach a blind or partially sighted person, remember they may not be aware of your approach. Introduce yourself to the patron and ask if you can help.
- Customers may need support to collect their tickets, headsets and to enter the auditorium.
- Remove any barriers, such as stands or signs, that might get in the way of a blind or partially sighted patron as they walk through your venue
- Make sure that there is plenty of information available in different formats about upcoming audio described performances
- Decide who will guide the patrons (if needed) to their seats. If you are guiding the customer, offer your arm at a comfortable level for them to grip just above the elbow.
- When the journey is over, make sure the customer knows where they are, which direction they are facing and where to go next.
- When you move away from them, say that you are going.
- Plan for taking care of a guide dog. Who would look after it and where?
- Make sure the headsets are clean and charged, and are ready to be given out to your patrons when they arrive at your venue.
- Train your ushers to know what to do if there are problems with headsets or the patron needs guiding to the toilet or the bar
- Advise the patron how they can notify ushers if there are problem with the headsets, or they need guiding.
For more in-depth awareness training for blind and partially sighted patrons, please use this training resource: http://www.savlearning.com/course/view.php?id=4