Reserving tickets with box office
In consultation with the technical team, you need to agree on the most appropriate seats for the BSL users, and reserve these with the box office. The seats should have the best possible view of both the interpreter and stage action.
Fundamentally, Deaf audience members using BSL interpretation prefer not to be too far from the action – so that they can see the expressions and body language of the actors and interpreter.
But they also need to be far enough away so they don’t need to do too much head movement (as if watching a game of tennis), as this can obviously be quite uncomfortable for the duration of a long production.
The actual suitable seating area that should be reserved for the Deaf audience will depend on where exactly the interpreter will be standing. Being in the front row may be too close in some venues, but being a few rows back from the front is often an ideal position from which to see both the interpreter and the actors.
You need to consider alternative ways of booking for those who can’t book by phone (due to their deafness). This could be through your website if you have a way of audience members being able to select seats in the right area, or by email, by text message or textphone.
There are also text relay services that enable Deaf people to phone using a textphone via an operator who will act as an intermediary. Your box office should be aware of these methods of booking and they should be clearly shown in your marketing materials.
You should agree how data is collected on the number of Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people booking for the BSL interpreted performance. This is so you know how many people are attending your BSL interpreted performances, and so that you can begin to develop a mailing list of regular patrons.