The access point of contact
Planning your first BSL interpreted show will require the support of many departments at your venue – whether it’s the technical team organising lighting for the interpreter or an usher learning to communicate with Deaf patrons at your venue.
Ideally, you want everyone in your venue to become a mini-expert, full of information about BSL interpretation that they can share with patrons, other staff or interpreters. However, there’s also huge value in one person – usually the Access Co-ordinator – being a designated point of contact for access at your venue.
Put simply, having the name of someone who can be contacted directly helps Deaf patrons feel that they are contacting a real person (rather than a generic contact). It gives them someone they can ask for when they phone, email or visit your venue, and makes it clear that someone is taking responsibility for access.
Being the designated contact also means that other staff in your venue will know who to come to with any questions, and will copy you in on access matters so you’re aware of everything that’s going on.
Even at this early stage, be sure to add the access contact person’s name and contact details to your venue’s website – and even better, add a photo with a direct email address and phone number.
Knowing what the person looks like will mean Deaf patrons will feel more able to approach you when they meet you in person.