Reserving tickets with box office
In consultation with the technical team, you need to agree on the best seats for the caption users, and reserve these with the box office. The seats should have the best possible view of the caption unit (or units) and stage action.
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 show. This is so you know how many people are attending your captioned performances, and so that you can begin to develop a mailing list of regular patrons.
Something to consider with captioning is the “unseen” audience, the people who are making use of the service but who don’t necessarily make themselves known to you or who don’t feel confident talking about their hearing loss.
Some theatres have been able to measure their captioned audience by leaving small cards on seats that patrons are asked to leave in a bucket if they found the captions useful. At a recent matinee performance of a musical at a regional theatre, 50 people had booked seats in the captioned area, but 250 people returned the card to say they found the captions useful.