An audience at a performance

Sourcing captioners, describers and interpreters

High quality, trained captioners, describers and interpreters will need to be sourced and contracted. Some theatres have trained members of staff to deliver captioning and/or audio description and this can be a successful model. Otherwise, it is useful to have good relationships with local captioners and describers. If you are a producing company and tour work, it is worth considering touring a captioner and describer with the show in question since this may well be cost-effective, and you can be assured of the quality and consistency of experience for the audience. Interpreters can be sourced locally in most areas. It is important, though, to book an interpreter who has experience in theatre interpreting since an interpreter may be very skilled in interpreting in a conference or community setting but not be familiar with the particular demands of the theatre context.

You may well find that D/deaf people have their favourite interpreters and blind and partially sighted people have their favourite describers. This is because, in the delivery of these services, the particular skills and personality of the provider come through. This is another good reason to monitor audience responses since you may get a sense of who are the more popular providers for your local audiences.

Now go to: Prepping captioners, describers and interpreters