Have we allowed the Deaf community to access the Arts during 2020?

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Towards the end of 2020 we decided it was important to find out how COVID19 and the two lockdowns we had endured affected the Deaf community and their access to this sector.  

We devised a short survey and commissioned a professional deaf translator and presenter to create a BSL version of the survey.  This was designed to be played along side the written survey in order to ensure total access for all in the deaf community.  We believe this may be the first time this has been achieved for an Arts survey, and are very proud of this achievement.

We wanted to know if deaf people had accessed any events on line, if so, how many, what the experience was like and what would make them feel more safe and secure when venues re-open so they can see live events in person.

The results we have collected will be very interesting to all those working in the Arts & Cultural Sector.

Contact us for a copy of this report and the questions and responses.

  • 1. We believe the main points of interest to the Arts are these:It is worth consulting with the Deaf community to find out what events they would be most interested in attending (online or in person), so you can arrange the access more effectively and efficiently.
  • 2. Actively consider involving a member of the Deaf community into any online discussion events (there are some talented and knowledgeable deaf professionals out there, in all genres).
  • 3. While there is perhaps more time for staff while venues are closed, they could learn some basic deaf awareness and BSL in readiness to welcome deaf visitors.
  • 4. When we are closer to re-opening venues, providing your staff with clear face masks/coverings is important.  This will ease communication and show a more open and friendly welcome to all visitors.
  • 5. To position a clear announcement of when and how regularly your venue will be ‘deep cleaned’.
  • 6. To have guidance around social distancing around the venue as well as hand sanitiser stations clearly signposted.

If you need any help to find Deaf professionals to invite to a panel; to consult with to find the most appropriate event to book access for; or to teach your staff deaf awareness and BSL – we are here to help.

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