Next steps: equipment and describing in-house
Following our audio description training, staff members have formed an Audio Description group, which meets regularly to discuss audio description principles, upcoming events and opportunities. The group experienced an audio described tour of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition at the Arts Gallery of NSW. We have also received ongoing mentoring from Access2Arts staff members and have completed human guide training with Guide Dogs NSW.
We continue to offer audio description at all Council events, when requested, and recently audio described our celebration of International Day for People with Disability 2016, on 7 December with comedian Tim Ferguson and Arts Access Australia CEO Emma Bennison. At the event, which was presented to a live audience of 80 and also live streamed, audio describer Amanda Coombe did a live demonstration to staff and guests, increasing their knowledge and understanding of what audio description is all about. Writer and audio describer Mandy Whitford provided in-ear audio description for several audience members with low vision.
The Australia Council has now purchased audio description equipment (a stationary transmitter, a steno mask, six receivers and headphones, a microphone), so that we have the equipment to be able to easily describe our own events. The process of loaning this equipment to external arts organisations will soon be formalised through our new Audio Description Policy.