On the eve of Captioning Awareness Week 2022, Stagetext launches the Captioning Display Standards, which are now available for theatres and production companies providing captioned performances.
With more and more venues providing captions in-house, we believe it is important for professionals in the industry to recognise what high quality captions look like, as well as how to avoid providing poor quality access.
These standards have evolved over the twenty-two years Stagetext has been captioning in theatres. Stagetext also consulted with the Theatre Captioner Network (TCN), professional captioners trained by Stagetext, creating and delivering quality captions in theatres across the UK. This has resulted in a practical resource, which will guide theatres towards recognising accessible captions that always have the end user in mind.
Captioning is a complex job, with captioners studying for up to a year before being qualified. There is far more to consider than can be shared in a digestible document and as such this guide is not a technical manual for captioning, but a guide to empower theatres to provide and advocate for high quality access for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. It will mean venues are able to recognise good practise and that they are meeting the requirements of deaf audiences. Inaccessible captions are a waste of time and money for all concerned, including your audience.
Offering open captions at performances means that venues create a better audience experience for deaf, deafened and hard or hearing customers. However, we also know that many other people find the inclusion of captions increases their enjoyment of the theatre.
Stagetext will always advocate for the inclusion of high-quality captions that provide the end user with a quality experience that is equable to those of hearing audiences.
From 14 to 20 November, Stagetext will be celebrating Captioning Awareness week and asking venues to offer a quality experience to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences. Here’s more on how venues can get involved, including a series of free events for professionals.