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A list of helpful resources for making content accessible

Dear Theatre Industry colleagues,

Here are a few pointers that we have collated for your consideration as you and your teams or audiences navigate the online space, where we now spend a lot of our time.

Looking forward to continuing to work with you on the other side of COVID-19.

Best wishes,

Ramps on the Moon

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

TIPS AND HOW-TO'S

  • Subtitles for PowerPoint for both Mac and Microsoft operating systems (can also be used for real-time translation).
  • How to Easily Add Subtitles to your Facebook Video Posts.
  • Hashtags: ensure that each separate word in hashtags starts with a capital letter; the difference in legibility for everyone is clear, and is especially important for anyone using assistive software or magnifying the text; ie #ThisIsAMoreLegibleLongHashtag as opposed to #thisisalesslegiblelonghashtag 
  • Add image descriptions in Twitter.
  • Always write alt text when posting on social media; eg on Instagram, this can be found in Advanced Settings before you post, choose Accessibility and then Write alt text.
  • Then take these steps:
    • Explain the images as specifically as possible, eg “a white man is smiling; he has dark hair and wire-rimmed glasses and looks to be in his 40s; he is looking straight into the camera”;
    • If there is important text in the image, include it in your alt text;
    • Include colours in your descriptions;
    • Write something specific to describe the image, rather than just copying and pasting your caption.

  • Where possible, provide a transcript or a script of the content. 
  • For live screenings, include a pdf download link for pre-show information, including content warnings, age guideline, about the show and any clicks through to relevant websites (eg for support); you could push this further and include character/set descriptions and photos etc. You can also use issu to upload a copy of the programme. 
  • If you have videos embedded into your website, include a link to a transcript, audio description and / or any other relevant copy. 
  • Install the Rev Live Captioning for Zoom. This must be enabled by the host, it cannot be enabled by participants. It requires pro-zoom, but is free and available here. (currently a Beta program).
  • Remember that any auto-captioning process will have errors even though it is improving all the time; where possible, generate captions manually or get into the auto-generated captions script and edit them for greater accuracy.
  • There are ways you can make your virtual meeting as accessible as possible, here’s a guide that can be followed post-lockdown as well as during the pandemic Little Cog ‘Accessible Meetings’.

GOOD EXAMPLES

(not an exhaustive list, by any means) 

PEOPLE

Useful accounts on Twitter:

  • Roz Chalmers @Elsiebiades is a captioner and audio describer. 
  • Vicky Ackroyd @VickyAckroyd is an audio describer. 
  • Wayne ‘Pickles’ Norman @PicklesNorman is an audio describer. 
  • Hear The Picture, is a company of actors who have been trained in audio describing @HearThePicture.
  • Michael Kenyon @michaeldkenyon works for VocalEyes. 
  • @VocalEyesAD – experience art and culture through audio description. 
  • @StageText – Captioning and live subtitling, so that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences can access live arts events. 
  • @D_Bellwood (David Bellwood, Access Manager at Shakespeare’s Globe is involved in lots of interesting Twitter chats). 
  • @HeapLorna (Lorna Heap, a champion of accessibility, captioning and theatre, also involved in interesting Twitter chats). 
  • @TheSolarBear is putting out lots of work and tweeting loads of great examples, particularly captioned material. 
  • The Audio Description Association has a directory of audio describers here.

AND BY THE WAY

An important reminder that Zoom comes with its own particular kind of stresses.

This is not an exhaustive or definitive list; some links and resources will be more helpful than others in your particular situation. 

Please feel free to let us know how helpful you have found these tools and resources. If you have anything to add, we can be sure to maintain and refine this list.

SUBMIT A REVIEW FOR

A list of helpful resources for making content accessible

SUBMIT AN ARTICLE

There are going to be plenty of ways to get involved with An Agent for Change across the country as more Agents for Change positions are created more opportunities will arise. This is an exciting time for the development of access and this is your chance to get involved!

If you would like to submit an article from elsewhere, blog post about an experience you have had (positive or negative!) or even a video of something you have seen that helps tell our story of change, you can do it here. Please make your stories compelling and shareable, relevant and provocative, and we’ll do the rest.

Enter the title of your article. Try to keep this descriptive yet short.
Enter a short introduction to your article, summarising what the article is about.
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