Accessibility Case Study – National Theatre

The sort of things we do at the National
might include assisted performances for instance audio described performances for blind people touch tours before a show
that’s a real highlight it’s a highlight for our staff the actors the technicians it’s a
real inclusive fun experience and caption performances we regularly do caption performances to
include deaf and partially hearing people and there are a lot of other facilities that might go well i was thinking this week we’ve had a lot of personal requests that might come in and why not we have two and a half thousand
people are coming here every single evening for our three theatres and this week
we’ve also got shows on tour so we have assisted performances on tour
this week in Newcastle tomorrow night and Windsor last week described and captioned so maybe there is a certain focus there on our assisted performances there is a lot of other work that goes on that’s just discrete and is everyday fifteen thousand
people a year I’m told that use our headsets are partially hearing and they’re people who just sit and they love their theatre and they’ve lost a certain hearing and they just want to be included that’s fantastic summer
people I remember very much the first time someone said they want to bring their guide dog here and you know what we were one of the few
theaters surprisingly who weren’t admitting guidedogs into the
auditorium and we learnt and we learnt through asking people and and we
made those assessments and now we wouldn’t dream of going back from that so I mean not
that’s one and that’s a customer experience they’ve got the information
they got the knowledge their own experience training is utterly important it’s also the commitment to kind of
refreshing that training as well giving people opportunities to kind of learn and learn as a group and not feel exposed not feel vulnerable yeah make mistakes but its customer care it’s customer care principles it’s nothing
special on top it’s something every member of staff in the front of house area adds to and access very much underpins
the quality of the experience at the National Theatre but
it underpins in a most extraordinary fashion it
will underpin the visitor experience the member of the audience as you say maybe the hundred people who work in front
of house are contributing to that experience it also underpins
our sense of value around the whole company at large we’ve had the most fantastic time recently
with War Horse which is transferring to the West End
but we’ve had some most wonderful experiences with touch tours with
actors stage managers we’ve taken people blind people up in the drum for instance that’s quality that really is quality
getting people together so they can ask independently thier own questions
and have their own experience sometimes it’s not about we’re going to
interpret this for you and in a way that’s a quality we’re looking for is to
be as transparent as possible and to be as open and as friendly as possible

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