Arena Birmingham offers first audio-described show

Arena Birmingham has offered audio description to its visitors for the first time at Marvel Universe Live.

Marvel Universe Live
Marvel Universe Live

Following a request from a customer whose sons are visually impaired, Arena Birmingham partnered with VocalEyes to offer audio description of the action-packed show.

The describers, who saw an earlier performance of the show and prepared a script, were able to offer the real-time description via headsets, making the show more accessible to those with all levels of visual impairment.

The describer’s audio is broadcast using a digital radio system, ensuring a good quality reception with a range of between 50-100 metres.

Claire Eccles, who wrote in to the Arena to request audio description, said: “It meant so much to my family that we were able to enjoy Marvel Universe Live with audio description. My sons are both severely visually impaired and love coming to live events, but it’s often hard for them to work out what’s going on. I try my best to explain but it’s difficult.

The smiles when they put the headsets on said it all. They can’t stop talking about the fantastic time they had - it made such a difference to their experience. I can only hope more local venues will follow suit.”

Emma Ball, operations manager at Arena Birmingham, said: "Here at Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena, we put a relentless focus on ensuring our world-class entertainment is as accessible as possible for our broad and varied audiences. Over the past year we’ve worked hard to introduce British Sign Language Interpreters to some of our shows, and Audio Description was the next logical step."

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