Making your event accessible

Before

With quarantine in place and the demand for online entertainment higher than ever, we’ve updated this page on how to make your event more accessible online as well.

  • Network with the local Deaf group (check on Google or ask around if there is one) or ask DeafRainbowUK to find an ambassador/advisor
  • Consider what aspects of your event could benefit from improved Deaf access such as BSL interpretation and captions (consider your website, events, social events, cabaret tents, main stages and other events)
  • Consider how you market your event (use a Deaf BSL user to do some promotion of your event to local Deaf people, possibly as a video on your website, if you do have BSL interpreters present for your main event) and ensure it has captions for hard of hearing people and deaf people who may not use sign language.
  • Are there local Deaf LGBT+ performers (eg – dancers, artists) who may want to be part of your event? Try and make sure there is diversity, such as gender parity, race and sexuality.
  • Get in touch with DeafRainbowUK who may be able to forward social media publicity to Deaf people in the UK
  • Consider how to make your online events accessible e.g. Facebook Live, Zoom events etc. by consulting with us on to get an BSL interpreter and have them on screen. It’s best to have the interpreter is well lit and is shown from head to hips and their arms and faces are fully visable, so that visability is good. Also use a platform that does live subtitling, but ensure that one person at a time speaks clearly to ensure the subtitles are as accurate as possible. You also can have prerecorded uploads on YouTube and there is an option to add closed captioning manually which is much better than the auto-generated subtitling that they offer, as you can ensure your subtitling is accurate. In brief, you can view live subtitles in three different ways:

    Via Streamtext (this can be a full screen) – works with any platform
    Letter box captions (looks like subtitles on your TV) – works with any platform. This is the best option for webinars, as everyone can see these subtitles and they work well with PowerPoint slides.
    In-vision subtitles with Zoom – can be quite fast and not as easy to read as letter box captions. Zoom is not the only platform with an integrated caption function. Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Team have this function too to name a few.

During

  • Consider which parts of the event need to be interpreted
  • You may need 3 or more interpreters so there is a chance for the interpreters to have a break. You may want to consider using Deaf interpreters too.
  • Be prepared to share the content of the event to the interpreters so they can prepare interpretation of songs and content beforehand, to offer a more inclusive experience to Deaf attendees. If you use Deaf interpreters, then preparation beforehand will definitely be needed.
  • Ensure that Deaf people have good visibility of the interpreters (possibly close to the front of the stage and consider allocation of a designated space for Deaf people).
  • Make sure that any online context is monitored throughout if it’s a live event/webinar to ensure that there are no technical issues regarding interpreter visablity and captioning errors. 

After

  • Evaluate your accessibility for disabled/Deaf people, what can be improved for future years (get feedback directly from Deaf BSL users themselves as well as the interpreters).
  • Are there any local Deaf performers/artists who may put on a performance/exhibition or be part of your event? Consider how this will be evaluated – if feedback is provided in BSL – how will you manage to translate it? Good practice would be to have a Deaf person in the team.

Examples of best practice are:

Bristol Pride – They have a Deaf coordinator, who advises on Deaf access to Pride, recruits interpreters and sources Deaf performers too!

Pride in London – There are interpreters on stage for all the speeches and performances, and StageText have done captioning.

UK Black Pride – They ask a deaf person to recommend and book interpreters

Brighton Pride – various tents have interpreters (main stage, cabaret tent, and other tents). Coordination is done by a local disability organisation (called Possibility People) and engaging with local interpreters.

Queer House Party Pride Facebook Live – They had events on Fridays during the Coronavirus pandemic where there was an interpreter on the screen

Please do send us more examples if you know of any!

Quality Assurance

All interpreters should ideally be qualified and registered with NRCDP (if you are a small pride with very limited resources, there may be an opportunity for trainee interpreters (but this is only a last resource) To perform, it is essential that interpreters have years of experience, otherwise the quality of translation will suffer. This is why it is good practice to employ a deaf coordinator who will have a better understanding of which interpreters would be best suited to certain jobs.

For further advice, please email hello@deaflgbtiqa.org.uk or contact us via our social media Twitter (@deaflgbtiqa) , Instagram (deaflgbtiqa), Facebook or via our website