Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (48)

Joan Burton

Question:

48. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to increase the provision of audio description captioning for the hard of hearing and the availability of Irish Sign Language interpretation at the national performance venues of the State; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24278/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

This is a day to day operational matter for national cultural institutions and other performance venues which are autonomous bodies.

The Deputy may wish to be aware that the National Concert Hall caters for hard of hearing patrons through the provision of infrared assistive listening devices within the building.

The Abbey Theatre offers a range of services for visitors with disabilities including performances that are audio described, captioned and Irish Sign Language interpreted. Seats are reserved to give the best possible experience.

In addition, the Arts Council funds organisations such as Disability Ireland to provide audio description and captioning for the hard of hearing. For example, Arts Council funding for touring will usually include a requirement and the resources for the receiving house to hire in the audio description and caption technical materials and for any conversion needed.

Organisations can also apply to my Department for capital grants towards the cost of enhancements or improvements in arts and culture facilities. For example, Siamsa Tire- the Irish folk theatre installed a system which allows patrons with hearing aids to tune in to an amplified sound channel and improve their experience. On occasion Siamsa has also worked with Arts & Disability Ireland to provide Irish Sign Language on certain shows.