Access & Inclusion

Access & inclusion - hei whakatapoko mō tātou

Auckland Arts Festival is committed to making the Festival accessible for all audiences.
Click on the Access & Inclusion tab above to view the  full accessible programme.

This year’s programme includes the following services:

Audio described performanceAudio described performances
Audio description is a narration service provided at no additional charge to the patron that describes what the sighted person takes for granted -- those images that a person who is blind or visually impaired formerly could only experience through the whispered asides from a sighted companion. Patrons are  issued with headsets and sit in the auditorium with the headphone in one ear, listening to the description alongside the show.  


Touch Tour performanceTouch tours 
A touch tour allows blind or low vision patrons the opportunity to get up close with elements of the production prior to a show.The content of touch tours varies according to the event, but most include the opportunity to be guided around and touch the set and props and meet some of the cast. This personal tactile interaction helps fill in the gaps for patrons who gain a sense and feel of the production. Meeting the actors gives them an idea of their characters, costumes and voices.

Written notesWritten introductory notes for blind and low vision audiences
These are notes provided prior to the show in accessible formats (electronic structured word document, large print) that give a description of the visual aspects of the show.  These may be appropriate for shows that are largely dialogue driven where audio description is not required but some additional information would help blind and vision impaired audience members to visualize the set, lighting and costumes and aid understanding of the story.  Written notes are supplied to patrons on booking or as soon as possible prior to the event.

NZSL interpreted performanceNew Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreted performances
The Festival is delighted to present a number of shows this year which will have NZSLI performances. Two trained interpreters, situated on the left or right-hand side of the stage, will interpret the script during the performance using NZSL. There are seats reserved for these unique performances that give a clear view of the stage and the interpreters.


video film strip 318 41449NZSL videos with notes on the storyline
These YouTube videos are provided for highly visual performances with little dialogue for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences. They can be viewed at the top of each show page in the Accessible Programme. Specific dates for these shows have the accessible price of $20. 

Relaxed performanceA Relaxed Performance
A Relaxed Performance is a special performance of a show designed to welcome those who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning difficulty.

This means that there will be a relaxed attitude to noise and movement during the performance. Some small changes are made to the light and sound effects and sometimes show content. There will also be a chill-out area available in the venue for patrons to go to during the show if needed. Patrons made to feel secure. A visual story  on what to expect at the venue is supplied to patrons.

Ticket Price
We appreciate that price is also a barrier to accessibility for many patrons which is why tickets are only $20 each for an individual with access requirements and companion for the specific Accessible Programme performances.

Pay What You CanPay What you Can performances
In 2018, we’re throwing open the doors to people who want to give the arts a go, even if they’ve not otherwise felt it possible, for personal or financial reasons. Pay What You Can means, for selected shows, attendees can pay what’s available to them – from $0 to $whatever!

In the New Year, we will be talking to selected community groups and organisations about bringing their network to the Festival via Pay What you Can. If you’d like to recommend an organisation or community for the programme, please contact [email protected]