How to make your student theatre show more accessible

Improving physical access

  • Use an accessible venue for your audition, workshop and rehearsals
    All the Level 2 Rooms in Union House are wheelchair accessible.
    Training Rooms on Level 3 of Union House, Frank Tate 106 and Doug McDonell 113 are also accessible, but only bookable after hours.
  • Perform in an accessible venue
    Union and Guild Theatres are wheelchair accessible. Ask the Casual Theatre Worker for help in using the wheelchair lifter in Union House, and when removing seats in the Guild Theatre.
    Use the DIG Collective’s Performance Venue Checklist to audit the accessibility of other venues.
  • Provide seating in foyer for patrons who do not have the ability to stand up for long periods
  • Provide an allocated welcoming space for guide dogs, and have a water bowl available in case it is needed
  • Provide information on accessible parking on campus

Improving communication and information access

  • Use this Website Audit checklist as a guideline to create and improve website accessibility
  • Use the appropriate accessible symbols on your marketing collateral, website and social media posts
  • List your show’s content warnings on the ticketing website and Facebook Event. Leave a copy at Front of House and brief your ushers/Front of House Manager in case audience members ask them for more information
  • Download the National Relay Service (NRS) app
    Making calls is free, but you will need to register to receive internet relay and captioned relay calls
  • Use plain English in your marketing and publicity posts
  • Create a targeted marketing — for example, if there is an Auslan interpreted performance of your show, have you promoted the event to Deaf networks?

Arts and Disability Awareness Training

  • Have a dedicated Access Officer or an access team for your company and your show
  • Throughout semester, UMSU Disabilities department are holding a series of workshops and talks aimed at disabled and non-disabled students about how to make accessible, exciting and representative art. The workshops and talks will be across theatre, visual arts, dance, music and anything else in between.
  • Contact Arts Access Victoria to find training opportunities for members of your company

Create audience development by making performances inclusive and accessible

  • Create an Access budget line for your company and your show to fund accessible performances
  • Consider staging an Audio Described, captioned and/or Auslan-interpreted performance
    If you are doing an Audio Described performance, consider doing a Tactile Tour
  • Captioning is often free but can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Plan accordingly and use this captioning guideline to help you
  • Create Reserved Seating area for your accessible performances, e.g. to ensure your Deaf audience members can see the interpreters clearly during the performance

Offer an accessible ticketing scheme

  • Companion Card
    Union House Theatre are affiliated with the Companion Card program.
    A Companion Card allows people with a significant permanent disability to bring a carer along with them (for FREE) when they attend a performance. It simply ensures that people who are unable to attend venues and events without a companion, are not charged two admission fees.
    Allow someone who presents a Companion Card at the box office to purchase 2 tickets for the price of 1, and promote this on your Facebook Event and Ticketing website with the sentence: “We accept Companion Cards” and a link to http://www.companioncard.org.au/
  • Offer ‘Pay As You Feel’ or 2 for 1 ticketing scheme for performances projected to have low attendance (e.g. a matinee)
  • Offer discounts for preview performances and concession card holders
  • Offer multiple ways to book tickets