If you have a question that is not answered here, please ask us.
What is Audio Description?
Audio Description provides visual information for people who are blind and partially sighted.
What is Live Audio Description?
Live Audio Description (or Live Description) is voiced and transmitted in real time during a theatre performance or other live event, to people who are blind or partially sighted.
How does Vocaleye’s Live Description work?
Only VocalEye users can hear the description through the equipment provided. Described performances begin with a brief introduction to the locations, characters and costumes ten minutes before the show begins. During the show or event, the important visual details and physical actions are described between the lines of dialogue.
How do I use the equipment?
VocalEye members can pick up their equipment at the VocalEye table in the performance venue one hour before the show starts. The handheld receiver is easy to use, battery-operated and tuned to our private FM radio signal. Each unit includes a volume control dial and comes with a single earpiece that can be worn on either ear. Our receivers are compatible with most personal earbuds and headphones with a standard 3.5 mm jack.
Does VocalEye describe every performance?
VocalEye typically describes only one or two performances in the show’s run. All described performance dates are listed under In-Person Events
How do I purchase tickets to a described performance?
You may purchase tickets by calling the theatre’s Box Office and mentioning VocalEye (unless otherwise instructed on the Event’s page). Ordering your tickets by phone ensures that your equipment will be reserved and that you receive the lowest VocalEye ticket rate. This ticket price applies to the VocalEye user and extends to one sighted guest (some exceptions may apply). Please indicate if you are bringing a guide dog or if you have partial vision or other seating preferences. Seating options may be limited.
How much does it cost?
VocalEye’s description services are included in the price of the event ticket. Additional services are available at no cost to VocalEye users.
What’s a Touch Tour?
Touch Tours bring VocalEye users to the stage for a hands-on introduction to selected props, costumes and set pieces from the show, with assistance from the cast and crew. Touch Tours are offered only at selected performances.
What’s a Theatre Buddy?
VocalEye Theatre Buddies are volunteers trained in basic sighted-guiding techniques. Buddies are available to guide adult members (age 18 and over) from a designated meet-up location to and from the theatre. While at the theatre, Buddies assist members with picking up tickets, equipment and seating. The designated meet-up location for each venue is close to public transit.
How do I reserve a Theatre Buddy?
VocalEye members can reserve a Theatre Buddy by email or by calling 604-364-5949. We require at least 3 days’ notice for a reservation. VocalEye Theatre Buddies are volunteers trained in basic sighted-guiding techniques. Buddies are available to guide adult members (age 18 and over) from a designated meet-up location to and from the theatre. While at the theatre, Buddies assist members with picking up tickets, equipment and seating. The designated meet-up location for each theatre is close to public transit.
How can I become a Theatre Buddy?
Sighted Guide Basic Training is required and we offer free workshops several times per year. If you would like to become a Theatre Buddy volunteer, please apply here.
What do Describers do?
VocalEye Describers view a performance at least 3 times, making notes on the design elements (set, costumes, props), characters and physical action. These notes are then transformed into two scripts:
- Introductory Notes are read before the show to provide the listener an overview of the context, style and design of the production and an introduction to the main characters and locations
- Action Notes are a combination of prompts, reminders and fine-tuned phrases that concisely and vividly describe important physical action. All action description must be worded and timed to fit between lines of dialogue.
How do I become a Describer?
VocalEye Describer training is offered when demand and resources permit (usually every other year). Please check our website and our newsletter for announcements on upcoming training and workshops.
How do I get a show or event described?
If you are a theatre patron who is blind or partially sighted, please contact the theatre, producer or arts organization and make a request for described, accessible programming. They need to hear that there is a demand. If you are a theatre company, arts organization, artist or performer who would like to make your event more accessible for blind and partially sighted patrons, check our Professional Development resources or consider booking a consultation.
What’s the difference between Live Audio Description and Verbal Description?
“Verbal description” is a term often used to refer to accessible descriptions of visual art, artifacts and architecture. Sometimes called “visual description”.
What’s the difference between Live Audio Description and Descriptive Video?
Live Audio Description is delivered “live” and in “real-time” as the action is happening. The describer writes their own notes and voices them in real-time, between the lines of dialogue. For Descriptive Video, the script is created by a writer and timed to fit the available space in the film. Trained voice talent will then read the writer’s description, creating an audio track that will be synchronized with the film’s scenes. The use of synthetic voice, Text to Speech software and now AI, are cheap shortcuts preferred by many producers. We shout out all our colleagues who employ human voices and Blind narrators!