Deaf theatregoers will be able to use smart glasses to access live subtitles at National Theatre performances, thanks to new technology launched recently!
The glasses are the latest addition to the organisation’s access service provision, which includes an infra-red audio loop system and performances with open captions and BSL interpretation.
The National Theatre are also looking to expand the project in the future, with audio description and British Sign Language being two of the organisation’s ambitions for the project.
A total of 90 glasses will be available across all three theatres, and allow users to view captions for any performance from any seat.
Lisa Berger, Executive Director at the National Theatre, reportedly said: “The development of the smart captions glasses is an important step towards giving people a better service, with the freedom and choice around when and how they come to the theatre, and I look forward to seeing the impact the glasses will have, not only at the NT, but in the entertainment industry more widely.”
The launch comes after a year of pilot testing by a user group of deaf and hard of hearing people.
Dave Finch, a key member of the group who is hard of hearing, said the glasses are “the next best thing for providing that sense of involvement”, before going on to add that “without these glasses, I wouldn’t be in the theatre”.
The subtitles glasses can be booked from today for performances Hadestown and War Horse, before becoming available for all shows in the NT’s new season in January 2019.