Accessibility to Theater for Deaf and Deaf-Blind People: Legal, Language and Artistic Considerations
International Journal of Interpreter Education
Year of publication
Without accessibility, theater can be meaningless to the deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind consumers. As part of a larger study conducted by B. Kilpatrick (2007), the authors interviewed 38 participants who have been professionally involved in deaf children's theater as to their opinions related to theater accessibility options. Their responses bring forward for discussion options ranging from English text-based accessibility, the closest to the English language, to shadow interpreting, which provides accessibility closest to the play being delivered in full in American Sign Language. Using historical research methods, semi-structured and structured interviews, open-ended questions, archival materials, and published documents on theater interpreting, the authors provide a descriptive commentary about accessibility options based on legal, language and artistic considerations. Following these descriptions, the authors recommend that interpreter training programs include theater interpretation techniques.