Gravity Access Services
We offer a range of services to make live performance more accessible to audience members with diverse sensory modalities and physicalities. These include live and recorded Audio Description services, pre-show Haptic Access Tours, ASL referral services, Site Visits, Media Assessments and General Accessibility consulting to assess and advise artists, producers, venues and events on best practices for making their presentations as accessible as possible.
Live Audio Description
Audio Description provides access to the visual elements – action, costumes, settings, gestures, facial expressions, objects and other visually communicative elements – of theater, dance or live art performances, television/film screenings, museum exhibitions, academic or industry presentations, even sporting events. Almost any event that has a meaningful visual component can be made more accessible thru Audio Description. Audio Description (AD) is usually a live audio track spoken by one of Gravity’s Professional Audio Describers to patrons with visual impairments through a wireless headset system, but the service may also be pre-recorded if appropriate.
Gravity’s Audio Description Team is comprised of performers, themselves professional dancers and actors trained by Gravity Artistic Director Jess Curtis to provide clear and engaging descriptions of the meaningful visual details of a performance that might otherwise be inaccessible to audience members with visual impairments.
For live productions Gravity’s service includes the use of our wireless headset system and a muffled microphone setup suitable for use in small venues and rooms without sound separated tech facilities.
For productions with a longer presentation life or videos, Gravity can also produce recorded audio description tracks in collaboration with the artists involved.
Haptic Access Tours
In tandem with the audio description Gravity helps to construct and present a live pre-show tour that allows patrons to haptically (thru touch, their own movement, hearing and kinesthetic senses) experience the space, performers, costumes and objects in addition to key movement elements in the performance. Usually lasting 20 to 30 minutes and ending 30 minutes before house opening, these tours lay a multi-sensory foundation to support the audio description service and are intended to focus on access for patrons with visual impairments The Haptic Acces Tour is not generally offered to curious sighted patrons who are not accompanying a visually impaired person, although on occasion we offer, by pre-arrangement, an example Tour that is open to the greater public in order to share the practice with other artists or theater managers or audience members, but this is only by pre-arrangement
General Extra-Visual Accessibility Services
As part of Gravity’s services, our associate, blind activist, and visual access consultant, Tiffany Taylor, will assess the PR/Marketing and other materials connected to your event (such as box office forms, evening program formats etc.) and offer accessible solutions to make sure all audience members have access to all the services and information surrounding your event.
Gravity is excited to offer these services to help you make your events more accessible to diverse audiences. We are striving to provide an affordable, mobile service at a reasonable cost so that smaller, independent venues, producers, and artists are able to provide access to more diverse communities. We hope to make live contemporary performance more accessible to people across a range of sensory modalities and physicalities and to advance Bay Area practices of access accommodation in the performing arts.