STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY PROGRAMS

GREATER TOGETHER CULTURAL ACCESSIBILITY SUMMIT

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, Shawn Donnelley and Nora Daley have created Chicago’s first Cultural Accessibility Summit geared towards the leaders of cultural institutions. The summit will empower and motivate top level officials to make their cultural institutions accessible to visitors with disabilities.

STEPPENWOLF'S ACCESSIBILITY MISSION

Steppenwolf upholds a three-point mission for their accessibility program:

- To provide interpretive services (Open Captioning, ASL Interpretation and Audio Description) that as closely as possible convey the intentions of the artists to their audience.

- To provide customer service that facilitates independence within a safe, relaxed and welcoming environment.

- To share resources and knowledge with peer theaters in order to elevate the collective level of accessibility programming in Chicago.

AUDIO DESCRIPTION WORKSHOP

In furtherance of this mission and to meet the community’s growing demand for quality audio describers, in conjunction with the League of Chicago Theatres, and with generous support from Open Doors Organization, Steppenwolf hosted an Audio Description workshop on July 17 and 18, 2015. Featuring industry professionals Deb Lewis and Andrea Day, Audio Describers with years of national experience, this two-day introductory workshop was attended by representatives from 15 Chicago-area theaters and performing arts organizations.

The goal for this workshop – based off a successful model created at Steppenwolf over the last five years -- was to enable each participating organization to create and sustain an in-house audio description program that presents the highest quality description to their audience. This was achieved through the training of company members who will become either in-house audio describers at their respective organizations, or access managers who are the best equipped to work with freelance audio describers.