d/Deaf and Disabled Access for Audiences and Workforce in Theatre

d/Deaf and Disabled Access for Audiences and Workforce in Theatre

UK Theatre has launched training courses to help you deliver best practice on access for d/Deaf and disabled people in theatre audiences and workforce.

Start with the foundation module 'Removing Barriers', and then deepen your knowledge with a range of modules in specialist areas.

**PLEASE NOTE you are able to attend Welcome: Basic Deaf Awareness and / or Removing Barriers as standalone modules. For all other additional modules you will need to have completed Removing Barriers in advance.**

Removing Barriers: A Practical Introduction to Disability Equality 

Whether you work front of house or behind the scenes; are new to the sector or are a senior leader, everyone has a role to play in making theatre inclusive for all. This course will help you be the change.

We will look at why it is so important and some potential benefits before exploring tools and resources for practical implementation. The session will include plentiful examples and signposting to further information and there will be plenty of space for questions and discussion. At the heart of the session is an exploration of ways of thinking about disability and a tool to simplify and demystify the issues.

Build your confidence and knowledge in discussing and tackling access within your organisation. You will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions to ensure that the day is relevant to your area of work. Return energised and inspired, with practical ideas you can implement the next day. 

"Michèle was amazing! She was knowledgable, accommodating and inspiring. She really made this course!"

"Michèle was an excellent facilitator, encouraging open discussion and her fluid approach to what we wanted to gain from the day was fantastic."

"Really well informed and engaging training."

Delegates should attend Removing Barriers or an equivalent training course before attending this module.   

Additional modules

These sessions will be mostly workshop-style with opportunity for you to bring your own examples; you will come away with practical actions you can take to put your learning into practice.

Welcome: Basic Deaf awareness

Two practitioners, one Deaf and one hearing, offer an introduction to Deaf culture, practical steps for providing Deaf people with a warm welcome at your theatre, and some basic British Sign Language along with strategies to facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people. This is a very practical session which will equip you to develop your theatre as a space that Deaf people want to use and be a part of.

Suitable for anybody who works with the public, programmes work, marketing teams, anyone responsible for accessible performances, audience development teams, producers, directors, volunteers.

"I really enjoyed this course and feel much more confident about communicating with Deaf people"

"It was BRILLIANT!  I genuinely don’t think we’ve had a staff training session that’s taken their imagination and been so well received. It was well worth doing."

Delegates should attend Foundation: Disability equality & unconscious bias or an equivalent training course before attending this module.      

Gissa job: D/deaf and Disabled People in the Workplace

Establish principles and practice for ensuring a culture that is as straightforward as possible for D/deaf and disabled people to navigate. Starting with the legal context, them moving beyond into best practice. We will explore recruitment, managing workplace adjustments, and  performance review. The aim is for you to feel more confident in employing D/deaf and disabled people across your organisations.

"It was great to be in a relaxed environment with likeminded individuals who shared best practice and ideas. It was facilitated by Michele brilliantly."

"Michele was a fantastic trainer and facilitator whose knowledge and passion was imparted to us in a safe and comfortable setting."

"Very informative and a great opportunity to be candid without judgment amongst peers." 

Delegates should attend Removing Barriers or an equivalent training course before attending this module.    

Your Building: Beyond Ramps and Toilets

What message is your building giving out to D/deaf and disabled people about how welcome they are? Focus on action-planning for smaller, achievable changes, rather than big capital projects. Leave equipped to take a tour of your building, spot some of the main barriers that D/deaf and disabled people face and remove them. 

Suitable for anyone working in theatre, since we are all impacted by our physical environment. However, it is particularly relevant to those with responsibility for planning and implementing capital projects and for site management.

"I loved it so, so much, I've learned a huge amount." 

"I feel really practically empowered to move forward with an action plan."

"Eye-opening and informative."

Delegates should attend Removing Barriers or an equivalent training course before attending this module.         

Roll up: Communications and Audience Development

Review your approach to marketing and ensure that you reach d/Deaf and Disabled people - not just as a targeted group but as part of your general audience. We will discuss practical strategies for writing content, concessionary pricing,  designing for different media and how technology can support audience development. 

Suitable for marketing and audience development teams and anyone with marketing, audience development or outreach element to their job. 

"The learning environment was brilliant!"

"A big thank you for the relaxed atmosphere, and for sourcing such brilliant course leaders."

Delegates should attend Removing Barriers or an equivalent training course before attending this module.  

Mercury Theatre Pamela Raith Photography

Michèle Taylor is Director for Change at Ramps on the Moon, the Arts Council funded consortium of mid-scale mainstream theatres seeking to increase the number and visibility of D/deaf and disabled people in the industry. She has been delivering training in disability issues for nearly thirty years and has a background as a theatre practitioner, including work with Graeae Theatre. She is committed to ensuring that D/deaf and disabled people’s stories are told in our theatres.

Michèle’s training sessions are interactive and dynamic, with space to bring doubts, anxieties and concerns as well as strategies, ideas and enthusiasm.

Michèle is a registered member of the Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners.


Jeni Draper is Artistic Director of fingersmiths, a visual physical theatre company performing plays in BSL and spoken/written English and also a freelance director. Jeni is a qualified sign language interpreter specialising in performing arts. She runs workshops and delivers consultancy for theatres nationally, interpreters and for young people.

Daryl Jackson is a sign language consultant and linguistic expert in translation. He has worked with many theatres, TV and film companies in this role, monitoring actors and presenters. He has taught Interpreting and Sign Theatre at Universities and regularly delivers workshops nationally. Daryl is also an actor and TV presenter.


£180+VAT, Non-Members

£140+VAT, UK Theatre & SOLT Members, ITC, FST, ABO and ABTT Members


£180+VAT, Non-Members

£140+VAT, UK Theatre & SOLT Members, ITC, FST, ABO and ABTT Members

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