The Civic Center is partnering with IRIS to offer new service for the visually impaired beginning with the Willis Broadway Series presentation of LES MISÉRABLES
The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines announced it has partnered with the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service for the Blind and Print Handicapped, Inc. (IRIS) to begin offering free audio description services for blind and visually impaired patrons at upcoming Willis Broadway Series presentations.
Audio description (AD) is a verbal commentary that tells patrons with visual impairments what is happening on stage. The description is woven between the dialogue and music so the patron can follow the performance fully and independently. Using headphones connected to an FM transmitter system, patrons can listen to trained audio describers provide live, verbal descriptions of actions, costumes, scenery and other visual elements of the performances.
IRIS has hired Joel Snyder of Audio Description Associates in Washington, D.C. to train the first IRIS description team. 25 volunteers from central Iowa will complete the training to become the first professionally-trained Audio Description team.
“We’re excited about this new partnership with IRIS to better serve our guests and give them an enhanced and memorable theater experience,” said Civic Center Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Laura Sweet. “The Civic Centers offers a variety of services including large-print and braille programs, assisted listening devices and American Sign Language interpretation for select performances.”
A limited number of devices will be available as the Civic Center begins offering this free service on Sunday, Oct. 7 for the matinee performance of LES MISÉRABLES at 1 p.m. Listening devices must be reserved in advance by Friday, Sept. 14 by calling the Civic Center at 515-246-2381 or by visiting the Civic Center Ticket Office.