Accessing access. The importance of pre‑visit information to the attendance of people with sight loss at live audio described events
Universal Access in the Information Society
Year of publication
Tourism scholars propose that lack of knowledge is a major barrier for people with a disability. This article makes links between accessible tourism and quality in media accessibility provision. It explores the importance for people with sight loss of access to x once x has been made accessible. It reports data from a survey relating to the use of and appetite for access information (termed here pre-visit information) provided as part of an audio introduction by the UK charity VocalEyes (VE) for users of audio description services at live events. The majority of participants found the access information useful or very useful. 40% reported using the access information for some shows, 13% for most and 26% for every show. The prospect of VE withdrawing access information left 71% of respondents feeling unhappy to some degree. The study suggests that barriers to access can be overcome through the provision of appropriate verbal information. This needs to be rich, reliable and refect an understanding of the needs of its target users. This research supports theoretical overlaps between accessible tourism and media accessibility (MA) as well as calls to expand the domain of MA beyond the boundaries of translation studies where it currently resides.