British Sign Language interpretation service for all new events
Stephen Chaston, Accessibility Officer, with Motorpoint Arena's Outstanding Attitude Award
The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham is a Gold Charter venue that has developed and launched a new BSL service in partnership with audiences and Performance Interpreting, providing tailored BSL interpretation as part of its core programme as well as upon request. Progamming BSL interpretation raises the profile of the service significantly and breaks down barriers that might exist if a service is request-only.
What was the inspiration for this improvement?
At the Motorpoint Arena we recognise the importance of ensuring that all our performances are accessible to all, having already achieved Gold on Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice.
Over the course of the last two years we have seen an increase in the number of requests for BSL interpretation to be available at events, with customers requesting this when booking tickets. As well as this, customer feedback indicated that customers had attended events unaware of the opportunity to request an interpreter, and consequently weren't receiving the best experience available to them.
Can you describe what you did?
In line with our commitment to accessibility, we started conversations with one of the leading BSL interpretation services, Performance Interpreting, who have extensive experience in live music interpretation in the UK.
An arena venue such as ourselves faces a range of challenges when considering suitable locations for an interpreted performance including lighting, adequate space and suitable viewpoints of the stage. With Performance Interpreting we were able to work together find a location that was most suitable both for our customers and the interpreter.
We ran several trials on a variety of different performances, ranging from family shows to live music and comedy events, to ensure that the lighting solution to light the interpreter and the standing position was suitable, with the customer experience the priority.
As a result of a number of successful trials we now offer this interpreting service to all new events that go on sale, with a number of seats held off sale in front of the interpreter location for specific request by customers for this service, these seats are held up until 4 weeks prior to the event date.
We are always looking to proactively promote this interpreter offering, and our aim is to have every event signed and enjoyed by our customers.
Stephen Chaston, Accessibility Officer at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham said:
We’d previously received feedback that customers were unaware they could request an interpreter…so we set out to change that! We started conversations with Performance Interpreting earlier this year and have worked together to find a suitable location for signed performances within the Arena bowl. As a result of several successful trials, we now offer the interpreter service across all of our events and proactively promote the service via our website and social media channels. Our aim is for as many Deaf British Sign Language Users as possible to enjoy as many events as possible! We’re absolutely delighted that our efforts have been recognised and wish to thank Attitude is Everything for this award.