Deaf and hearing loss access

Deaf and hearing loss access

What does ‘deaf and hearing loss access’ mean?

Providing options for deaf and hard of hearing people to have their access needs met and engage with the arts more equitably. Examples of this could include BSL interpreted and/or captioned performances.

Why is this important for arts and cultural organisations participating in This is Croydon – London Borough of Culture, to consider?

We wish to move the collective thinking beyond the boringly obvious – that access to arts in public spaces is a legal right (which of course, it is!).

Instead we aim to elevate and champion the creative quality which will be unleashed in Croydon when everybody is invited to take part.

Croydon is home to an incredibly diverse population, including a rich community of deaf and hard of hearing people.

A cultural programme which reflects Croydon authentically will drive the quality and innovation of our programme in turn, not only for disabled people, but for everybody.


Below, you will find resources to support you in making your event/venue more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people. These include examples of:

  • A Visual Story

    This can help deaf people to plan; their visit to your event, how to interact with your building and how they can interact with activities taking place. These documents can include information on BSL interpreters, BSL users within venue teams, and captions, as well as transport links, start, interval and finishing times, ticket purchasing and validating on arrival, venue facilities, venue auditoriums and breakout spaces, and artists and staff members that the viewer may expect to meet on their visit. You can offer these as documents with pictures in (as seen here) and/or as a video version (that shows a recording of the journey from various transport links to your event destination, details of your venue layout, entrance/exit routes and its facilities, and your staff members/artists) If anyone is speaking in this video ensure it is captioned or signed in BSL.

  • A lateness policy

    This is a policy created to recognise that lateness can be a result of the ways in which ableist society disadvantages the deaf, disabled and neurodiverse community. With this in mind, this policy can be put in place at your workplace to ensure your workplace is less ableist. This includes applying a ‘latecomers welcome at all times’ attitude to your event.

  • Access Icons

    These can be used when marketing your event. These icons aim to make accessible performances/venues easily recognisable to those who require it. Events happening across London Borough of Culture – This is Croydon should be using these icons whenever they have one of the access provisions listed provided at/for their event.

  • An Access Rider template

    An access rider is a document created by or with a person with access needs (or their carer) to help project partners, venues and collaborators understand how they can support this person with regards to their access needs. It might include information about language definitions, as well as needs around travel, accommodation, meetings, rehearsal spaces, quiet spaces, residencies, performances and information on how to include the access rider into contracting.

  • The models of disability

    These descriptions of the different models of disability can help inform (or refresh) an understanding of disability terminology and approaches.

  • An access coordinator role breakdown

    This document is an example of the different roles that an Access Coordinator working in a theatre company could cover. These roles should regularly be assessed and updated to consider new learning, understanding and awareness.