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CHAPTER 7: MISCELLANEOUS

 

This page covers:

Section 21 - Theatre

Section 22 - Cinema

Section 23 - Museums and art galleries

Section 24 - Auctioneers

Click on the links in the left hand column to see the other sections

 

Section 21 - Theatre

Many people who have an acquired hearing loss say they still like to attend the theatre.  This section contains some strategies that people have found useful.

21.a.  Preparation

1.  I always try to book my seats well in advance so that I can get a seat that is good for me to see/hear what is going on.

2. When booking tickets I advise the theatre that I am hard of hearing. I ask what facilities they have to help me and where is the best place for me to sit and I book the appropriate seats. Some theatres have reduced price tickets for disabled people.

3. If seats have not been booked then arrive early in order to get the seat best suited to your needs.

4. I read the play first. I am usually able to borrow it from the local library, though occasionally I have managed to borrow one from the theatre company when the library had no copies.  Some theatres produce a synopsis (summary) of the play, but I don’t find these as helpful.

5. If it’s a musical production I like to get the score and lyrics in advance and learn some of the songs.

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21.b. Loop Systems and Infrared Systems

For information about what a loop system is and how it works click here.

1. I always find out before the performance whether the theatre has a loop or infrared system. I find out which one it has.

2.  If I want to use the loop system I always check when booking the seats that they are in the right area.  Some theatres only seem to have part of the auditorium looped.

3. If the loop system installed by the theatre does not work properly it is possible that there is too much interference from the stage lights, etc and therefore it might be better if the theatre installed an infrared system. (NB. even if the loop system or the infrared system are working perfectly, neither system seems to suit everyone.) (Remember if there is a fault it may be your hearing aid or it may be the system.)

4. If the loop system (or infrared system) works I thank them on my way out of the theatre, but if the systems do not work then I tactfully let them know. 

5. If a theatre does not have a loop or infrared system I take it up with the management. After all there are lots of people who need one and it therefore makes good business sense for the theatre to have one.

6. I like to lobby for loops or other systems being installed. (As theatres do need to test out the loop first our local theatre gave out free tickets to allow hearing impaired people to try the loop.)

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21.c. Stagetext and captioned performances

1. I look out for Stagetext performances at my local theatres.  This is where the dialogue comes up on a screen.  I find this system very helpful, but there is usually only one day out of a whole run of a play when Stagetext is used which means I have to be free on that particular day.

2.  I’ve found that I can enjoy theatre performances once again by going to the captioned performances.  I always make sure when I’m booking that I ask for a seat where the captioning can be seen, because in some theatres there are only a few seats that have a good view of the screen where the captioning comes up.

3. Some theatres have their own captioning equipment so they can do their own captioning rather than use Stagetext.

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Section 22 - Cinema

1. Many cinemas have installed loop systems in their auditoriums.

2. Many local newspapers give information about what is being screened at the local cinemas. They often also state when a screening will be shown with subtitles.

3. One person said “I check the website http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/ regularly to see what films are being subtitled locally.”  It also has subtitled trailers which I can watch to see if a film appeals to me.  

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Section 23 - Museums and art galleries

1. If you can hear tape recorders/CD players it might be worth trying one of the museums taped guides with the museum's headphones. Or it might be useful to try their recorder with a neck loop.

2. If you have a good quality portable tape recorder the museum might let you use their tape in your own system though you might have a better chance of doing this if you make the arrangements before your visit.

3. You might wish to try to understand the (live) museum guide, but they may be very hard to follow because they are too far away, speak too softly and fast, or there are echoes and too much background noise. If you cannot follow the guide you might prefer to buy/borrow a printed museum guide and be self-sufficient.

4. If I know in advance that I will be going on a guided tour, I ask if it’s possible to have a transcript of the guide’s talk.  Some museums are very helpful, and others not, but there’s no harm in asking.

5. I always avoid going on guided tours as I know I won’t be able to follow.  I still enjoy my visits to museums/galleries and looking at the exhibits.  Some museums and art galleries have printed information sheets in each area/room which I find very useful.

6.  If I’m with friends who want to go on the guided tour, which I know I can’t follow, I find out when and where the tour is likely to finish and meet my friends there and browse around the rooms by myself.  It actually suits me better as I just like to look at things rather than learn everything about them.

7. I’ve found that some museums and art galleries which have videos for the public to watch as they go round are now supplying subtitled videos, but it varies greatly between different museums and galleries.

8. I've discovered that some places have lipspeaker-guided tours, which I have found very helpful.

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Section 24 - Auctioneers

1. Providing I trust the auctioneer not to "pick bid off the wall" (inventing bids to boost the price), I give my bid into the auctioneer first.

2. There is a porter I trust at my local auctioneer and I give my bid to him.

3.  I used to go to auctions a lot before my hearing got too bad to hear the bids.  I still like to go with a friend who tells me when my upper limit has been reached so I know when to stop bidding.  This means I don’t end up spending a lot more than I meant to.

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