Providing transformative performing arts experiences to as broad an audience as possible is a PuSh core value. We remove physical, social and financial barriers wherever possible to ensure everyone has an opportunity to experience the performing arts.
Due to the pandemic we have had to shift a lot of our programming and thus our accessibility programming. Thanks to the TD Ready Commitment we will be able to continue working on accessibility for the shows we are supporting as well as move forward in developing meaningful relationships with the Deaf community and the disability community.
Training staff and volunteers to better understand what accessibility means in order to support individuals’ needs and customize experiences is one of PuSh’s priorities. The training is facilitated by paid consultants with lived experience. This training as well as continual discussions are an ongoing process to work on embedding accessibility and inclusion into everything we do.
Bookings, Feedback & Inquiries
For feedback, more information, or to discuss your specific needs, please contact us through our contact form, or reach out to our Accessibility Coordinator directly at 604.605.8284 x 204 or email@example.com. For ticket bookings, please contact Audience Services.
Some performances without ASL-interpretation, captions, or live description are still accessible. For the elements that are essential to appreciate or follow the show, we provide a written introduction. These introductions are written by or with artists specifically for audience members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or live with vision loss.
Introductions can be downloaded from the show page directly and a printed version will be at the venue’s box office the night of the performance.
Blind or Low-Vision Patrons
Each year, we work closely with consultants with lived experiences to determine shows as low vision friendly.
Our low-vision-friendly programming includes:
- Live audio description by VocalEye at select performances to describe the visual elements in real-time.
Note: To protect patrons and staff, VocalEye has suspended all live description services during the pandemic. VocalEye continues to provide access to the arts online through their weekly Almost Live Zoom events and we are working to partner with them on shows we support.
- Performance introductions for all shows that are low vision friendly
- A complimentary ticket for companions to any show
- A sighted guide who meets the patron at the nearest transit stop and guides them to and from the venue (available for any show)
Note: As we have very few in-person events and due to the risks posed by
Covid19 we are not able to offer that service this year. We look forward to bringing that program back in 2022.
Blind or Low-Vision Resources
For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patrons
We partner with a Deaf advisor to offer the best possible experience to patrons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH).
We provide the following for performing arts lovers who are DHH:
- ASL general informational vlog
Note: As this year everything is a bit different a lot of what is in the vlog does not apply this year, which is why we did not publish it here, but you can still check it out on YouTube.
- Vlogs for all DHH-friendly shows (on show pages)
Note: this is still our goal, but as things have been shifting so fast we may not have vlogs for all of them
- ASL-interpretation at select performances and events
- ASL-interpretation can be requested for non-performance events, subject to availability Request ASL interpretation.
- Captions or surtitles for select performances
- Written introductions for DHH-friendly can be downloaded on show pages, and paper copies are available at the box office
- Training in basic ASL for our accessibility volunteers
Note: Since there will be little interaction between volunteers and the public, this year the training will focus on Social justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We will continue to offer that training in the future.We encourage Deaf and hard of hearing arts lovers to volunteer and see shows for free. Register as a volunteer.
PuSh selects performances to welcome patrons who may benefit from a more casual or low sensory environment. Relaxed Performances can be for anybody and maybe more welcoming/comfortable for people on the autism spectrum and people with sensory and communication disorders or learning disabilities.
Extra live shows are shows that are always relaxed, so each performance of that show is relaxed. Relaxed performances are created to ensure people feel welcome. This does not mean people are not welcome to attend other shows. Everyone is welcome at any show.
Relaxed Performances include:
A visual story for the venue sent before the performance:
- The visual story is a guide with lots of pictures to help people envision the experience and prepare for it.
A visual story of the show:
- A show guide with pictures of performers & sets
- What to expect of intense or shocking moments
- A complete breakdown of the show
Adjusted Show Environment:
- The auditorium lights are never completely off, meaning the audience is never in complete darkness.
- The show’s sound and light levels are reduced to make them less intense.
Suspended theatre audience norms:
- No shushing; it is ok to make noise.
- Outward reactions are welcome
- Ok to move around and fidget
Chill-out space to relax if the show is too intense:
- A video feed of the show is provided where possible
- You can re-enter the theatre whenever you are ready.
Relaxed Performances Resources
Support persons accompanying patrons who require assistance to attend a show receive a complimentary ticket. PuSh participates in Easter Seals Canada’s Access2 program, partners with VocalEye, and Canucks Autism Network. Even if you are not part of any of these partner programs, please reach out to us about a support ticket.
Need support but don’t have a support person? We can provide one. Specially trained PuSh volunteers are available to assist patrons to attend shows, meeting you at nearby public transit stops, guiding you to and from venues and supporting you at the shows.
For support ticket requests or sighted guide requests, please contact us through our contact form, or reach out to our Accessibility Coordinator directly at 604.605.8284 x 204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit sighted guide requests 72 hours in advance as these are subject to availability.
Accessibility Venue Audits
Detailed audits are conducted for all venues, providing technical specifications about a range of accessibility considerations. Consult the accessibility audits online to find out more about each venue.
Surtitles & Captions
Performances that use spoken languages other than English may have surtitles [ST]. This can make the show accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing patrons, especially when offered in combination with a performance introduction.
Accessibility Venue Audits
Detailed audits are conducted for all Festival venues, providing technical specifications about a range of accessibility considerations. Consult the accessibility audits online to find out more about each venue.
PuSh works with partner social services organizations and community groups to distribute complimentary or reduced-price tickets to people who may experience barriers to attend events.
If you know a group of people that would benefit from coming to a particular event or show, you can request Community Tickets here.
All PuSh facilitated events have gender-inclusive washrooms and inclusion of systemically underrepresented sexual and gender minorities is at the heart of PuSh’s organizational core values. Presenting partners are strongly encouraged to follow suit.