Access & Inclusion

Access & inclusion | hei whakatapoko mō tātou

Auckland Arts Festival is committed to making the Festival accessible for all audiences.

Social Stories
Coming to an event in the Festival doesn’t need to be daunting. We have a social story for the entire festival, which will give you an idea of what you might experience when you come along. 

You can find the AAF 2020 Social Story here. It includes information and pictures of the venues and places where our events take place. You might find it useful when planning your trip.

You can also find our Social Story Event Guide here. This is a guide to the AAF 2020 events with accessible ticketing.

There will also be detailed social stories for events including our relaxed performances. These will be found on the event pages in the Access Programme.

For all queries about the Auckland Arts Festival 2020 Access & Inclusion Programme, contact Alex Lodge on 09 374 0320, text 021 0804 3142 or email  [email protected] 

Ticket Price
Tickets to events in the Access Programme for access patrons and a companion are $20 each and booked through our in-house booking system. 

Audio Described BlackAudio-described Events
Audio description is a narration service provided at no additional charge to the patron that describes what the sighted person takes for granted - those images that a person who is blind or visually impaired formerly could only experience through the whispered asides from a sighted companion. Patrons are  issued with headsets and sit in the auditorium with the headphone in one ear, listening to the description alongside the show. Events also include an audio-described exhibition tour.

Touch TourTouch Tours
A touch tour allows blind or low vision patrons the opportunity to get up close with elements of the production prior to a show.The content of touch tours varies according to the event, but most include the opportunity to be guided around and touch the set and props and meet some of the cast. This personal tactile interaction helps fill in the gaps for patrons who gain a sense and feel of the production. Meeting the actors gives them an idea of their characters, costumes and voices.

Content available in braille (on request)

Written notesWritten Notes
Written introductory notes are often provided for shows. These are notes provided prior to the show in accessible formats (electronic structured word document, large print) that give a description of the visual aspects of the show.  These may be appropriate for shows that are largely dialogue driven where audio description is not required but some additional information would help blind and vision impaired audience members to visualise the set, lighting and costumes and aid understanding of the story.  Written notes are supplied to patrons on booking or as soon as possible prior to the event.

NZSL InterpretedNew Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Interpreted Events
The Festival is delighted to present a number of events this year which will have NZSL interpreted performances. Trained interpreters, situated on the left or right-hand side of the stage, will interpret the script during the performance using NZSL. There are seats reserved for these unique performances for Deaf audience members that give a clear view of the stage and the interpreters.

Very Visual ShowVery Visual Show with not much dialogue
Accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing people and their friends and family. Supported with NZSL video about the storyline in the show. Specific performances for these shows have $20 access tickets available.

video film strip 318 41449NZSL Videos with Storyline Notes
Events which are very visual or will be NZSL interpreted will have short videos in NZSL available with detailed information. Links to these videos  will be available from the show pages in the Access Programme. Specific performances for these shows have the accessible price of $20. 

Relaxed PerformanceRelaxed Performance
A Relaxed Performance is a special performance of a show designed to welcome those who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders or a learning difficulty. This means that there will be a relaxed attitude to noise and movement during the performance. Some small changes are made to the light and sound effects and sometimes show content. There will also be a chill-out area available in the venue for patrons to go to during the show if needed. Patrons made to feel secure. A visual story  on what to expect at the venue is supplied to patrons prior to the event.

Pay What You CanPay What You Can Performances
In 2020 we're throwing open the doors to people who want to give the arts a go, even if they've not otherwise felt it possible, for personal or financial reasons. Pay What You Can means, for selected shows, attendees can pay what’s available to them – from $0 to $whatever!
We will be talking to selected community groups and organisations about bringing their networks to the Festival via Pay What You Can. If you’d like to recommend an organisation or community for the programme, please contact [email protected]

Supported by
Todd Corp blackWith support from
Platinum Patrons Andrew and Jenny Smith
Gold Patron Friedlander Foundation
Mojo Coffee