Day Trips16th October 2015

Deaf-Friendly Days Out

With the arts increasingly accessible, a few ideas for enjoying a day out

by Cheryl Swift

Everyone should have the opportunity to have the best entertainment possible; however, when you go for a day out and you are deaf, there are times when it can prove difficult. It does depend on how deaf you are, of course. If you are Deaf and use BSL, then there are plenty of options for you, even if you wouldn't think so, and if you are Deafened or Hard of Hearing, there are similar opportunities to enjoy culture and entertaining visits to attractions, the cinema and theatre.

Art Galleries

Art is, mostly, visual, but most of us need to get an understanding of what the artist is doing, especially when there is a large body of work and development to understand. You can look at pictures, sculptures and installations, read information about them but still want a little more. Many galleries offer BSL tours – they might charge extra, so always check before you go – but it's a good way to get a deeper understanding of what you are seeing. The National Gallery in London is an example. It provides a multimedia tour that features 23 highlight paintings in the collection, and you can purchase video clips that have BSL commentary.

Warner Bros. Studios

Just north of London, the Warner Bros. Studios have everything Harry Potter, so if you are a fan of the boy wizard and all his sidekicks (not to mention the unsavoury characters who always seek to do him down), then this is a great place for a visit. In case you have missed out on around two decades of Harry Potter books and films, you can make up for it there.

You can get up close to a whole range of exhibits, props and costumes from the films (eight of them altogether) and just explore this magical world. You can book a BSL tour for no extra cost and your interpreter will stay onsite for the whole of your visit. You'll be met in the entrance foyer, but make sure you book at least 14 days ahead of your trip to visit Harry Potter.

Theatre experience

The experience of being in a theatre to see a play, a musical or an opera is one of the best ways to enjoy the sheer creativity that artists and directors have to offer. An increasing number of theatres offer captioned or signed perfomances with a new trend to integrate BSL into the stage performances making it much easier to enjoy the whole spectacle. It seems that for some theatre groups using BSL is an important part of ensuring that deaf people are not excluded, and being highly visual, attending a theatre show is something you can do with the whole family.

Enjoy your experiences

Sometimes a quiet walk in a park can be as stimulating as a night out or a day out at an attraction. Look for a place that welcomes you and helps you to enjoy yourself.

Article by Cheryl Swift

posted in Entertainment / Day Trips

16th October 2015