Thursday, May 16, 2013

TDF National Open Captioning Initiative

Theatre Development Fund offers a limited number of two-year regional theatre partnerships to sponsor open captioned performances and increase attendance by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. We have already impacted 19 different states around the country, helping to introduce open captioning for theatre. For our 2013-2014 regional partnerships we have just a few slots remaining and would like to see them go to venues in areas where open captioning is still not available to patrons with hearing loss.

More information on how to apply for a TDF regional theatre partnership is on our website at; left hand column, “For Your Production,“ “National Open Captioning Initiative;” as well as a brief summary of the basics below. The deadline for interested venues is Monday, June 3.

Theatre Development Fund provides:
• Cost of service: Payment of expenses for contracting open captioning services through a professional theatre captioning company, which includes captioning fees as well as any travel expenses incurred by the caption operators during the preparation process and performance. Our service provider is c2 - Caption Coalition, for any OC sponsorship as we have a long standing partnership with them in modeling best practices on a national level. c2 is specific to TDF funding.
• Assistance with Promotion: Listing of TDF-sponsored open-captioned performances at the partnering venue on TDF's website, with links for ticket purchasing; and publicizing these accessible performances on email and regular mail notices to TDF theatregoers with hearing loss.
• Expertise: Readiness to share experience on audience development, equipment options and funding; and to serve as a liaison, when needed, between producing entity and venue in regard to queries that may arise, such as obtaining scripts or support involved in accommodating these accessible performances.

Partnering Venue provides:
• Tickets: Designation of a minimum of 25 seats in the front orchestra, side section, within comfortable reading distance of the captioning unit, made available to people with hearing loss and sold through the venue box office.
• Marketing: Acknowledgment to TDF as caption provider in print and website listings notifying the public of these accessible performances; and on production credit page, in same size and format as union acknowledgments, acknowledgment to TDF, with TDF logo, substantially as follows: “Partial support for open captioning provided by Theatre Development Fund.”
• TDF credit: Insertion of one-page program stuffer (copy supplied by TDF) listing appropriate acknowledgments; and distribution of TDF-supplied questionnaires to a random sampling of at least 50 audience members on the captioning side of the orchestra for two TDF sponsored open captioned performances, several months apart, during the first season of a possible two-year pilot project.

If you have any questions about our National Open Captioning Initiative please contact Sarah Aziz, our TAP Program Manager, at

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