This past week has been a very busy one, as I’ve been to an audio described exhibition, an audio described theatre show, a football field for a Youtube project, a new social group, a craft show and a chocolate show. So Iin this post I want to summarise it all and bring my activities up to date.
I’ve shared overviews of this story as guest posts on Scope’s community forum and the Nystagmus Network’s newsletter. Many thanks to them both for featuring me! And if you’ve found me via one of those articles or a social media promotion, hello and welcome! 🙂
On September 30th, I gave a talk at the Nystagmus Network’s Open Day about how I had been building a new social network for myself in London. It was my first time giving a public speech about myself, but it went really well. I spoke for about 15 minutes, then we had a group discussion for the next 15 minutes. It got a very positive response, and I got chatting to many people as a result of it, so I was very happy with it. And I’ve written blog posts about how I prepared for it and my experience at the Open Day.
So this post is a written version of that speech, and I’ve posted a video version that I filmed on the same evening. Both are longer than the actual speech I gave at the Open Day, as without constraints on time or length I’ve been able to explain things in a bit more detail. So the actual speech was a slightly more concise version of this, although 15 minutes was still quite a bit of time to fill!
Obviously my situation is unique to me, and everyone’s circumstances will be different in their own way. I’m just giving examples of the things I’ve done. The overall aim is to show that it’s important and worthwhile to try things that interest you and grasp opportunities when they arise, as you never know what will result from them. You may have to push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit, and I know that can be easier said than done. It was a challenge for me, and it still can be sometimes. But the more you try things, the more confident you’ll get, and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards of your efforts. Otherwise, you’ll always be asking yourself ‘what if’, which is never helpful.
So I hope you enjoy reading this. Thank you to Sue Ricketts and the Nystagmus Network for asking me to share my story at the Open Day, and to all those who responded to it so well.
Last weekend was the Open House London weekend, where hundreds of buildings across the capital opened their doors for free for the public to look around and take part in talks and tours. These include many places that you might never have heard of or never considered visiting before. Some of the places also do tours during the rest of the year, but you may have to pay for them, whereas on this weekend they’re free. And some places may rarely grant public access at all, so this may be the only opportunity you get to look around. So it’s a great initiative that’s been running for 25 years now, and the volunteers who help to make it happen deserve thanks and praise for their work.
As part of this event, the team at VocalEyes arranged special audio described tours of 4 different buildings for visually impaired people. I went on 3 of them (I didn’t do the 4th as I had something else planned). It was my first time going to an Open House weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it next year. So here’s my summary of the tours I went on.
In this post and video I’m going to discuss my first experiences with audio description in London, for museums, galleries, theatre shows, cinema screenings and walking tours.