The Data Protection Acts don’t allow us to keep information about people’s disabilities. We can keep information about their preferred communication methods and whether they are actual or potential attenders of captioned or audio described performances.
The key time to collect data is at the time of booking. If your Box Office does not collect this information about customers along with their name and address, you will be starting from scratch every time you try and promote an assisted performance.
What you can do …
• Set up two discount, ticket or buyer codes, one for captioned performances and one for audio described performances. Your promotional material for assisted performances should strongly recommend that customers tell the Box Office that they want to use the audio description service to make sure they sit in an area with clear reception and to secure a headset. It is important that all Box Office staff know that they should apply the relevant code or category to everyone who indicates in this way that they are using the services.
• In any case, everyone who buys a ticket for a performance that happens to be audio described should be asked: “This is an audio described performance. Would you, or any member of your party, like to take advantage of this service?”
• Set up each touch tour as a separate performance with a zero ticket cost. Make sure the touch tour is offered to anyone who indicates they wish to use the AD and make sure you record who books for it.
This high quality, printed postcard from the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, is an enticing way to encourage people to join a mailing list. Crucially, it contains an explanation of what each service is. It would be useful to add a couple of checkboxes for preferred communication method/format. At audio described performances make patrons aware that a mailing list is available and that information can be provided in a range of formats. Offer to fill in the mailing list request form with them.