Short courses


Accessible Theatre: Audio Description

  • 6 hours
  • 1 day (10am to 4pm)


This one-day course will introduce you to ways of making theatre accessible to people with sight loss using audio description (AD).

During the course you'll:

  • find out more about audiences for AD
  • try your hand at describing settings, costumes and characters
  • learn how to prioritise different sources of visual information and the best way to capture them in words

This course is run by CenTraS, the Centre for Translation Studies at UCL.

Who this course is for

This professional course is open to:

  • freelance translators
  • undergraduate and postgraduate translation and theatre studies students
  • translation or theatrology tutors
  • theatrologists
  • access officers
  • anyone with interest in media accessibility

Course content and structure

Part A - Introduction to theatre accessibility

During the first part of the course you'll listen to a presentation and discuss accessibility in theatres.

You'll discuss the rights-based approach to access to content, and the current legislation on accessibility in entertainment contexts.

You'll then learn about accessibility as it's realised in theatres, what it involves, what types of access services are used, and what other types of access can be provided.

There will be a demonstration of various settings and setups of equipment for surtitling for the D/deaf and the hard-of-hearing and audio description for people with sight loss.

Part B - Audio description

The second part of the course is more practical and involves writing and exercises, including giving a short presentation to the group.

You'll be given guidance on how to create scripts for audio description and hear about a range of examples.

The topics covered will include:

  • legislation
  • past and present situation of AD
  • types of AD
  • economic and professional aspects
  • the conventions used at the theatre and in the arts in general

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you'll be able to:

  • understand of types of access services offered in theatres
  • characterise access challenges specific to live performances and events
  • write an audiointroduction for a live performance and defend your choices 
  • explain the purpose of a touch tour for live events
  • summarise and evaluate new developments related to AD for live performances, such as integrated AD 


You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completion of the course.

Cost and concessions

The fees are as follows: 

  • UCL students and CenTraS alumni - £65
  • UCL staff, academic visitors, and affiliates - £110
  • Full rate - £145

Book a place

To book your place, please send your completed application form to Emmanouela Patiniotaki at selcs.cenras-professional@ucl.ac.uk

Course team

Emmanouela Patiniotaki

Emmanouela Patiniotaki

Emmanouela has been a professional translator since 2008, and has collaborated with various companies using a variety of translation tools. She’s been training students and professionals in translation technology since 2011 and has designed and run several courses on this topic. She teaches translation technology at UCL and visits other universities and organisations around the world for short training courses. Her research focuses on the design of accessible educational and cultural environments and the use of assistive technology, automation tools and access services, for linguistic and sensory access to information, education and entertainment.

Course information last modified: 24 Apr 2023, 10:15