Melanie Sharpe: This Captioning Awareness Week, find out how captioning is transforming the arts for deaf people #CAPaware16

Posted on November 11, 2016

Next week (14 to 19 November 2016) Stagetext will be celebrating our second Captioning Awareness Week.

The week aims to raise awareness of captioning and live subtitling in cultural venues, which give deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audiences equal access to arts events such as theatre plays, musicals, museum talks and tours and literary festivals.

Watch caption users talking about their experiences in the video below:

Captions are similar to television subtitles, however the actor’s words appear on screens placed in the set, or at the side of the stage at the same time as they are spoken or sung. Live subtitles can also be displayed on handheld tablets for use on tours in museums, galleries and in non-traditional outdoor spaces.

Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audience members can have their theatrical and cultural experiences transformed by captioning and live subtitling, but many are unaware it exists.

Indeed, last year, whilst at least 25,000 people benefited from a captioned or live subtitled event, it is estimated that 11 million people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss – indicating huge numbers could be missing out.

By unifying arts venues and caption users from around the country this Captioning Awareness Week, Stagetext hopes to bring to life the passion and excitement of the arts to many more people.

Melanie Sharpe, CEO of Stagetext

Melanie Sharpe, CEO of Stagetext

There are a number of ways you can help us mark the week:

  • #CAPaware16 – Pledge your support by ‘putting your name in the frame’ for captioned access to the arts. Download a Captioning Awareness Week frame from the Stagetext website, write your name in it, take a selfie of yourself holding it and share it on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CAPaware16.
  • Book tickets to an event – 14 captioned and live subtitled events will be taking place from 14 to 19 Nov (link to events word doc). A full, searchable list of captioned events happening the rest of year is available here.
  • Enter our competition –Stagetext is offering its e-news members a chance to win two captioned tickets to: Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre in London or The Woman in Black at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

To find out more information about Captioning Awareness Week, or to sign up to our free e-news, please visit

Melanie Sharpe is CEO of Stagetext, the leading captioning charity for the arts and cultural sectors. The charity provides captioning and live subtitling for around 400 events across the country every year, as well as supporting venues to caption independently.

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