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April 17, 2021

Improved access for deaf at this year’s Byron Writer’s Festival

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Deaf and hearing-impaired locals will have greater access to this year’s Byron Writers Festival, including an on-demand Auslan signing service.

The festival, running from August 2-4 at Elements of Byron, has made a big effort in recent years to improve access for people with disabilities, in contrast to a number of other big events on the Byron festival calendar.

The festival will once again have a series of pre-selected sessions with signing and this year will also have a service where people can book an Auslan interpreter to accompany them to sessions of their choice.

There is also an Auslan-signed information video developed in collaboration with Social Futures’ Far North Coast (FNC) Ability Links.

The video has just been released and features FNC Ability Links Co-Manager Sigrid Macdonald introducing the event and explaining the Auslan interpreting services that will be available during the festival

‘It’s great to see Byron Writers Festival in the vanguard of public events realising the need to make themselves more accessible to people with disabilities, including members of the Deaf Community like myself,’ Ms Macdonald said.

‘In the video I explain the services on offer to Deaf festival goers, including how to find out which sessions will be interpreted.

‘This means that Auslan users will be able to access the festival content over the whole weekend.’

The festival is Australia’s largest regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas and each year attracts an audience of approximately 12,000 people, including many from overseas.

More information on disability access at the festival can be found here.


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