Making the magic of Christmas accessible
It's not many more sleeps until the Credit Union Christmas Pageant comes to town and Access2Arts with the support of Guide Dogs SA/NT and the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) is making the magic come alive for people with vision loss.
A recent tour of the Stardust Castle, where the elves are busy putting the finishing touches to the floats, enabled children and adults from Kilparrin School and Guide Dogs SA/NT and RSB and their families and supporters, to get up close to the floats, to touch them and gain an understanding of their size, decorations and themes.
"It really is a creative experience," Nigel Cooper, Client Operations Manager Guide Dogs SA/NT said. "We are so grateful to Access2Arts for enabling the event, and for providing the energetic audio description which really brought the floats alive."
Mr Pageant, Brian Gilbertson, told the group some of the interesting stories behind the floats, whether it was the new attractions or old favourites like Nimble.
From the smiles and fascination on the children's faces, the tour was a great success.
Jody Holdback from Access2Arts said that people with vision loss could be told the size of a float and they could imagine it, but the tactile experience gave a whole different concept.
“For example with the cake float you can feel the patty pan and the cherry on top, the icing, and it really comes alive,” Jody said. “And the bonus is that we can sometimes find out how it is made.”
Jody, who has been blind since the age of 16, said that the experience from the touch tour prepared blind and vision impaired people to get the most from the audio description on the day of the parade.
“The Christmas Pageant is such an iconic event, it’s the largest parade of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and has been going for 85 years. Now blind and vision impaired people are able to experience it alongside their friends and family,” Jody said.
She said often families with a parent or child with vision loss would not attend the pageant as they didn’t know how to describe the event or include them.
For the pageant on Saturday November 18, Access2Arts has organized a special area in Wakefield Street where the passing parade will be described for people with vision loss. The audio description will be broadcast on Radio Adelaide.
Watch the video by photographer Kay Cann of the tour of Stardust Castle. The faces on the children and the young at heart says it all!