Each week we are going to be saying “Hello” to another organisation in the VI world to learn more about who they are and what they do.

This week, we are chatting to Jess Beal (Marketing and Audience Manager) at VocalEyes.

So, Hi Jess, please can you tell us all about VocalEyes:

We are a national charity that was established in 1998. We believe that blind and partially sighted people should have the best possible opportunities to experience and enjoy art and culture. We therefore work closely with theatres, museums, galleries, exhibitions and heritage venues to help them bring art and culture to life, by supporting them to provide audio description and touch tours. Depending on the venue, these can be live or pre-recorded audio description guides. Obviously, we then promote these opportunities to blind and partially sighted people. We also provide training in audio description, visual awareness and sighted guiding to all venue staff to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have a positive and welcoming experience.

How do we find out what is happening, where and when?

You can subscribe to ‘The Interval’ which is a weekly newsletter listing of accessible arts and culture. It provides details of online events that are coming up as well as links to a wide range of things that we think people may be interested in watching, listening or reading. This could be livestream theatre, YouTube clips, podcasts or a film on TV for example. We also select a few events from ‘The Interval’ to highlight on our fortnightly RNIB Connect radio slot. The ‘What’s on’ page on our website has listings of events where you can search by region, date or category.

And as well as all this you also carry out research?

Yes, research is a core part of our work. We use it in many ways, to help improve our services, understand the needs of our audiences, and make the case for support and funding. Much of this is done in partnership with academic institutions. For example, we have recently carried out a ‘Describing Diversity’ project in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London.

How can we find out more information?

There is lots of information on our website. You can also contact us by email or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.