Accessibility has to take the form of the social and not the medical model
It has been truly enlightening to have started working with Deaf Can:Do and undertaking the journey to make the Duke of Brunswick Hotel Adelaide’s Deaf Friendly Venue. It would have been easy for us to pay lip service to the concept and run a few information sessions for the team and tick a box but that’s really not what accessibility is about.
The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
At the Duke of Brunswick we firmly believe that embracing peoples differences and finding ways to remove the barriers in the way is simply put – good business.
As a venue with 10 different acts for Fringe and over 30 performances we were really keen to ensure that our Fringe shows were equally accessible, but Auslan Interpreters come at a cost (as they should) and we are realistically a small business in only it’s third year of operation.
Thankfully there are other amazing humans with the same viewpoints as us and I was lucky enough to be introduced to Felicity from Flight Centre SA who has been working to create a friendly accessible service for the Deaf community in their outlets across South Australia.
When we talked to Flight Centre SA about the fact that we were on the hunt for a corporate sponsor to be our Auslan Access Champion, Felicity was all in without a moments hesitation.
It was so refreshing to have met another person who believes as passionately as I do that our model for doing business is changing and that we need to change with it and to embrace all of our communities. It just goes to show that the model for doing business is changing. Flight centre staff will also be attending all of our Access performances as part of their commitment to the Deaf community and also to continue improving their own Auslan Skills.
During Fringe 2020, the Duke of Brunswick will be hosting, ‘Come and Try AUSLAN’ with sign language interpreters being available during a variety of other performances.
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