Albuquerque Little Theater Looks to Serve Deaf and Blind Community

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Officials at the Albuquerque Little Theater are adding something new to help blind and deaf audience members experience the arts to the fullest.

“Having access to the auditory information through sign language is a huge benefit for the deaf community,” said Roger Robb, an avid theater-goer who is deaf.

Robb loves experiencing the theater. Now, he like other members of the deaf community are able to enjoy more plays, more often.

It’s part of a new program at Albuquerque Little Theater this season designed to include more patrons.

“We thought well let’s add a Saturday matinee and see if we can accommodate more people that way,” said Henry Avery, Executive Director.
For the first time, seats are being reserved for the hearing impaired during Saturday afternoon performances. It will give them a better view of a sign language interpreter.

They’re not stopping there. The theater will add a tactile interpreter starting this weekend to help those blind and deaf follow the performance.

That’s somebody who signs into the hands of those who cannot see or hear much like Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker.”
Fittingly, it’s the same play that’s currently being performed at ALT.

“Having the ability to understand what’s happening on stage because they can’t see it means the interpreter is going to be giving them all of the environmental and visual information that’s happening on the stage and at the same time providing the characters dialogue which helps the deaf-blind person get a complete picture of the production,” said Robb.

The theater will kick off the tactile interpreter program during the Saturday matinee performance of the “The Miracle Worker.”

Albuquerque Little Theater officials say they’re looking into having a tactile interpreter available at all of their plays going forward.

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