Accessible culture

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Everyone has the right to enjoy culture

The Central Library for Blind and Reading Impaired People is the leading organization in Israel for accessible culture and information, and as such it is an important cultural center in the country. 

In recent years the Library has been a pioneer in bringing high quality access to different types of culture – literature and journalism, theater, cinema, television and visual art – meeting international standards. Now the blind and visually impaired community can enjoy visually based cultural content and can take an active part in a variety of events such as films, plays, opera, art exhibitions and more.

Cultural accessibility is based primarily on Audio Description (AD) – the description of the visual information in films, on stage, in events and exhibitions. Additionally, where appropriate, the scene is also made accessible through touch, whether in a tour of the stage to become familiar with the setting, or through embossed prints and reproductions of art in museums. Such accessibility allows independent enjoyment of an event, and encourages blind people to go out and integrate socially without having to depend on a companion to describe the scene.

The Library is the nationwide leader in producing Audio Description, and employs trained professionals who work in direct contact with centers for the blind throughout the country.

When did you last see a good movie?

The Library cooperates with various cultural centers throughout Israel - cinemas, theaters, galleries and museums. Any person who wishes to access cultural material for blind and visually impaired people can do so independently whether or not they are Library subscribers. By creating this opportunity we encourage blind and visually impaired people to go out, to share cultural experiences with family, to interact with their surroundings and to participate in the social and cultural discourse in Israel. Click here for the Library's events schedule

תמונה של כלב נחייה בסרט

Accessible culture, by category:

  • Access to literature and the press - The Library produces books in a variety of genres: textbooks and reference books, newspapers, magazines and more, in mp3 format, Braille and large print. The Library has professional recording studios as well as professional printers for the production of accessible printing materials.
  • Access to cinema and TV - producing a special soundtrack (AD) that describes what is happening on the screen without intruding on the original work. The audible soundtrack is attached to the film so that during the screening the audience can hear the additional narration.
  • Access to plays and performances – the Library brings access to the best plays in the country, delivered in real time by narrators via personal headphones. The description is based on a prepared script, and the narration is inserted between the dialogues without disturbing the flow of the play. A five minute recorded trailer is prepared for each play, describing the scenes, the characters and the stage setting. Prior to the performance of an accessible play there is a touch tour of the stage and familiarization with the actors’ voices. 
  • Access to Art - The Library makes exhibits accessible by preparing an expanded descriptive text that is available in audio, Braille or large print formats.