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The Art of Captioning: Making Access Work

Wednesday 25 May, 12.30–2pm (Online)

Revisit this archived discussion about access work with guest panellists Elaine Lillian Joseph, Nina Thomas and Natasha Trantom.

In this conversation, we explore arts access from the perspective of those who translate, interpret and describe sound and image. Contributors include access workers who specialise in captioning, audio description and BSL interpreting in art contexts, and artist who are also accessibility-activists. By bringing together those who make access their work, we hope to open a conversation about how arts access might develop.

This event was open to all, but may be of special interest to artists and arts institutions keen to understand the nature of access work.

Making Access work was streamed online on this page, and is now available as an archived Vimeo link.

This event is a part of a series across 2022 supported by the British Art Network.


This event was live-captioned and BSL interpreted.

The archived video has BSL interpretation and open captions.

Please click here for a transcript of the event as a PDF.

Please click here for a transcript of the event as a Word document.

The event was 90 minutes long with a comfort break. The panelists first present for 15 minutes each followed by a 10 minute break and the remaining time given to in-conversation and questions. The event was introduced by Hannah Wallis (Wysing Arts Centre) and chaired by Sarah Hayden (Voices in the Gallery).

If you have any questions or further access requirements, please email Hannah on hannah.wallis@wysingartscentre.org.


Elaine Lillian Joseph is an audio describer for TV, cinema and live shows. She has a BA in Modern Languages (German) and English Literature and trained as a describer at ITV under Jonathan Penny. She specialises in experimental films and dance but also loves to provide live description at queer cabaret nights. Over the years she has delivered a number of AD workshops and consultancy advice to clients in the public and private sector.

Nina Thomas is a visual artist and advocate for captioning and improved access to the arts, heritage and film for deaf and hard of hearing people. In her art practice, she often foregrounds stories and histories which might be overlooked or underexplored. Much of her recent work has focused on her experience of becoming deaf and subsequently seeking to understand other deaf experiences and deaf history. She has exhibited at venues such as The Crypt Gallery (NW1), LUX (online) and OVADA (Oxford). She is a founding member of The Film Bunch, where she curated the online screening ‘Deaf Experience’, and she was commissioned by Pan Macmillan to create an animation for the poet Raymond Antrobus. She has worked on access and advisory projects at the V&A, The Wallace Collection, NDACA, British Ceramics Biennial, The British Museum, Shape Arts and D4D. She is also a trustee at Stagetext.

Natasha Trantom began her career as a communication support worker, working for a small Deaf led charity and supporting Deaf students in higher/further education. After completing her studies in BSL and qualifying as a registered sign language interpreter in 2009, she became a freelance interpreter working predominantly in mental health services for Deaf people.

After years of working in mental health services and with a wealth of experience, Natasha decided she wanted to go back to her theatre roots, (BA.hons in Theatre Studies and Spanish). Natasha has been working alongside Deaf artists, actors, dancers, directors, and writers in theatre/ dance/ TV for several years. From auditions to R&D's, from rehearsals to film shoots, Natasha loves to be a part of the creative process and strongly believes in access to the arts for all.

For more information about The Art of Captioning and how to join its membership, please visit our website page here.

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