Pathways was Extant’s pioneering five-year-long programme to influence, embed and improve greater awareness of and accessibility for blind and visually impaired practitioners across the theatre industry. We did this through the following three approaches:
- Training programmes for approximately 10 visually impaired people each year. Supporting visually impaired and blind practitioners towards making a more sustainable professional career in the arts. In Year 1 in 2018 – 2019 we focused on acting, in Year 2 (2019-22, extended due to Covid) – directing, writers in Year 3 (2021-22) and Year 4 (2022-23) – Crew and Design. Delivery of each year’s programme includes: masterclasses, mentoring, shadowing and a Showcase.
- Visual Impairment awareness training for Theatre Practitioners/Companies, known as V.I TAP. This aims to offer inclusive ideas for practitioners, when delivering workshop programmes and rehearsals – with and for blind and visually impaired artists.
- Roundtable discussions for professionals within the theatre industry – to discuss questions and perceived challenges to accessibility for blind and visually impaired artists, and with a view to stimulate sector improvement.