BESB: Community Access

Community Access

Audio Programs




Audio description is an oral description of the play or opera, written and rehearsed by professionally trained volunteers who watch rehearsals and write brief but vivid descriptions of the action, sets, costumes, and characters.  They read the descriptions to the audience via a closed-circuit radio headset during pauses in the performance and during intermission.  In this way, blind and visually impaired patrons are able to comprehend the action, sequence, characters, and storyline as never before.  Although reservations are needed, audio description is free of charge and usually starts 30 minutes before the performance.


Yale Repertory Theatre is a pioneer of audio description in Connecticut – the state’s first performing arts institution to offer this service as well as audition and train a group of audio describers – who are available for productions across the state.  They are willing to lend the portable radio equipment to other theaters for a nominal fee.  Hartford Stage has similar plans in the future.


CRIS Radio has been assisting BESB with publicity and serving as a central contact for other interested theaters and the sharing of resources when possible.  Printing of our initial brochures was made possible from a grant awarded by the former CT Commission on the Arts (CT Commission on Culture and Tourism).


Accommodation Makes Sense.  Of the 470,000 Connecticut residents aged 65 and over  (2000 Census) more than 13,000 are legally blind, and that number is expected to double by the year 2010.  About 75% are seniors who became legally blind later in life.  They may continue to enjoy an enhanced quality of life using audio description for live theater and opera.


For Further Information About:

  • Audio describers and performances, contact Ruth Feldman at 203-432-8425 or

  • Lending of radio equipment, contact Bill Reynolds at 203-432-2190 or

  • Hartford Stage information, contact Lew Michaels at 860-520-7132.

  • CRIS Radio, contact Scott Baecker at 860-527-8000 or  Visit CRIS Radio on the web at

  • Braille, regular print copies, or other resources, contact BESB at 800-842-4510 or

  • Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, contact Susan Docker at 860-256-2800 or


Accessible Voting


The Board of Education and Services for the Blind is pleased to announce that the Office of the Secretary of State is seeking to receive feedback from voters on their personal experiences in using telephone voting technology in the last election. Based upon the feedback submitted, the Secretary will be acknowledging the efforts of polling locations that offered good customer service and smooth utilization of the accessible voting machines. In addition, for locations where the experience was not positive, the Secretary wishes to learn of the specific issues encountered, along with the polling location involved, so that corrective action can be implemented prior to the next election. Your perspectives are very important, so please consider sharing your observations by sending an email to:


Audio Books 

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic provides audio books to help students with print disabilities become more successful in school.  Visit RFBD on the internet at to take a virtual tour of services that are available.

Content Last Modified on 5/29/2009 2:38:33 PM