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> > > Euan’s Guide: Raising the bar, not the curtain, for accessible performances

24 August 2015

Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review charity, held an award ceremony on 21 August to acknowledge a show and a venue for their outstanding efforts to include disabled audiences at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Photo of Euan’s Guide Founder, Euan MacDonald with disabled access award winners from Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Euan MacDonald presents awards to representatives from Graeae Theatre Company, Birds of Paradise and Dance Base

Euan’s Guide Founder, Euan MacDonald and BBC journalist Ian Hamilton presented the award and prize of £1,000 to The Solid Life of Sugar Water (Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth) and the runner up award was presented to Wendy Hoose (Birds of Paradise and Random Accomplice) who also received a prize of £500.

There was a further £500 prize awarded to venue winner Dance Base in recognition of their commitment to provide an accessible experience for all visitors.
 
Although the judges had different perspectives on access, their decision was unanimous, with Euan MacDonald saying “The scene was set before the judges entered the venue; which in itself was easily accessible. There was a tactile miniature model of the set and accessible formats available. The clever use of captions and audio description brought the performance to life.”

Launched for the first time this year, the Euan’s Guide Accessible Fringe Award encouraged visitors to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to vote for their favourite accessible performance or venue via social media or through the Euan’s Guide website.

Robin Bray-Hurren from Graeae said “It’s really great to have been both nominated and to have won the Euan’s Guide Accessible Fringe Award. Theatre access is something we’re passionate about so being recognised with this award is not just brilliant for us but will also help highlight what can be done.”

Euan MacDonald, Founder of EuansGuide.com, said: “It was fantastic for Euan’s Guide to be able to launch this award at this year’s Fringe. It not only highlights the great work Graeae is doing, but also the work that all other nominees have been carrying out. Promoting accessibility across the country, whether at a festival or a local café is very important to us and we are keen to see as many disabled people and their families as possible having great experiences.”

Launched in 2013, EuansGuide.com was founded by Euan MacDonald who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2003. Euan later became a wheelchair user and found it difficult to find reliable disabled access information for venues he wanted to visit. Euan’s ambition for the website is to empower disabled people by providing information that will give confidence and choices for getting out and about.

Euan’s Guide invites visitors not just to Edinburgh but the rest of the UK and further afield to share their reviews of disabled access on EuansGuide.com to help inform other disabled festival-goers throughout the year.

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