deaf festival in Scotland
attendees each year
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Edinburgh Deaf Festival is the first festival of its kind in the UK. Our festival emerged to bridge the accessibility gap in Edinburgh’s vibrant festival season. Deaf culture has a proud place in Scotland in terms of language, history and heritage. As home to Deaf Action, the world’s first deaf organisation, it feels right that Edinburgh should celebrate, promote and raise visibility of deaf culture. Our vision is to integrate Edinburgh Deaf Festival into the Festival City, delivering an inclusive event that celebrates deaf culture whilst welcoming mainstream audiences into our world. The impact of the festival is profound, increasing deaf awareness in society, whilst raising the profile of deaf performers and artists.
Festival access for all
We want deaf people to have full access to all that Edinburgh’s festival season has to offer. This shouldn’t just mean going to interpreted performance, but instead, seeing a BSL performance, curated and performed by deaf people. Hearing festival-goers will find our performances accessible through BSL/English interpretation, immersing themselves in a new world of our rich deaf culture.
“It allows us to show that deaf people can be involved in the arts, performing in BSL, and demonstrating their skills, as well as attend performances that are interpreted into BSL.”
Giving deaf performers and artists a platform
Edinburgh Deaf Festival gives deaf performers a platform where they can join the festival circuit and hone their skills. Many prestigious careers have started or been boosted at the Edinburgh Fringe, and now, at Edinburgh Deaf Festival.
Festivals and partner venues
We’re grateful to our festival partners who have been taking strides to make their events more accessible to deaf people. We have provide BSL interpreters and captioners to external events, improving access across the arts, helping venues remove barriers for deaf people and empowering them to improve accessibility for their diverse audiences.
“…we can participate in the festival equally, and creates diverse opportunities for deaf people to engage with arts.”
Supporting early careers interpreters
Early career interpreters will learn new skills from experienced interpreters that they can adapt and take back to their work in the community. We hope a new cohort of multi-skilled interpreters will grow out of the festival, able to provide for the wide variety of access requirements and platforms that exist here.
Inspiring the next generation
By attending festival performances, deaf young people will have seen deaf adults perform, strengthening their deaf identity and inspiring them to believe deaf people can achieve their goals.