View Via Headphones audio describers have been making art accessible since 1999. Trained professionals allow the patrons to "view" stage performances as they listen to verbal enhancements through headphones. VVH also holds local garden tours as well as local arts festival and art gallery events.
Audio description, at no extra charge to ticket holders, offers live verbal description of the visual elements of selected performances at the Center for the Performing Arts (Eisenhower Auditorium) at Penn State, as well as various local theaters in the State College area. View Via Headphones' certified professionals use a transmitter and microphone to relay a pictorial description to patrons wearing earpieces attached to palm-sized receivers. Audio description clarifies details and provides background information, but it doesn't interfere with other key audible elements of a performance.
Tickets to performances are often available at a reduced, or at no cost, for patrons with sight loss, and often for their driver/escort as well. The Center for the Performing Arts has funding to provide a limited number of complementary tickets under their excellent accessibility program. Inquiries may be made by calling Joi McKenzie at the CPA box office, 814-865-5011. Two local groups, the State College Community Theatre (SCCT) and the Nittany Theatre generously allow View Via Headphones to audio describe their dress rehearsal performances for our patrons and their escort free of charge. While technically a rehearsal, the performances have always been professional and we have yet to be disappointed. Often, local theater companies provide discounted tickets to our members. Please inquire by phone with the appropriate ticket office for these offers when obtaining your tickets.
For art exhibits, describers detail individual works, their history, and often provide tactile samples that simulate the different types of media used. Tickets to these events are often provided free of charge to the visually impaired.
Assisted by trained educators from the Master Gardeners program, once a year View Via Headphones presents a tour of a local garden. Often held at the Arboretum at Penn State, this is the perfect opportunity for those with sight loss or other disabilities to experience the gardens using all of their senses.
Upcoming audio described events
For a full list of Audio Described 2016 - 2017 performances at the Center for the Performing Arts through May 2017, please see the cpa's audio description page and purchase your tickets early!