Everyone wants to experience the joys of a live performance, visiting a museum, the buzz of a gig and the excitement of a musical. The Arts and Culture Award acknowledges and celebrates businesses and individuals that are making this immersive and cultured space more accessible to all. As the Tech4Good awards open for nominations, we wanted to highlight some past winners of the award.

Have you ever wanted to see a live performance but were given limited time slots for accessible viewing? And even when given accessible viewing, it’s a struggle to see the performance with subtitles on a completely different screen? Our previous winner National Theatre Smart Caption Glasses are a groundbreaking gadget that is designed for people with hearing loss. 

The system is an automated, always-on closed captioning service which pairs speech-following technology with smart glasses allowing patrons with hearing loss to attend any performance on any day. The system “listens” to what is being said or sung on stage and text is sent to the glasses via Wi-Fi.

In real time, the viewer is able to read the caption through the glasses making for a more immersive experience as opposed to viewers having to read captions on a different screen and having to look away from the performance. 

This technology has been transformative for deaf and hard of hearing theatregoers. The service offers real choice and as close to an equitable experience with hearing audiences as it has ever been possible to achieve.

Another past winner is Control One, created by Digit Music. This device was created to allow physically disabled people to create music using a joystick type device, similar to something that can be found on an electric wheelchair. It was developed in response to the need for a non instrument alternative for severely disabled people to create music. It’s currently the only product of its kind and was developed in collaboration with disabled young musicians, all part of the Able Orchestra. The device is similar in design to an electric wheelchair controller, however, it sends digital data to interact with music software, rather than to control movement.

The device enables people with restricted movement to perform complex musical phrases. Students are able to work independently, using the controller to switch between instruments, genres and tempos, or in groups by selecting different instruments to play collaboratively.

To enter the award, please visit here. The Arts and Culture Award is open to any individual, museum, gallery, charity, social enterprise, business or other public body with a presence in the UK. It may refer to the work you do as a whole or one specific arts and culture project, you can nominate your own organisation or a project you admire.