There are 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK, that's around one in six of us. Of this number there are around 50,000 children with hearing loss and an estimated 900,000 adults that have severe or profound hearing loss.
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on older people in particular, leading to social isolation, depression, reduced quality of life and loss of independence and mobility.
We know that hearing loss is a major barrier to attending live events, so captioning is a way to create accessibility for people with any level of hearing impediment.
And it's not just older audiences that are effected. We want people of all ages and levels of hearing loss to be able to attend events that are live captioned. Our ambition is to caption at least one children's / young persons event during the 2019 festival, allowing them access to something they might not otherwise be able to participate in.
During the 2018 festival we were able to caption three events. This year we would like to triple this number.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
As a charitable organisation we need your help and support to develop this captioning programme which will ensure people of all ages, and with all levels of hearing loss, are able to enjoy literary events in the future.
Every penny raised will go towards captioning of events and to that end we work with another charitable organisation, Stagetext. They provide captioning and live subtitling services to theatres and other arts venues to make their activities accessible to people who are d/Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing.
In addition, if we raise enough funds we would like to film these captioned events so they can be viewed online as subtitled events.
WHO WE ARE
First launched in 1973, the Ilkley Literature Festival is a 17-day event that takes place in October each year. Over the last forty-five years innumerable famous authors have passed through its doors – from international figures, politicians, celebrities and Nobel prize winners to poets like Ted Hughes and screenwriters such as Alan Bennett.
Each year over 200 events take place in a variety of venues across the town and beyond. And Festival events are no longer confined to October, with special events occurring throughout the year, including the spoken word event ‘Words in the City’ which takes place each Spring in Leeds City Centre.
Alongside the festival sits our year-round educational programme which is delivered to primary and secondary schools across Bradford, Leeds and the Wharfe Valley. This involves a range of activities including workshops, visiting guest authors and inter-school events such as ‘poetry slam in a day’. We also support two Young Writer (13-17yrs) groups, one in Ilkley and one in Bradford, and a ‘Story Explorers’ reading group in Ilkley (8-11yrs).