Accessibility in ORLANDO Festival 2024
03 /12 May 2024 Bergamo
 Laboratorio 'Segni propri', iniziativa di FDE Festival Danza Estate e Festival ORLANDO 2023, a cura di Al Di Qua Artists. Foto di Clara Mammana
ORLANDO continues the journey begun in 2021 to make the Festival an accessible place.
We are aware that accessibility is not a goal but a continuous questioning of a normative idea about bodies and minds. These habits are precisely what creates the perception of disability or as a defect rather than an aspect of human variety.
In the constant exercise asked by the changing outlook on disability, in 2024 Orlando continues the work on accessibility begun in the past years.
We continue to be guided on this path by the association Al.Di.Qua Artists (an acronym for Alternative Disability Quality Artists) and in particular by the well-established communication consultancy of Elia Zeno Covolan. In addition, this year we have a collaboration with Oltre i Limiti.
Thanks to these alliances:
  • We have communicated the accessibility (or non-accessibility) aspects of spaces and events: you will find accessibility icons* for each individual meeting on the website and on our social channels. These icons quickly mark the possible absence of barriers, the reporting of sensory stimuli (and their degree), the presence of content warnings to facilitate the orientation of everyone in choices related to the program;
  • Where possible, we have simplified the program text in content, wording and layout, both on the website and in print, to facilitate reading and understanding;
  • All films presented during the Festival have Italian subtitles; in addition, ORLANDO SHORTS short films have SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) subtitles that also include all sound elements necessary for understanding and relevant to deaf culture;
  • Four events of the Festival will be accessible to the deaf audience by ensuring interpretation services in LIS (Italian Sign Language);
  • Two events, in order to be available by blind and visually impaired audiences, will be accompanied by poetic audio description, a commentary that, without overlapping with the original dialogues and music, describes the environment, movements, expressions and costumes on stage. The poetic audio description can be requested by the entire audience to experience the scheduled event differently;
  • Information regarding accessibility will also be indicated this year by signage in the various spaces;
  • In continuity with what has been done in past years, the program includes works of artists and cultural workers with disabilities in order to introduce new narratives and performances;
  • As Staff we underwent training to be prepared to accommodate neurodivergent people;
  • We will try to set up safe decompression spaces in each Festival location.
We are happy that this path is a convergence of intentions with other realities in the area so that, not only our Festival, but the whole cultural context of Bergamo can over time become plural, accessible and traversable by everyone. In addition to Al.Di.Qua Artists and Oltre i Limiti, we are also in dialogue with Confcooperative Bergamo, The Blank Contemporary Art, ENS Ente Nazionale Sordi - Sezione Provinciale di Bergamo, Qui e Ora Residenza Teatrale / Festival Up To You, FDE Festival Danza Estate, Fondazione della Comunità Bergamasca and all those equally sensitive to the need to have an accessible culture.
The path on accessibility that ORLANDO carries out is meant to be an attempt to overthrow the practices of cultural design, which consider disability an unforeseen.  So if we miss something, please point it out to us to help us improve.

*Icons are part of the Iconic Accessibility Toolkit, a project by Elia Zeno Covolan, available under a Creative Common BY-NC-SA license.
Do you need further information?
Please get in touch if you have any questions about our association, Orlando Festival or our educational projects