(In)Accessibility of cultural spaces and live events in Slovakia



audiovisual translation, media accessibility, theatre, D/deaf and hard of hearing, inclusion


The proposed paper aims to explore the current state of accessibility of cultural spaces and live events in Slovakia in relation to audiences with special needs, focusing mainly on the D/deaf and hard of hearing (DHOH) and theatres. It examines what should the target recipients here be able to have access to thanks to their legal rights and what they can really access in practice. The paper delimits the objects of interest taken into consideration for the purposes of this research; introduces some of the most relevant legislative documents in effect in the domestic and broader context; analyses the situation in Slovakia – mainly by collecting publicly available information on the Internet – and compares it with strategies exercised beyond its borders; and presents our findings of a questionnaire aimed at gaining insights from theatres themselves into the accessibility of theatrical performances. Even though there are initiatives (most notably film or theatre festivals) striving to provide accessible events, Slovakia is still lagging behind some other countries in terms of the studied topic and is far from the ideal situation of all audiovisual media content being completely accessible to everyone – with or without a special need. The paper also draws on examples of good practice from countries where accessibility of cultural spaces and live events is better developed than in Slovakia to on the one hand provide evidence of what works elsewhere and what might possibly serve as a useful source of inspiration for our country, and on the other hand to further support its own claims.