Organization Songfestival goes the extra mile for people with disabilities


People with a physical and visual impairment were also considered. There are special wheelchair places and for the blind and visually impaired there is audio description available in a separate part of the room. It describes what is happening on stage.

“It requires something extra from you as an event organizer,” says Bakker. “But we wanted the Eurovision Song Contest to be for everyone. As a public broadcaster, we also have an exemplary role and it is of course very nice if we can show other event organizers that it can really be done.”

Lots of incentives

For example, other visitors may not be bothered by the light screens in the fairly dark room and you also don’t want them to be shown during the live broadcasts. “All quite complex, so you have to think very carefully where you put them.”

According to Bakker, Europe is considerably behind in this area. “Pay attention, if a sheriff gives a press conference in America, there is always a sign interpreter behind it. Thus, journalism is no longer exclusively a profession for hearing journalists.”

The organization is still investigating whether they can do something for people with a sensitive disability, such as autism. They are often extremely sensitive to incentives. “With all that sound, light and crowds of people, the Songfestival is of course an event with a lot of incentives and that’s why we advise people who can’t stand it to come to the shows for the time being.” Together with Ahoy, it is now being considered whether a space can be found for these people where they can retreat as quietly as needed.

This is what the winning song of Duncan Laurence looked like in the translation of the sign dancer:


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