Category: Uncategorized

Vocal Eye

Oct 01 2015

Vocaleye descriptive arts society

is a non-profit organization located in vancouver, bc. we describe theatre, arts and culture for those with vision loss.

Click on a newsletter at the left to read.

About Live Audio Description

VocalEye’s Live Audio Description Program is the first of its kind in Canada. Originally a program of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, our professionally trained describers provide the visual details of live theatre performance to blind and low vision audiences in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Victoria, BC.

Theatre patrons with vision loss are given a personal receiver with a single earpiece and volume control that allows them to hear both the show and our live audio description at the same time. Our live transmission begins ten minutes before curtain with brief descriptions of the set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, our describer transmits pertinent physical action and visual information between the lines of dialogue. Short program notes and additional description for the second act may be provided at intermission.

Mandate & Mission

VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society exists to serve individuals of all ages with vision loss in our community by:

~ providing accessible description of live theatre and other arts and cultural events

~ lowering barriers to participation in theatre, arts and cultural events

~ promoting access to theatre, arts and cultural events through education and outreach

Our Services

  • Described theatre performances for adults and young audiences in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Victoria, BC
  • Advance description, program notes and plot synopses in accessible formats
  • Touch Tours: guided tactile experiences of the production’s sets, props and costumes
  • Theatre Buddies: volunteer guides to and from the theatre
  • Sighted Guide Training: workshops in guiding techniques
  • Live Audio Subtitling
  • Described Performance Training
  • Equipment rental for description or translation purposes

For more information on our descriptive services, training or equipment rental, please submit your enquiry to

In Development

  • Live Audio Description of Dance, Opera and Festivals
  • Verbal Description of Visual Art for public art tours, galleries and museums
  • Vancouver Beyond Sight: Verbal Description of Landmarks and Architecture
  • Community Workshops in Arts and Culture for those with vision loss

For updates on all our activities and events, please join our mailing list by completing the form in the sidebar under “Subscribe” or please send an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line.


The first Live Audio Description program in Canada (called “EarSighted”) was launched by Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company’s production of The Miracle Worker in 2009. The following year, the team was invited to describe a number of performances for the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympics, including Robert LePage’s Blue Dragon.

The program was renamed “VocalEye” in 2011 and following two successful seasons became a separate non-profit society in 2012 and a Chapter of The Canadian Council of the Blind BC/Yukon, a registered charity, in 2013. VocalEye Descriptive Arts continues to provide a full season of described theatre performance in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Victoria. Other descriptive services and programs serving the blind and partially sighted community are currently in development.


Oct 01 2015

Occasionally the Canadian Council for the Blind produces studies to accompany programs or projects.


Mobile Eye Clinic Pilot Study

Follow-Up Responses from Parents of School-Age Children in Four Eastern Ontario Schools.doc

Life after vision loss

Oct 01 2015

Life after vision loss

Louise Gillis begins third term as president of national organization, represents Canada at international level

As president of the Canadian Council of the Blind, Louise Gillis is busy throughout the year attending meetings across the country and dealing with council business and responding to emails from her home in Sydney. LAURA JEAN GRANT – COMMUNITY POST



SYDNEY — “There is life after vision loss.”

It’s a statement that Cape Bre- ton’s Louise Gillis not only strong- ly believes, it’s something she’s demonstrated day in and day out for decades.

Originally from Skye Glen, Inverness County, Gillis has called Sydney home for the last 40 years. About two years after settling in Sydney, where she was working as a nurse,   Gillis’ eye troubles first developed…..   Read the Rest by downloading the PDF