Kat Germain

Organization Details

Little India
Toronto , ON
M4L 2V5


Phone: 6472923359


Kat is a member of: Canadian Association of Theatre Research, Audio Description Association (UK), ACTRA, Ontario College of Teachers, and Canadian Council of the Blind. She sits on the Described Video Best Practices Working Group chaired by Accessible Media Inc. Kat has described everything from Aerial Circus Arts, to Deaf poetry, to wheelchair basketball. Clients include: Royal Ontario Museum, AGO, Theatre Passe Muraille, Stratford, Luminato, Soulpepper, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), YPT, Paper Canoe Projects, Native Earth Performing Arts, Full Radius Dance (Atlanta, GA), Power Productions (St. John’s NL), Tangled Art + Disability, Propeller Dance (Ottawa), U of Guelph, Concordia, York U, OCAD, Ryerson, U of T, American Society of Theatre Researchers (Atlanta, GA), Summit on Indigeneity and Disability. Kat has taught for nearly 25 years. In 2001 she started with the Toronto District School Board and primarily works in intensive support classrooms with kids who are neurodiverse - on the Autism Spectrum, or with Global Developmental Delay. Kat has led numerous workshops surrounding Described Video & Audio Description Skills, Advocacy, and Welcoming Blind and Partially Sighted patrons. Kat is an advocate for increased inclusivity, autonomy and multiversal opportunities for people from historically marginalized communities, focusing on artists who have lived experience with disability. This includes art creation with other disability-identified artists.

Thoughts About Art and Community

Cultural organisations are consistently looking for ways to reach, attract and retain new audiences, clientele, fans and fresh talent. While AD is a rapidly growing inclusivity practice, if one considers the colossal number of events that occur daily in Toronto, AD is rare. Here are a few numbers of potential users: in Toronto, 9 000 - 10 000 [1] people identify as being Blind, partially sighted or low vision, and that number “is expected to increase nearly 30 percent in the next decade…” [2]. In regards to additional communities who are a growing market for AD, “1 in 66 Canadian children and youth (ages 5 - 17) are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder” [3]. By offering AD, reaching the communities it serves, and thoughtfully planning around their visits, you have the opportunity to engage a largely untapped market and join the other industry leaders who have taken an interest in engaging these communities. --------------------------- [1] Deborah Gold (Executive Director, BALANCE for Blind Adults), March 2019 [2] Gills, Louise. "The International Federation on Ageing." White Cane Magazine, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y374he8s . Accessed April 1, 2019 [3] Public Health Agency of Canada. “Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children and Youth in Canada 2018.” Canada.ca, Government of Canada, 9 Apr. 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y59qzwz5. Accessed April 1, 2019


Audio Description (AD) makes live and recorded (referred to as “Described Video” or “DV”) events more accessible to people who have differing needs when accessing them via sight, understanding and/ or attention. AD is most often targeted to the Blind/ partially sighted/ low vision (B/ PS/ LV) community. The applications however, include people who are neurodiverse and/ or with sensory sensitivities such as Autism and Tourette, as well as people with a fixed or narrow visual field due to their range of motion of the head, neck or spine. Audio Description is the Art of Talking Pictorially and is also known as “Visual Translation”. The creativity in what we do presents itself solely through the art of balancing long-established Standards, Codes of Conduct and the needs of our listeners -- with sensitivity regarding our diverse cultural landscape and language surrounding identity. I describe presentational work in all genres (Theatre, dance, circus, conferences, museums, galleries, community arts, sports, broadcasters, etc.) and capacities (live, recorded, online). I consult and advocate for increased access for Blind/ partially sighted and low vision communities. I work with presentation organisations to figure out how to increase access for their work even when it’s not yet viable to offer a fully Described event.