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Assistive technology enhances spectator experience at the Games

Games audiences can stay in the loop with the live action thanks to assistive technology. Spectators who have sight loss or are blind are able to take advantage of audio description commentary with the aid of a small hand held radio.

Glasgow 2014 will supply a limited number of these radios on a free loan basis.  Receivers can be collected at the spectator Information Point at games venues and at the ceremonies; spectators should bring both photographic ID and their event ticket when collecting. Demand is expected to be high: to avoid missing out, ticket holders are encouraged to pre-book the radios.

Public announcements and in-venue commentary is enhanced for those who are hard of hearing at all games venues, whilst audio description is available at Celtic Park, Hampden Park, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the Emirates Arena (selected events), SSE Hydro (selected events), Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow National Hockey Centre, SECC Precinct (selected events), Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre, Ibrox Stadium and Strathclyde Country Park.

The receivers can be used with either standard earphones, or an induction neck loop or ear hook with a standard 3mm jack plug. They are fully compatible with hearing aids switched to the ‘T’ setting.

Those who book a receiver are welcome to bring their own earphones/neck-loop/inductive ear loop, otherwise a number will be available for loan at each venue. Please note that radio receivers will not be available on loan at the road events, although the commentary is available through an allocated radio frequency.

Further details and guidance on how to book is available at

To further assist spectators who are hard of hearing, Spectator Information Points are equipped with hearing loops.  A BSL interpretation service is provided at Celtic Park, Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium, the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the SECC Precinct, the SSE Hydro, and Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Glasgow 2014 Accessibility & Inclusion Manager, Jill Stevenson, said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer assistive technology to spectators across the sports and the ceremonies. The provision of these services – including audio description commentary, hearing enhancement of in-venue commentary and announcements, and a BSL interpretation service – will significantly enhance the experience of spectators who are blind or partially sighted and those who are hard of hearing. These services will make the events accessible to spectators who might otherwise not have been able to fully enjoy the action. We want Glasgow 2014 to be the most inclusive and accessible Commonwealth Games ever, and we are thrilled that these services will help to make that a reality for our spectators.”

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