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A Very Accessible Christmas

01 December 2017

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight celebrates the International Day for People with a Disability (Sunday 3 December) by announcing its most accessible Carols ever.

A beloved Australian tradition, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has a remarkable history of supporting children who are blind or have low vision and this year marks the 80th anniversary for the iconic Christmas celebration.

Whether attending at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, watching the live national broadcast on Channel 9, listening to the simulcast on 3AW or Vision Australia Radio, millions of Australians enjoy the event each year on Christmas Eve and it raises much-needed funding for support services for children who are blind or have low vision.

This year, we are delighted to be able to celebrate the International Day of People with a Disability by announcing one of our most accessible Carols ever by providing the following services and access:

  • AUDIO DESCRIPTION: As well as being available for guests at the live event on Christmas Eve at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Vision Australia are also happy to offer Audio Description for the live stream of Carols by Candlelight. More information is available at Audio description units will be provided by the information centre free of charge at the venue.
  • BRAILLE AND LARGE PRINT: Souvenir songbooks in Braille and large print will be available from merchandise stalls at the event or from the roaming Vision Australia Volunteers wearing bright yellow uniforms.
  • TACTILE GROUND INDICATORS: Tactile ground indicators will be available in the balcony sections.
  • ACCESS KEY: We have teamed up with AccessAbilityAustralia to provide patrons that have additional needs with an Access Key – an ‘accessibility experience guide’ with a detailed description of a venue, where to find services and FAQs. The free booklet can be printed or downloaded to your mobile device from For people who are blind or have low vision, Access Keys will be available in an accessible PDF, Large Format PDF and accessible Word versions.
  • DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING: Vicdeaf have arranged for Auslan interpreters to be on site on Christmas Eve. Located on a platform above Terrace B (right side of stage when facing the stage) – please book tickets by selecting ‘Auslan’. Space will be limited.
  • ADDITIONAL NEEDS: There will an increased seating capacity for persons with a disability and the Arts Centre ushers will be on hand to offer assistance.
  • PRIORITY ENTRY: People with additional needs will receive priority entry. There will be a special access queue to the left of Gate 1.
  • DISABLED PARKING: There will be an increased (but still limited) number of disabled parking spaces available on Linlithgow Avenue on Christmas Eve – drivers must show a valid parking permit. Special access to the venue can also be arranged. Please contact Arts Centre Melbourne on 1300 182 183.
  • WHEELCHAIR SPACES: Limited wheelchair and carer spaces are available. Please pre-arrange when booking tickets.

Image show VA child client Parker in front of a Christmas tree and using his white cane

 For Tickets:

About Carols by Candlelight

Held in Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and broadcast across the country on Christmas Eve, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight presented by Priceline Pharmacy is a musical spectacular that showcases some of the most popular classical and contemporary performers.

This beloved annual Australian Christmas tradition originated in Melbourne in 1938 and is now enjoyed by millions of Australians across the country each year. This year marks the events’ 80th anniversary.

All of the funds raised by Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight go directly to provide services for children who are blind or have low vision and their families.

Vision Australia does receive some funding to deliver children’s services, but the need in the community means it is delivering far more than funded to do so. In 2016, thanks to the support of the Australian public, over $1.2 million was raised
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