Wigtown Book Festival aims to be more accessible

This year’s Wigtown Book Festival aims to be the most accessible ever for adults and children.

The Big Wig programme for the youngest visitors includes a series of events ideally suited for reluctant readers, children with reading disabilities and those with additional support needs.

One particular attraction will be The Yurt which offers multisensory storytelling, allowing children with profound and multiple learning disabilities to enter the world of Oona and the Giant and Baba Yaga.

There will also be relaxing stories with Koshi Bells and singing bowls, plus the chance to make a sensory collage.

A Changing Places toilet will be available for wheelchair users.

The festival team is delighted to be working in partnership with PAMIS to bring these sessions and facilities to this year’s Wigtown Book Festival.

Outwith the children’s programme four venues are equipped with induction loops for people with hearing difficulties.

And the festival is once again collaborating with the StageTEXT charity to provide surtitles for events in the County Buildings over the first weekend.

Anne Barclay, Wigtown Festival Operational Director, said: ‘Each year we try to improve the festival infrastructure and programme to ensure that more adults and children can take part in and enjoy the festival, and we hope that 2019 will be the most accessible ever.

‘Big Wig involves some lovely events and activities intended to share the pleasure of stories and storytelling in innovative and imaginative ways.

‘And we have also looked at the practical issues like the need for suitable changing and toilet facilities.

‘We know from past experience that visitors with hearing loss are able to engage much more fully with services such as surtitles and induction loops, so we are pleased to have these available for a substantial range of events.

‘Our staff and volunteers are pleased to offer support to ensure easy access for audiences, and visitors are invited to look out for those wearing fluorescent yellow lanyards for help and guidance.’

Visitors can look out for the Access symbol in the Big Wig programme. It includes events like:

A Multi-sensory Story Adventure, Sunday 29th. A tale with a range of multi-sensory props, songs and joining in.

Rossie Stone – Dekko Comics: Learning Your Way; Sunday 29th. Ever found schoolwork difficult or boring? Make it as fun as your favourite computer game. Whether that means turning your maths homework into a comic, your English revision into music, or using your favourite Netflix series to make history more interesting, learn how the creator of Dekko Comics found techniques to help him get his first grade ‘A’.

Vivian French: The Spectacular Revenge of Suzi Sims; Thursday 3rd. Sports Day is Suzi Sims’ favourite event of the year and she can’t wait to run in the 100 metres. But the new supply teacher Miss Grit has it in for Suzi, while her running rival, Barbie, is Miss Grit’s class favourite. Can Suzi power through and win the race? A comical and quirky revenge tale about school bullies from award-winning author Vivian French.

Anne added: ‘In association with the charity StageTEXT, we will provide live surtitles for people with hearing loss at events in the County Buildings on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September. Surtitled events are marked [S] in listings.’

To find out more go to www.stagetext.org

Visitors with particular access needs are invited to contact us on 01988 403222. An access map can be found on the website or is available from the office. The County Buildings Main Hall, Festival Marquee, McNeillie Tent and Print Room are equipped with induction loops for people with hearing difficulties.

For full details of Wigtown Book Festival go to wigtownbookfestival.com