The organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 have announced their plans to make the contest acessible to those with hearing or visual impairments, physical disabilities or sensory overloads.
All of the live broadcasts will be subtitled and available to Dutch viewers via teletext page 888. The songs will be subtitled in the language that they are sung in. For viewers on NPO1 Extra and online, the show will be interpreted into Dutch Sign Language and will feature sign dancers. The sign dancers will make the music and songs visual. They do this by gesturing rhythmically and displaying the atmosphere of a song. All performances that are uploaded to the official Songfestival site will be subtitled and will feature sign dancers.
An online stream with audio description (and without Dutch television commentary) will be offered. NPO Radio 2 will also broadcast all three shows live.
There is a specific area in Rotterdam Ahoy for wheelchair users. Wheelchair tickets will be available in the second wave of ticket sales on January 30 for all shows except the Grand Final shows (Jury, Family and Live). Anyone who purchases a wheelchair ticket may bring one other person with them. Due to safety regulations it is not possible to take walkers, flip sticks or mobility scooters into the arena. People who are unable to stand for long periods (two to three hours) are advised to purchase tickets for seats.
In a separate part of the arena there will be live subtitling on screens and the songs with sign dancers will be shown on those screens. There will be subtitles in the spoken language (English). The videos with sign dancers will be recorded in advance, there are no live sign dancers in the room. There will be no live sign language interpreters.
Audio description will be available in a separate part of the arena, allowing people to follow the show as it is broadcast on Dutch television. The organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest will provide the necessary equipment to facilitate this.
The organisers of the contest are currently working on a quiet space in the arena for people to come to if they experience a sensory overload. Due to the logistics involved, there is no definite answer on whether this will go ahead.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 takes place in the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on the 12th, 14th and 16th of May. The Netherlands won the right to host the competition following their win in 2019 with Duncan Laurence and the song “Arcade”.