Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and The Broadway League Launch Website to Assist Theatergoers with Disabilities
By Ellis Nassour
The Theatre Development Fund and The Broadway League are breaking barriers to Broadway with the launch of Theatre Access NYC, www.theatreaccess.nyc, a website to assist theatergoers with disabilities in finding accessible Broadway performances.
The site helps those with physical disabilities, autism, and sensory sensitivities find Broadway shows with the accessibility they require. Theatre Access NYC is a user-friendly site for sorting through dozens of Broadway shows with details, such as performance schedules and ticket availability for accessible performances.
“We are pleased to be part of Theatre Access NYC, in collaboration with Theatre Development Fund,” says Charlotte St. Martin, League president. “Our goal for the website is to provide all theatergoers who want to experience our shows an easy-to-navigate place where they can find extensive information.”
The Broadway League is the co-presenter of the Tony Awards, as well as annual programs, such as Stars in the Alley and Kids’ Night on Broadway.
TDF’s executive director Victoria Bailey says, “It’s at the heart of Theatre Development Fund’s mission to do what we can to make theatre accessible to all, no matter the barrier. Theatre Access NYC will make it easier for those with functional needs see more theater.”
Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its Autism Theatre Initiative), and its education people with disabilities programs have introduced thousands to theater. Recent honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, and a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community. For more information, visit www.tdf.org.
Among the services listed on Theatre Access NYC are: Mobility issues – wheelchair access, info on stairs/elevators in theaters, accessible restrooms, water fountains, etc; Mild to severe hearing loss – which theaters regularly provide iCaption handheld closed caption units, assistive listening devices(headphone units that amplify sound), as well as schedules of open captioned and sign language interpreted performances; Mild to severe vision loss – theatres that provide D-scriptive audio devices, which give a detailed account of onstage activity, as well as schedules of audio described performances; and schedules of Autism/ sensory friendly performances– events providing a safe, supportive environment for an audience of families, children and adults, at shows performed with minor adjustments to lighting and sound effects.