Breaking Down Barriers on Broadway: Broadway League, TDF Launch Website of Accessible Performances for Theatergoers with Disabilities

NYC Bdwy League

Charlotte St. Martin (President of The Broadway League); Victor Calise (Commissioner for the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities) and Victoria Bailey (Executive Director of Theatre Development Fund). Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

New York, NY – Theatre Development Fund and The Broadway League are Breaking Barriers to Broadway with the launch of Theatre Access NYC, www.theatreaccess.nyc, a new website designed to assist theatergoers with disabilities in finding accessible performances of Broadway productions.

This website is a way to help theatergoers with physical disabilities or autism and other sensory sensitivities find Broadway shows with the particular type of accessibility service they require.  Theatre Access NYC is an intuitive, user-friendly show finder that allows users to filter and sort through dozens of Broadway shows based on accessibility, and provides details including dates, times and ticket availability for accessible performances.

“We are pleased to be part of Theatre Access NYC, in collaboration with Theatre Development Fund, which will bring more people with disabilities to Broadway.  Our goal for the new website is to provide all theatergoers who want to experience our shows an easy-to-navigate place where they can find extensive information in one location,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League.

“It’s at the heart of Theatre Development Fund’s mission to do what we can to make theater accessible to all who want to attend, no matter what the barrier,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Theatre Access NYC will make it easier for New Yorkers and visitors with these functional needs see more theater.”

“Theatre Access NYC is bringing much needed information to people with disabilities in one, accessible location and moving NYC one step closer to achieving its goal of being the most accessible city in the world,” said Victor Calise, Commissioner for the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

TDF and The Broadway League worked with their developer to conform to web accessibility standards, ensuring that all people with all disabilities are able to access the site.

Among the services listed are:

Mobility issues – wheelchair access, info on stairs/elevators in theaters, accessible restrooms, water fountains, etc;

Mild to severe hearing loss – theaters that regularly provide iCaption units (handheld closed caption units) and assistive listening devices (headphone units that amplify the sound onstage), as well as listings of upcoming specially scheduled open captioned and sign language interpreted performances;

Mild to severe vision loss – theaters that always provide D-scriptive audio devices (which provide a detailed account of all onstage activity) as well as listings for upcoming specially scheduled audio described performances); and

Autism friendly performances – upcoming scheduled autism/sensory friendly performances (creating a safe, supportive environment for an audience of families with children and adults on the autism spectrum. The shows are performed with minor adjustments to lighting and sound cues).

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND (TDF) was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 90 million people with access to performances at affordable prices and have returned over $2.5 billion to thousands of productions. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access (including its internationally renowned Autism Theatre Initiative) and award-winning education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — have introduced thousands of people to the theater and helped make the unique experience of theater available to everyone, including students and people with disabilities. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program, a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community, and a 2013 Lortel Award “Outstanding Body of Work Award.” For more information about TDF, go to: www.tdf.org.

THE BROADWAY LEAGUE, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 700-plus members include theater owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. The Broadway League annually co-presents the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry. Key League programs and resources include: Kids’ Night on Broadway®, The National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmys), Stars in the Alley®, Internet Broadway Database® (ibdb.com), Broadway.org, SpotlightonBroadway.com, Commercial Theater Institute (with Theatre Development Fund), as well as numerous conferences and forums for our members. TheatreAccess.nyc (co-produced with TDF) is the one-stop website of accessible Broadway performances for theatregoers with disabilities. Broadway.org is the League’s official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC, on tour, and internationally. For more information visit BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague and on Facebook at Facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. Download the free Broadway.org and IBDB mobile apps from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

 

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