Archive for the ‘disabled travel’ Category

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

March 24, 2016
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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3rd Annual Long Trail Century Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports Set for June 22

March 13, 2013

The third annual Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports returns to Vermont again this spring, where cyclists of all abilities can ride a century, 50- or 20-mile course to raise funds and awareness for disabled sports programming. Adaptive athletes are sponsored and ride for free.

After what came together in less than six weeks in 2011 for its inaugural ride, thanks to the inspiration of Lookout Tavern owner Phil Black, the third annual Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive will be held on Saturday, June 22. Nearly three hundred riders from around New England and up and down the East Coast participated in 2012. Up to 500 riders are expected to participate in this year’s fundraising event. An après-ride party, featuring live music and entertainment plus kid and family activities, will be held after the ride at the brewery for all to enjoy – riders, spectators and visitors alike.

The century ride, plus 50- and 20-mile routes, will start and end at the Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater Corners. The routes will travel through Killington and surrounding communities including Irene-survived Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Bethel, Woodstock, and Ludlow.

“We believe sports and recreation provide a physical, mental and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director of Vermont Adaptive. “We extend an enormous thanks to Phil for starting this ride for us and to Long Trail and also to Killington Resort, who help us to provide an event of this caliber. Everyone in the community has been very supportive of our efforts, and the ride will help us to underwrite some of the costs of our adaptive programs and allow more people with disabilities to participate.”

The recreational rides loop through the towns of Killington, Pittsfield, Bethel, Barnard, Woodstock, Ludlow, Bridgewater, and Plymouth, Vermont. Quaint villages, the scenery of Route 100 and U.S. Route 4, the Crossroad of Vermont Byway, the seventh of its kind recently designated by the Vermont Transportation Board, are incorporated into the routes.

All riders and volunteers receive entry to the “Après-Ride” party, and additional party tickets are available for $15/adults and $10/kids.

Cyclists will check-in Friday night at a pre-ride party at the Umbrella Bar at Killington Resort, and rides begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday from the brewery on Route 4. All registrants will receive a lift ticket voucher to ski or ride Killington Resort during the 2013-2014 season, and those who raise an additional $300 or more will receive a special Long Trail Brewing cycling jersey.

Rider registration includes a Century Ride wicking t-shirt, food and support at aid stations during the ride, entry to the après-ride party complete with food and entertainment, plus a commemorative pint glass. There is no day of registration for the ride, and registration is limited to a total of 500 riders. Everyone is welcome to attend the “Après-Ride Party” and advance tickets are available for the party. Registration, pricing, information, and advance-ticket purchase to the party can be found at www.longtrailcenturyride.com.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. The organization promotes independence and further equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients from all over the world in three locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

The Long Trail Brewing Company, a key sponsor of the event, is located in Bridgewater Corners, Vt. and has been producing an exceptional family of fine ales since 1989. Today, as the leading handcrafted beer in Vermont, Long Trail has demonstrated it fills a niche in the market for quality craft beer. Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, Long Trail takes the words “environmentally conscious” seriously and lives that eco-minded philosophy every day at the brewery. Long Trail’s facility is truly unique, as it was designed to minimize the impact on our environment and was recognized in 2009 by receiving the Vermont Governor’s Award in Environmental Excellence for resource conservation. Also, Vermont’s Green Mountain Environment Association has named the water produced by the brewery’s artisan wells as “Vermont’s best drinking water.” For more information, visit www.longtrail.com.

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Vermont Adaptive Partners with United States Association of Blind Athletes to Host Sixth Annual Winter Ski Festival

February 1, 2013

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in partnership with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports will host its largest gathering of skiers who are blind and visually impaired at its Sixth Annual Winter Ski Festival in Killington, Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 at Pico Mountain. Up to 30 athletes with visual impairments will be given the opportunity to learn to ski or race in the sports of Alpine and Nordic skiing, while spending a weekend in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Athletes will be attending from New England states, and as far south as Florida and North Carolina and west to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The event is open to all ages, all abilities and all ski levels. Trained guides and instructors are provided by Vermont Adaptive, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont, which is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities.

This year, a group of five Veterans will join the festivities. The USABA Military Sport Program works to enhance the lives of disabled Veterans and Service Members who are blind or visually impaired and to accelerate their rehabilitation process through sport, physical activity, and recreation; as well as assist in the integration of those individuals back into their local community. Mark Lucas, USABA’s executive director said, “USABA is extremely pleased to partner with Vermont Adaptive to provide an opportunity for skiers who are blind and visually impaired. Now in its sixth year, the event has really expanded with meet-and-greet receptions, Alpine and Nordic skiing sessions, a banquet, and a biathlon demonstration using a sonar laser rifle.”

In addition, six athletes from Vermont were awarded scholarships for their winning essays from a contest held by the Vermont Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Vermont Adaptive. Applicants had to write about how sports and recreation help other aspects of their lives and how they would help spread the word to other people about the importance of sports through the programs of Vermont Adaptive and USABA.

Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veteran Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forced.

For more information, visit http://www.usaba.org or contact: Mark Lucas at USABA at: (719) 352-9134 or Tom Alcorn at VASS: (802) 353-7584.

Since its founding in 1976, the United States Association of Blind Athletes, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind.For more information, please visit our Web site: www.usaba.org.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to winter and summer sports and recreational opportunities. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

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Fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive’s Ski Challenge 2012 at Pico Mountain Can Earn Lift Tickets, Season Passes, Ski/Ride Package

February 20, 2012

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment, will host its annual Ski Challenge fundraising event on Saturday, March 10 at Pico Mountain. A retro '80s is this year's theme © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment, will host its annual Ski Challenge fundraising event on Saturday, March 10 at Pico Mountain. A retro ’80s is this year’s theme. People do not have to participate in the race to attend the family-friendly gala after the day’s event. Gala-only tickets are available.

In addition, Killington Resort and Pico Mountain are providing lift ticket and season pass fundraising incentives in order for the non-profit to reach its event goal of raising $100,000.

Vermont Adaptive has established a special page on FirstGiving.com, enabling both participants and non-participants in the Ski Challenge to reap the benefits of raising money for Vermont Adaptive. The incentives and fundraising levels include:

$200 in pledges = (1) 2012-13 Pico Mountain Lift Ticket

$300 in pledges = (2) 2012-13 Pico Mountain Lift Tickets

$500 in pledges = (2) 2012-13 Killington Lift Tickets

$750 in pledges = (1) 2012-13 Pico Mountain Season Pass

$1,000 in pledges = (1) 2012-13 Killington Midweek Season Pass

$1,500 in pledges = (1) 2012-13 Killington Unlimited Season Pass

$2,000 in pledges = Complete Rossignol Ski or snowboard Package

Those interested in participating in the fundraising can create an individual fundraising page at http://www.firstgiving.com/sportsforeverybody/ski-challenge-2012

Every $100 in pledges enables Vermont Adaptive to provide a full-day skiing scholarship. The cost of an outing with Vermont Adaptive for the consumer can range from a $15 for a two hour canoeing session to $90 for a full day ski lesson, including instructors, ticket and adaptive equipment. All of the school and advocacy groups that the organization works with are also subsidized by Vermont Adaptive; school groups are charged a reduced rate starting at 50% off, and participants receive the same one on one experience as any individual who participates.

“We believe sports and recreation provide a physical, mental and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director. “This is our largest winter fundraiser and monies raised will help us to underwrite some of the costs of our adaptive programs and allow more people with disabilities to participate. We are so thankful to our resort partners like Killington and Pico, who continually step up and come through with us with amazing support. We couldn’t be who we are without partners like them.”

This year’s Ski Challenge includes a day filled with skiing and fun, timed racing and a night complete with family-friendly grazing stations with a retro-’80s theme and music, awards, and dancing. Saturday begins with check-in for participants from 8 – 9:30 a.m. in the Sunshine Room in the Pico Mountain base lodge. The fun race begins at 10 a.m. The race is open to all ages and abilities of skiers, riders and tele-skiers. Each racer will complete two times runs. Participants are encouraged to create teams of three and compete in costumes as well. Awards will be made in various categories for all participants, from best individual times to fasted teams, best costume, youngest and oldest participants, as well as acknowledging top fundraisers.

Beginning at 4 p.m. the event moves to the Killington Grand Hotel. A cash bar and Silent Auction begin at 4 p.m. Then the night continues with awards, dinner and dancing. The Silent Auction will wrap up around 7:30 p.m. A DJ will be spinning retro ’80s tunes.

Registration includes a special wool IBEX Outdoor Clothing beanie as well as full-day lift ticket for March 10, 2012 to Pico, Ski Challenge festivities, awards, and the après-ski party. Apres-ski party tickets can be purchased in advance as well. Registration is online at www.vermontadaptive.org.

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