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Title: Broadway Shows Accessibility
The recent lawsuit against the producers of the musical, Hamilton, have brought attention to the accessibility of Broadway shows in New York City. In this case the lawsuit was brought by a blind patron from Colorado, Mark Lasser, who wanted to attend the musical.
Last September, Mr. Lasser called the Richard Rogers Theater, where Hamilton is presented, and realized that the show was not offered with audio description services for the visually impaired. Mr. Lasser considered this a violation of Title III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) that asks Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities to provide equal treatment for individuals with visual disabilities. He filed a class action lawsuit on January 23, 2017, against Hamilton producers, Nederlander Organization (owner of the Richard Rodgers Theatre), and Baseline Theatrical Limited Liability Company (which provides financial management services for the musical).
Mr. Lasser and his attorneys asked the show to offer audio description equipment and live narration services once a week, with 25 audio sets for each show at the Richard Rogers Theater for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Even though the lawsuit has not been resolved yet, Hamilton is already offering Audio Description services.
With so many shows offered in New York City, the Theatre Development Fund and The Broadway League have created the Theatre Access New York City website. This accessible website offers information about the Broadway shows that provide access for individuals with different types of disabilities.
Each show listed on the website displays one or several icons that indicate what types of accessibility are provided: wheelchair, hearing devices, open captioning, sign language, autism friendly or audio description.
The Healing Arts Initiative also offers a calendar of audio described performances in the city. Visit their calendar to learn more.
These 2 sites are a very good resource when planning your visit to Broadway.