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TDF presented the first open-captioned performance of a Broadway show, Barrymore, in 1997.

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TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP)


Apply for TDF Accessibility Membership!
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Print and mail application (pdf)

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NYC OPEN CAPTION, SIGN INTERPRETED and AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES

NATIONAL OPEN CAPTIONING INITIATIVE PERFORMANCES SCHEDULED

NATIONAL OPEN CAPTIONING INITIATIVE INQUIRIES

DOWNLOADABLE FORMS AND LOGOS

TAP FAQs

OC for the THEATRE: BASIC REFERENCE GUIDE (pdf)

OC FAQs

LEAD CONF 2010

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.



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The mission of TDF is to increase access to theatre for all audiences. That's why TDF's programs for disabled theatregoers are such an important part of its outreach and have been consolidated into the TDF Accessibility Programs.

For theatregoers who are hard of hearing or deaf, low vision or blind, who cannot climb stairs or who require aisle seating or wheelchair locations, TDF obtains special seating according to need. There is no annual fee, but you must provide evidence of eligibility.

Who's eligible?
Anyone who requires special seating or may benefit from open captioning, sign language interpreting or audio description services as the result of a documented physical limitation.

TDF Accessibility Members can take advantage of all the following services:

Accessible Seating
All TAP seats are guaranteed to be in the orchestra so members who cannot climb stairs for medical reasons are easily accommodated. Members who use wheelchairs or are able to transfer from their wheelchairs into aisle seats can obtain the seating they require. Members who have low vision or hearing loss can order tickets that place them closer to the stage.  And patrons who use service animals can obtain appropriate seating to accommodate them.

Audio Description at Select Performances
For theatregoers with moderate to severe vision loss, a specially trained describer explains what's happening on stage during pauses in dialogue. The describer uses a headset microphone, while individuals using the service listen through a receiver with a single earpiece. Click the "NYC Open Captioned, Sign Interpreted and Audio Described Performances" link on the right to see what TAP is offering now.

Open Captioning at Select Performances
For patrons with slight to profound hearing loss, an electronic text display to the side of the stage shows what the actors are saying or singing and describes sound effects on stage in real time. Click the "NYC Open Captioned, Sign Interpreted and Audio Described Performances" link on the right to see what TAP is offering now.

Sign Language Interpreting at Select Performances
For theatregoers who are Deaf and use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication, a team of experienced theatre interpreters stand to the side of the stage and translate what the actors are saying or singing into American Sign Language (ASL). Click the "NYC Open Captioned, Sign Interpreted and Audio Described Performances" link on the right to see what TAP is offering now.

Tickets by Mail
No waiting at the box office—and plenty of time to get settled before the curtain goes up.


Additional TAP Services

Access for Young Audiences (AYA)
TAP reaches out to school groups of young theatregoers with mild to severe hearing or vision loss by providing in class workshops and sending them to special sign language interpreted and open-captioned or audio-described performances of Broadway shows. For more information on AYA, click here.

Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI)
TDF's Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI) affords people with autism and their families and caretakers an opportunity to experience Broadway shows in a supportive and judgment-free environment. With slight modifications to sound and lighting, downloadable resources and supports, reduced ticket prices, and autism specialist staffing at each autism-friendly performance, TDF has pioneered the way for this under-served population. For more information on ATI click here.

National Open Captioning Initiative
TDF offers a limited number of two-year regional theatre partnerships to sponsor open-captioned performances and increase attendance by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information on TDF's National Open Caption Initiative click here

TAP Plus
TDF's TAP Plus Program offers grants designed to add open captioning services to events that are being made available to the public in New York State. For more information on TAP Plus click here

Accessibility Services Available From Other Organizations

Closed Captioning
Individual handheld devices display complete dialogue, lyrics and sound effects throughout the performance. The I-Caption system works from any seat location and is currently available at four Broadway theatres. Complete information at www.soundassociates.com.

Foreign Language Translation
Theatregoers who are not fluent in English can listen to a simultaneous description of some shows in languages including Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and Korean. The system is called ShowTrans. Complete information at www.soundassociates.com.

TDF/AUTISM INITIATIVE