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TDF to host first-ever accessibility symposium "TDF Access for NYC Theatre" on Monday, April 24

Date: Apr 12, 2017


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Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, will host an accessibility symposium, “TDF Access for NYC Theatre” on Monday, April 24 at the Romulus Linney Courtyard theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, NYC). The goal of the symposium is to facilitate a dialogue with not-for-profit theatres in New York City on meeting the needs of the community of theatre goers with disabilities. The attendees will join TDF for a day-long presentation on accessibility best practices with guest speakers from across the country. These leaders in the field will bring to the event their years of experience and knowledge to help guide theatre companies on their journey toward maintaining inclusive theatre policies.

Topics covered will include ADA Ticketing, Sustainable Audio Description Programs, and looking at various captioning options.

Confirmed speakers for the day include*:
• Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and Accessibility, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

• Evan Hatfield, Director of Audience Experience, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

• Mark Annunziato, VP of Engineering and Operations, Sound Associates

• JW Guido, Artistic Director, NY Deaf Theatre • Andrea Day, NYC and National Audio Describer

• Ruth Feldman, Senior Writer and Audio Description Trainer, Audio Description Solutions • David Chu, Co-Founder, c2 (caption coalition) Inc

• Erica Foster, Operations Director/Accessibility Coordinator, Lifeline Theatre

* Additionally there will be a special address from Commissioner Victor Calise from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.

“TDF Access for NYC Theatre’s primary focus will be on helping theatres achieve sustainability in providing access for the long term rather than easy solutions for an individual performance that requires accommodation,” said Lisa Carling, TDF’s Director of Accessibility Programs. “The aim will be to implement ongoing services for people with hearing and vision loss as well as individuals on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, rather than assisting facilities with building design for mobility access.”

In addition, TDF is accepting letters of inquiry through June 30, 2017 from not-for-profit theatres in New York City that are seeking to purchase their own accessibility equipment for audio description and/or open captioning. These grants are intended to help theatres increase their audiences of people with hearing and vision loss and create sustainable accessibility programs.

The organizations attending the symposium will be representatives from: Bluelaces Theater Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music, c2 Caption Inc., Carnegie Hall Corp, Cherry Lane Theatre, Hands On, Hartford Stage, Hearing loss Association of America (NYC Chapter), Henry Street Settlement, Hunter College, IRT Theater, Kaiser’s Room, Lighthouse Guild, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, MCC Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Playwright’s Horizons, Premiere Stages at Kean University, Queens theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, SIGN & SING, Signature Theatre, Teachers College or Columbia University, Teatro SEA, The Apothetae, The New Group, The Public Theater, The Vangeline Theater, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Theatrical Rights Worldwide and Transport Group Theatre Company.

This event is made possible through funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.