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More Theatre-Goers Will Enjoy Broadway Through Unprecedented Accessibility Initiative

Broadway Accessibility Alliance June 1, 2011 - Thanks to the partnership between Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts and G-PASS, 1.1 million New Yorkers and 56 million Americans with disabilities will have the opportunity to enjoy more Broadway shows than ever before. The Broadway Accessibility/Audience Expansion Initiative sets a new standard for collaboration between producers and accessibility specialists at all stages of production. The Program kicks off with Broadway’s Tony Award–nominated new musical, Catch Me If You Can, June 8, 2011.

“The Initiative enables more theater-goers with disabilities to enjoy as complete and captivating an experience as their non-disabled peers,” said Sharon Jensen, Executive Director, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. "The Alliance and G-PASS have worked closely with the entire Catch Me If You Can team—producers, marketing, media, web designers—as well as the Nederlander Organization and Neil Simon Theatre staff to create accessible and comprehensive services.”

“As a result of the revolutionary technology by Sound Associates, we have been able to introduce special accessibility services to every performance of select Broadway productions,” said Anne Tramon, President of G-PASS. The services—I-Caption for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons, D-Scriptive for blind and low-vision theatre-goers and ShowTrans for non-English-speaking audience members—are available free of charge at every performance. “In collaboration with the Alliance, we can expand these services to more productions, and hopefully, one day, to become standard.”

With the Initiative, Broadway strengthens its position as the gold standard for theatre access and demonstrates how increasing access can facilitate new areas of economic growth.

“Thanks to the efforts of Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, G-PASS and their partners, a whole new audience will have the opportunity to experience Broadway in an innovative way,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. “We salute their hard work in making theatre accessibility a priority and are thrilled about this new initiative.”

The Broadway Accessibility/Audience Expansion Initiative is supported by funds from The City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, 2011 Tony Honor recipient for Excellence in the Theatre, is the nation's leading advocate for full diversity as a key to the vitality and dynamism of American theatre, film and television. It promotes authentic dialogue about race, culture and disability that embraces the complexity of underlying social and historical issues. Its principal aim is to achieve full inclusion in American arts and entertainment.

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