Broadway Moves Toward Accessibility
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 25, 2003
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--At the beginning of next year, theater patrons who use wheelchairs will have their choice of 16 Broadway venues that will be fully accessible to them.
In an agreement announced Thursday, theaters operated by the Shubert Organization will comply fully with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act by December 31, 2003.
The Shubert Organization operates nearly one-half of New York's 39 Broadway theaters, including the Music Box Theatre, the Cadillac Winter Garden, and the Shubert on West 44th Street. The organization has already spent $5 million over the last several years to improve wheelchair seating areas, restrooms, entrances, exits, ticket windows and concession areas. Finishing up on the plans is part of the latest agreement which settles two civil lawsuits brought against Schubert.
Under the ADA, one percent of all seats must be set aside for theater-goers with disabilities, as well as another one percent for companions. Tickets must be made available in the most expensive and least expensive areas.
Federal officials said that they will be soon be checking the other Broadway theaters for accessibility.