SPIDER-MAN, NEWSIES and More to Offer Autism-Friendly Performances in 2013
TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP) was established in 1979 to provide access to the performing arts for people with physical disabilities. TAP serves theatregoers with mild to profound hearing loss with regularly scheduled open captioned and American Sign Language interpreted performances of Broadway and Off Broadway shows; theatregoers who are partially sighted or blind with special audio described performances; people who for medical reasons cannot climb stairs; and, people who require aisle seating or use wheelchairs.
Through TAP, TDF offers discount orchestra tickets that are chosen with the customer's specific seating needs in mind. TAP made Broadway history when it presented the first sign interpreted performance of a Broadway show with The Elephant Man in 1980. TAP again made Broadway history in 1997 with the first open captioned performance of a Broadway show, Barrymore, thus opening up theatre to an entire population of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who are unable to utilize American Sign Language or receive only partial help from assistive listening devices. This is the third season that TAP has added audio described performances to its services for theatregoers who are blind or have low vision. TAP's Access for Young Audiences Program make theatre accessible to students with mild to severe hearing loss with simultaneously open captioned and sign language interpreted performances, as well as audio described performances for students who are blind or have low vision. TAP launched the Autism Theatre Initiative in 2011 which presents sensory-friendly performances for families with children on the autism spectrum. For more information on TAP's services, go to www.tdf.org/tap.
Theatre Development Fund (TDF) was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since being founded in 1968, it has become the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $150 million annually to hundreds of productions through a variety of programs. TDF's programs have provided over 83 million people with access to performances at affordable prices. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths (now in its 40th year of service), TDF's membership, outreach, access and education programs - as well as its Costume Collection - help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program and a 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community. For more information about TDF, go to: www.tdf.org.