Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

TDF's Lisa Carling Will Receive Award For Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Accessibility

She is among the recipients of The Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership.



TDF's Lisa Carling Will Receive Award For Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Accessibility

Longtime Director of TDF Accessibility Programs, Lisa Carling, is being celebrated for her exemplary work in arts and accessibility. She is among the recipients of The Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership. The annual LEAD Awards honor arts administrators and organizations whose dedication has resulted in advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities in the cultural arts.

The Awards for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership recognizes a lifetime of achievement in arts and accessibility and will be presented at this year's LEAD conference on Friday, August 5 in Raleigh, NC.

"I am so thrilled to receive this award and have loved the almost four decades I've spent at TDF advocating for people with disabilities," said Ms. Carling. "I never intended to stay in the field this long but there has always been more to do to make things better and more equitable. In looking back, the most memorable, impactful programs I've initiated are TDF Autism Friendly Performances, launched in 2011; open captioning for theatre, begun in 1997; and the Interpreting for the Theatre Program (1998-2009), a one-week intensive for sign language interpreters in partnership with The Juilliard School. It has given me such joy to see these programs grow, take root in broader areas and help create an appetite for more accessible theatre. Whatever you do in life, be a catalyst for change!"

The Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Awards in Accessibility Leadership recognize a lifetime of achievement in arts and accessibility. Recipients are selected for having sustained accessibility efforts over a significant period of time, demonstrating either an individual or institutional commitment to the inclusion of all people with disabilities. This pertains to incorporating accessibility into organizational programs, projects, and environments. Other factors considered in selecting award winners are the breadth of impact and how the person or entity has served as a role-model or leader within the cultural arts community and in areas such as business, social service, and government. Link for the full list of the 2022 awardees.

ABOUT Lisa Carling

Lisa Carling joined TDF Accessibility Programs in 1983 and has been the department's director since the mid-'90s. She helps design and implement services that make theatre performances accessible to people with disabilities on Broadway, Off Broadway and nationwide. Ms. Carling runs a department that provides autism-friendly, open captioned, sign language-interpreted and audio described performances, as well as seating for theatregoers with mobility disabilities. She also oversees the TDF Veterans Theatregoing Program to ensure NYC's vets have the accessibility accommodations they need when attending shows.

Ms. Carling served on The Shubert Organization's Audience Services Advisory Committee for the implementation of GalaPro, an app that provides on-demand closed captioning and audio description; and currently serves on Bridge Multimedia's Advisory Group to review broadcast audio description for programming K-12. As a speaker, she has shared her experience in the accessibility field on theatre industry panels, at arts and disability conferences, BroadwayCon and the first-ever Broadway Accessibility Summit. In her previous career, Lisa performed with Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT, and Classic Stage Company in New York, and also did TV and film.





Industry Classifieds


More Hot Stories For You


Now Hiring: Teaching Artists, Sound Supervisor, and More - BroadwayWorld ClassifiedsNow Hiring: Teaching Artists, Sound Supervisor, and More - BroadwayWorld Classifieds
August 18, 2022

This Week's New Classified Listings on BroadwayWorld for 8/18/2022 include new jobs for those looking to work in the theatre industry.

Actors' Equity Association to Unionize Dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive BarActors' Equity Association to Unionize Dancers at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar
August 17, 2022

A majority of the dancers employed at the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar in North Hollywood have filed a petition for a union recognition election with the National Labor Relations Board.

Taylor Kitsch, Kate Mara & More to Star in New Scripted Podcast KOZ Premiering in SeptemberTaylor Kitsch, Kate Mara & More to Star in New Scripted Podcast KOZ Premiering in September
August 17, 2022

Audible Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, has announced a multi-project slate deal with AT WILL MEDIA, an award winning independently-owned podcast studio.

Broadway Across America is Now Accepting Applications For BTC/BAAFellowshipBroadway Across America is Now Accepting Applications For BTC/BAAFellowship
August 17, 2022

Applications are now being accepted for the second annual Black Theatre Coalition • Broadway Across America (BTC/BAA) Fellowship program. 

The Industry Standard Group Welcomes Isha Gulati As Strategy And Operations ConsultantThe Industry Standard Group Welcomes Isha Gulati As Strategy And Operations Consultant
August 16, 2022

The Industry Standard Group will welcome Isha Gulati to the organization as a Strategy and Operations Consultant, along with an initial slate of community allies. Founded in 2020, TISG is a community organization innovating Broadway by finding new pathways toward equitable representation in commercial theatre.