Mobility Access for Theater

Calling Up Justice knows making theater accessible to artists and audiences with mobility disabilities is an important step towards creating an inclusive and diverse cultural space. Here are some pieces of advice for theater makers looking to enhance accessibility in their venues:

Consult with Experts: Seek guidance from accessibility experts or organizations specializing in disability inclusion. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations for making your theater more accessible.

Accessible Ticketing: Your ticketing system should be accessible, allowing patrons to easily purchase tickets online, by phone, or in person. Provide accessible seating options during the ticketing process.

Parking and Drop-Off Zones: Provide accessible parking spaces close to the theater entrance and a designated drop-off zone to make it easier for patrons with mobility disabilities to access the venue. Know your public transport options.

Accessible Restrooms: Make sure that there are accessible restroom facilities available, equipped with proper handrails and adequate space for wheelchair users. Signage should clearly indicate the location of these facilities.

Wheelchair Access: Ensure that your theater has accessible entrances, exits, and seating areas for individuals using wheelchairs. Ramps or lifts should be installed where needed, and the seating arrangement should accommodate wheelchair users.

Flexible Seating Arrangements: Make your seating arrangements flexible to accommodate different mobility aids (e.g., walkers, canes, or crutches). Consider removable seats or spaces for such aids.

Comfortable seating options in lobby: In areas where audience will wait provide comfortable seating options like couches.

Clear Pathways: Ensure that the theater has clear and unobstructed pathways for easy movement. Remove potential hazards and clutter from aisles and common areas.

Training for Staff: Train your staff to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of patrons with mobility disabilities. They should be ready to offer assistance when necessary and be knowledgeable about the theater’s accessibility features.

Communication and Promotion: Clearly communicate your theater’s accessibility features on your website, in promotional materials, and at the venue. Provide contact information for patrons to request specific accommodations.

Feedback and Improvement: Encourage feedback from patrons with mobility disabilities to continuously improve accessibility. Be responsive to their suggestions and concerns.

Inclusive Programming: Make an effort to include performances, workshops, and events that cater to artists and audiences with disabilities. Collaborate with disability arts organizations and showcase their work.

Budget for Accessibility: Allocate a budget for ongoing accessibility enhancements and maintenance. Accessibility should be an integral part of your long-term planning and funding strategies.

By taking these steps, you can create a more welcoming and inclusive theater space that accommodates the needs of artists and audience members with mobility disabilities, contributing to a richer cultural experience for all.

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