More Broadway Theaters to Become Wheelchair Accessible

theater

Hundreds of barriers to accessibility will be eliminated at nine of Broadway’s most historic theaters. The Nederlander Organization will improve accessibility at its theaters over the next three years as part of the terms of its settlement with prosecutors of a federal lawsuit.

The organization—owner and operator of Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Neil Simon, Palace and Richard Rodgers theaters—will provide 70 wheelchair accessible seating locations, 134 aisle transfer seating locations for persons who are able to transfer from a wheelchair into a seat and direct its ticket vendors to accord priority to persons with disabilities in selling those seating locations. More than 500 individual barriers to accessibility will also be eliminated in theater restrooms, concession counters, waiting areas and box offices.

In addition, the Nederlander Organization will pay a $45,000 civil penalty to the United States.

In a statement, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the “resolution marks the culmination of years of work to ensure that one of New York City’s leading cultural and entertainment treasures – Broadway theater – is accessible to people with disabilities. As a result of this suit and settlement, coupled with a similar lawsuit filed by the Office against the Shubert Theaters in 2003, over 20 of the leading Broadway theaters, operated by the two largest Broadway theater organizations, will be more accessible than ever before.”

The full consent decree describing the changes is available at http://www.ada.gov/nederlander-cd.htm.

About the Author

Cindy Horbrook is the associate editor for HME Business, Mobility Management, and Respiratory & Sleep Management magazines.

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