For the first time for Broadway in New York City, an Autism-Friendly performance will be held on October 2nd at the Minskoff Theatre with the 6-time Tony Award-winning Broadway show ,“The Lion King”. The Theatre Development Fund (TDF), a non-profit dedicated to making live theater available and enjoyable for all, created a new pilot program called the Autism Theatre Initiative in accordance with their Theatre Accessibility Program (TAP), which helps make theaters accessible to people on the Autism spectrum and their families.
Accommodations for this special performance include the reduction of loud or harsh sounds as well as a reduction of strobe lights concentrated on the audience. In addition, there will be staffed quiet areas in the lobby if there are any attendees who need to leave their seats during the performance. Another step TDF took to make this performance accessible was to purchase all the seats for the performance so that they could be sold at more affordable prices. On the TDF website, there is a downloadable Word document to familiarize attendees with the theater and production beforehand, which can be very helpful for those on the Autism Spectrum who have anxieties about being in a large theater.
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