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State gets Manhattan's 'theater row’ to deliver accessible seats

NY State Attorney General Eric Schniederman. AP photo

New York State Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Monday announced an agreement with the 42nd Street Development Corporation that will help ensure equal access for patrons seeking to purchase wheelchair-accessible seats.

The agreement outlines steps that will be taken by 42nd Street, which owns and operates the “Theater Row” theaters located near Times Square, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, to ensure that accessible seating is sold during the same hours and in the same manner as general seating.  

“This agreement takes us one step closer to fully realizing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act -- encouraging independent living and providing equal opportunity. People with disabilities should have the same opportunities to enjoy places of public accommodation as all Americans, and theaters are no exception,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.

As part of today’s agreement, 42nd Street will make available a pair of tickets, including one wheelchair accessible seat and one companion seat, once a month for a year for Acorn Theatre performances, one of six venues in the theater complex located at 410 W. 42nd Street, to non-profit organizations that provide services to disabled New Yorkers.

The seats will be distributed through a list of approved facilities.

During its investigation, the Attorney General's Office found that accessible seating was not made available in the same manner and through the same purchasing methods as other seating, thereby limiting the time and opportunities for persons with disabilities to purchase and secure accessible seating.

Under the ADA, individuals with disabilities should have the same access to purchase theater tickets as other members of the general public, whether those sales are conducted online or by third parties such as Telecharge.

This matter is part of Attorney General Schneiderman's ongoing initiative to promote compliance among theaters, sporting complexes and other public accommodations with ADA Guidelines. These capabilities will be in place for all Theatre Row theaters by the end of January.

January 14, 2013 - 1:17pm


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