Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

CMT offers program for visually impaired

By
From page B5 | December 27, 2013 |

The California Musical Theater announced a new program to make shows come alive for patrons with visual impairment.

Select Saturday matinee performances of each Broadway Sacramento and Music Circus production will feature audio description. Patrons with visual impairment will be able to listen to live descriptions of the visual elements of the shows — including sets, costumes and physical action — using ear pieces provided at the theater.

The program came about after members of the American Council of the Blind Capitol Chapter, California Council of the Blind, the leading consumer advocacy organization of persons with vision loss in the Sacramento area, approached CMT regarding the status of the program to meet the needs of those in the blind community.

California Council of the Blind and the Organization of Macular Friends requested the inclusion of audio description of the visual elements of shows and continue to actively advise CMT on the development of this program.

CMT, which also offers open captioning as well as performances with sign language interpretation for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, began testing the audio description program for its visually impaired patrons with limited offerings during the Music Circus season.

“For both Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento, we want to create an environment where as many theatre-lovers as possible can experience our shows. I’m happy that we’re able to launch a program allowing patrons who are blind or have limited vision the opportunity to enhance their enjoyment of our shows, meeting an important need in that community,” Lewis said.

“It is nice to be able to attend professional theater without having to travel to the Bay Area. I no longer have to rely on my wife to describe the scenery, costumes and props, making her experience equally enjoyable,” Gene Lozano, first vice-president ACB Capitol Chapter of California Council of the Blind, said.

Margie Donovan, chair of the Advocacy Committee for the ACB Capitol Chapter, California Council of the Blind, said, “As a person who is totally blind, audio description enables me to enjoy all aspects of what is happening on the stage. Because of the newly established CMT audio description program, I am thrilled that I will be fully experiencing all aspects of live theater performances.”

“We are extremely excited about CMT’s long-term commitment to ensuring that its customers who are blind have the full theater-going experience,” Jeff Thom, immediate past president of the California Council of the Blind, said.

Following is a list of programs offered by CMT for its Broadway Sacramento shows to help provide accessibility to all patrons:

  • Hearing assistive devices: Hearing assistive devices are available for loan at a table near the box office. A driver’s license or other form of ID is required for deposit.
  • Sign-interpreted performances: The final Sunday matinée performance of most productions will be interpreted for the deaf and hearing impaired. Contact the Convention Center Theater box office at 916-808-5181 or the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office at 916-557-1999 for tickets and information.
  • Open captioned performances: The final Friday evening performance of most productions will be open captioned for the deaf and hearing impaired. Please contact the Convention Center box office at 916-808-5181 or the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office at 916-557-1999 for tickets and information. “Wicked” will be captioned Friday, May 30.
  • Audio described performances: The final Saturday matinée of most performances will be audio described for the blind and visually impaired. Ear pieces for these performances are available for loan at a table near the box office. Please be sure to reserve an audio receiver at the time of your ticket purchase.
  • Disabled and wheelchair seating: Seating locations in the Community Center Theater for patrons using wheelchairs or with a disability are located on the orchestra, grand tier and second tier levels. Tickets for these seats may be purchased at the Convention Center Theater box office or the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office.
  • TTY/TDD: TTY for the Convention Center box office is 916-264-7151.

For more information about audio description or any of CMT’s programs for patrons with special needs, contact Barbara Haig, assisted arts coordinator, at 916-446-5880, ext. 149, or bhaig@calmt.com.

For tickets to described performances or information on upcoming productions, contact the box office at 916-557-1999. Be sure to request an audio description ear piece when you purchase your tickets.

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