A small accommodation can be all it takes to keep us doing the things we love to do. Vision loss may take away the joy of seeing a Broadway show. Then again, a seat up close to the stage might just bring that joy right back!
You should know that preferred seating, for people who are visually impaired, is required in public and commercial venues. Seats for visual access are often in the first few rows. They are sold on a first come basis, with one (or more) additional ticket purchases allowed for a companion or guest.
It is certainly worth exploring and experiencing. For more information try searching online using the venue, or event name along with “accessible seating” or “disability services.” It may be best to begin with a phone call to the box office or the designated ticket seller. Check to see if they have a direct phone line for Accessibility.
Sometimes Access Services online looks like it is related only to wheelchairs. Do not be confused or deterred, wherever wheelchairs are accommodated, vision loss is accommodated as well.
Each venue reserves seats for this purpose. It is possible to get access seats very close to the date of the performance, so always give it a try. For very popular shows and events, this may not be the case, you may have to buy way in advance. Still getting the right seats is worth the wait.
Here are some of the services available in New York City. You’ll find similar options in your own town.
- Telecharge Broadway Shows
Accessible Seating FAQ
- Madison Square Garden
- Radio City Music Hall
About the Author
Dorrie Rush is a Visual Accessibility Expert and progressive proponent for Universal Access and Inclusive Design. She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.