When it comes to a night at the theatre, The Broadway League is continually working on ways to improve the theatregoing experiences for all audiences. The organization has just announced a new initiative to use technology to better and more consistently serve audiences who are Deaf or have hearing or vision loss.
While theatre currently offers assistive listening devices, progress in vocal recognition technology, closed captioning, and audio description will allow more accurate and synchronized assistance via mobile devices and headsets.
The majority of Broadway houses will offer these new options beginning January 1, 2018, with technology in all of Broadway’s theatres by summer 2018. (Some Broadway venues are already equipped to provide the new services.)
The League will provide staff at each performance to demonstrate the new technology.
"The advent of On Demand closed captioning on Broadway is a true game changer,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, in a statement. “I anticipate our members who had given up on live events because they could not understand dialogue and lyrics will happily return to Broadway.”
“Improved closed captioning and audio description services are the latest advances in an ongoing effort to meet the needs of every theatregoer,” said Broadway League Chairman Robert E. Wankel.
For more information, visit TheatreAccess.nyc.