I accustomed an email afresh from a woman who was analytic her bench appointment for a achievement at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.
She said the box appointment had offered her and her bedmate attainable seating, which they said were the “designated emergency seats” in the aftermost row of the orra level. She uses a pikestaff and her bedmate uses a walker, she said.
She would accept rather had balustrade seating. However, there is no elevator to the balustrade level.
Furthermore, the woman said, the restrooms were amid alfresco the capital building, bottomward some steps.
She capital to apperceive if this was legal.
As nonprofit alignment back 2001, back it opened afterwards apology of the celebrated city theater, the Lensic Performing Arts Center is covered beneath Title III of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act — Attainable Accommodations and Commercial Facilities.
Because the amphitheater was adequate above-mentioned to 2012, the renovations followed the 1991 standards for removing barriers and convalescent the accessibility of the facility, rather than the revised standards that went into aftereffect in 2010.
According to the 1991 standards, if a ability is accouterment wheelchair-accessible basement on the aboriginal floor, it does not accept to install an elevator to ability the added floor.
The elevator absolution is a “vertical access” exemption, which agency the ability doesn’t charge to accommodate any admission to the added floor, unless it wishes to do so.
The 1991 standards additionally accompaniment that a attainable ability charge accommodate basement that adjoins an attainable avenue that additionally serves as a “means of departure in case of emergency.”
If there are attainable restrooms in the facility, they charge be attainable and on an attainable route, according to the standards.
Recently, I met with Joel Aalberts, controlling administrator of the Lensic Performing Arts Center, and Connie Schaekel, association relations director, and we absolved through the theater.
Schaekel acicular out an attainable ancestors bathroom beyond from the admission window, which had the International Sym of Access, additionally accepted as the Wheelchair Sym, displayed on the door.
The bathroom was ample central and appeared to me to accommodated the 1991 standards. I appropriate that directional signs in the antechamber ability advice assemblage with disabilities acquisition the attainable restroom, and Aalberts and Schaekel agreed.
We additionally absolved to addition attainable bathroom bottomward a continued corridor. There were a brace of accomplish off the antechamber to the corridor; however, an attainable access to the aisle was attainable through doors from the belly of the theater’s orra level.
“These are about opened during intermission,” Schaekel said.
Aalberts explained that the Lensic has 14 attainable spaces at all events, including 11 disposable and three anchored seats.
“For assertive events,” he said, “the Lensic adds 30 added seats on top of our pit floor. Back this agreement is in place, we accept the advantage of accouterment six added attainable spaces up front.
“We chase up with assemblage purchasing attainable seats one anniversary afore their affairs to see if there is annihilation we can do or accommodate to accomplish their appointment a success.”
Added Schaekel: “People application wheelchairs are consistently acceptable to alteration to the amphitheater seats.,”
There were some seats with adaptable arm rests at the end of some rows to acquiesce easier alteration from a wheelchair to the seat.
According to the ADA, attainable basement charge be articular to the aforementioned akin of specificity as added seats on basement charts, and, if asked, the area of all attainable attainable basement charge be identified.
According to Aalberts, the angel advice on the Lensic’s website is actuality adapted to accommodate all options for attainable seating.
“We additionally action alert abetment accessories at all contest and consistently accommodate for assurance accent interpretation, Aalberts said.
Andy Winnegar has spent his career in rehabilitation and is based in Santa Fe as a training accessory for the Southwest ADA Center. He can be accomplished at [email protected]
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