Forum to address accessibility for people with hearing disabilities

Americas, January 26 2017

Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) will host a community forum Wednesday, February 8 focused on ensuring ECA performances, programs and facilities are welcoming and accessible to people are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Organized by ECA’s Inclusion & Accessibility Committee in partnership with the Northwest ADA Center, this event is free. All are welcome to attend.

Presenting at the event, which will run from 6:30-8 p.m. at Edmonds Center for the Arts, will be Michael Richardson, Director at the Northwest ADA Center. Richardson will discuss current ADA standards for arts venues, as well as best practices for welcoming deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons. Guest speakers will also include Romy Brock, Concert Manager of ZooTunes at the Woodland Park Zoo; and Alicia Carter, Director of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program at Edmonds School District.

ECA’s current accommodations for people are deaf or hard-of-hearing include Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), induction neck loops, and American Sign Language (ASL) at select performances. As part of the Community Forum, ECA will demonstrate the ALD system and neck loops, and provide the opportunity for patrons to test these services. Attendees will be invited to contribute feedback, and to join the conversation around other possible services that may enhance the DHH community’s experience of ECA performances, programs and facilities.

The Northwest ADA Center is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and is part of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network Centers are a national platform of 10 centers comprised of ADA professionals and experts charged with assisting businesses, state and local governments, and people with disabilities as they manage the process of changing our culture to be user friendly to disability and the effect the variety of health conditions can have on society.

The Northwest ADA Center is a part of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington, and collaborates with the Center for Technology and Disability Studies, a program within the Center for Human Development and Disability.

ECA’s Inclusion & Accessibility Committee is responsible for the design and oversight of organization-wide planning to ensure access to ECA’s performances, programs and facilities for all – including community members that have historically been underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, or religious belief.

To attend the Community Forum, RSVP to Gillian Jones, Director of Programming, at gillian@ec4arts.org or 425-275-9483. Please let ECA know of any special accommodations required by Wednesday, Jan. 22.

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