The world is full of people with different physical ability levels. Whether disabled by birth, due to an accident, or because of some medical condition, some people have to deal with a multitude of physical situations. And we've all obviously all got work to do on making the world a better place for everyone.
According to an estimate, there are 3.3 billion wheelchair users in the U.S. alone. Man-made environments should always be easily accessible to everyone, so it's refreshing to see the world becoming increasingly and trying to ensure that all public places are accessible for individuals with mobility issues. A recent example of this trend is the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, which has recently become a wheelchair friendly theater.
About The Theater
The renowned Orpheum Theater has been serving as home of the best in national performing arts for almost a century. The foundation of Omaha’s cultural history, this theater was constructed in 1927. The theater holds many great performances throughout the year, pulling in large numbers of attendees.
The theater was constructed as a vaudeville house and was later converted into a modern theatrical building. Recent repairs have aimed to restore its magnificence and to enhance the acoustics. Added to that, the theater has now been made accessible for individuals with physical disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act has ensured that culturally significant structures like the Orpheum become wheelchair friendly.
The Required Changes
After reacting positively to the requirements put forth by the ADA, the building now offers a lot of features to assist those in need. Parking is now more easily accessible and has special parking stalls for people with disabilities. An elevator is ready to take the audience to the lobby without any hassle. Once inside the hall, members of the audience with mobility issues can find special seats that are designated for them. Hearing devices and sign language interpreters are also available in the lobby for assistance as well. The backstage area for performers and technicians has been made similarly accessible with the addition of dressing rooms and restrooms for those with disabilities. To top it all off, the theater is also service dog friendly, which means that folks can bring their service pets to performances with them.
Orpheum officials can be commended for taking this step. These kinds of initiatives make our cultural environments enjoyable for all people, which matters. Legislation like the ADA should be introduced internationally by all governments. This small but largely significant step taken by the renowned Orpheum Theater, to make itself wheelchair friendly, is sure to spark some inspiration that will hopefully ripple far and wide.