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Sensory Friendly Programming for People with Social & Cognitive Disabilities: A Guide for Performing Arts Settings

Authors: The Kennedy Center


This guidebook is intended to help performing arts settings identify the qualities and resources to consider when creating a relaxed and friendly theater experience for persons with sensory, social, and learning disabilities. The guidebook offers options and is a starting point for implementing sensory friendly performances recognizing theaters have different sizes, capacities, and commercial or non-commercial needs. Performing arts organizations may be at different stages of sensory friendly program development. Therefore, not all of the suggestions in this guidebook may work for every organization. However, the suggestions provide a place to begin evaluating the needs, opportunities, facilitators, and barriers in developing access for persons with sensory, social, and learning disabilities.

Part I: Purpose of This Guide
PartII: Individuals Who Benefit from Sensory Friendly Performing Arts Opportunities
Part III: Knowledgeable Advisors Who Can Help in Creating Sensory Friendly Programming
Part IV: Pre-Visit Strategies to Create a Meaningful Experience
Part V: Considerations Specific to Theaters
Quick Checklist
Part VII: Resource Organizations

-Description taken from the introduction of the guidebook viewed online on 6/19/13 (www.kennedy-center.org/accessibility/education/lead/SensoryGuidebook.pdf)

Contact Info:
Name:Jessica Swanson
Organization:The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Address:2700 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20056
Cost:No Cost

Web Links

Direct link to the guidebook (PDF)

Other resources from the Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Homepage

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