According to a press release by the National Association of the Deaf, Christina Kielich, a Virginia resident with a hearing impairment, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Lincoln Center Theater, alleging that the theater failed to provide captioning for live theater performances.
The press release says that the theater’s failure to provide captioning is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, New York State and New York City laws. Although Lincoln Center offers captioning for certain performances, it is not available for every performance.
Kielich also filed a similar suit against the Strathmore, a live theater in Bethesda, Maryland, earlier this year.
In November 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a final rule clarifying that the ADA requires movie theaters to offer, upon request, captioning and audio description for digital films shown at the theater. However, the DOJ has not issued any guidance for live theater.
Level Access will be watching this case, and will keep you abreast of any updates.