Lincoln Center, DOJ reach settlement to increase disability access

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New York City’s most famous performing arts center will remove a variety of architectural barriers to ensure access for people with disabilities, as part of a lawsuit filed and concurrently settled with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center

“The comprehensive corrective measures agreed to by Lincoln Center will allow people with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to enjoy the performances offered at one of New York City’s most significant cultural venues, Avery Fisher Hall.,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a DOJ news release.

The overhaul will bring Lincoln Center, home of the New York Philharmonic, into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It requires Lincoln Center to increase seating for wheelchair users, install seats with removable armrests, add automatic doors to permit wheelchair users to access the balcony, increase the number of accessible parking locations, improve signage and renovate the bathrooms and food, drink and retail services.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved the settlement June 28.

Since the passage of the ADA in 1990, the DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights has also taken steps to improve accessibility at many other NYC destinations, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theater, and Radio City Music Hall, according to the DOJ news release.