Access & Inclusion
At YPT, we believe that everyone should have equal access to our productions, programs and employment opportunities, and that our diverse community should be reflected in all that we do. We strive to be accessible and inclusive to all, and we’re committed to identifying and removing barriers to access through a range of services.
Accessible performances in our 2022.23 season will include ASL Shadow Interpreted Performances, Relaxed Performances and Audio Described Performances. Dates and details coming soon.
Relaxed Performances include extra features to make the theatre-going experience more sensory-friendly, including a relaxed attitude to our general rules, slightly adjusted sound and lighting levels, a calm area to watch the show on video if a break is needed, and additional resources before and during the show.
As part of this initiative, YPT has created a video as well as a Visual Guide that provide a detailed description of what it’s like to visit the theatre. Patrons often find it helpful to review these with the young people they are bringing, prior to attending a performance.
“I would like to thank YPT for taking on this initiative. At the relaxed performance I attended, it was very exciting to see the kids and staff engage in such a safe and supportive environment. The thought and time put into the accommodations for those in the audience with ASD was very impressive. Parents and teachers bringing children with ASD to these performances should feel very confident that their experience will be very positive. This programming is an incredible opportunity to support all kids in the way that all kids need to learn!”
– Jan Fukumoto, Co-ordinator Autism Services, Special Education, Toronto District School Board
American Sign Language (ASL) Shadow Interpreted Performances are specifically designed to provide access to YPT performances for audience members who are D/deaf, deafened, or hard-of-hearing. These performances feature interpreters who shadow the actors, following them onstage while using ASL. Since the interpreters are integrated into the show, this allows the audience to easily follow both the sign language and the performers.
Audio Described Performances feature spoken representation of onstage action for audience members who are blind or partially sighted. Audio description is done live by a professional describer who outlines the key visual elements onstage, including relevant information about the set pieces, costumes and non-verbal action. The Audio Description is delivered through an earpiece and a small receiver.
Meet the Theatre is for anyone who would benefit from an introduction to YPT prior to attending a performance. It is particularly well-suited for those planning to attend one of our Relaxed Performances. For audience members who might be nervous about attending theatre (especially first-time theatre-goers), an advance visit to YPT can help make the performance experience more comfortable and engaging. Our Meet the Theatre events, led by staff from our Education & Participation Department, include a behind-the-scenes tour to explore specific technical elements (sound, lights, costumes, set pieces and props).
YPT encourages the use of mobility equipment whenever necessary to improve access to our services and programs. A wheelchair ramp is located just east of the main entrance of Young People’s Theatre at 165 Front Street East. YPT’s Mainstage accommodates up to four patrons with full-sized wheelchairs, and this ground floor auditorium is accessed via the backstage area. The Studio Theatre on our third floor accommodates up to two patrons with full-sized wheelchairs, and is accessed via an elevator taking patrons to the rear entrance of the auditorium.
It is recommended that patrons using mobility devices call ahead to book tickets and make arrangements for their visit. Ideally, patrons using mobility devices should arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the performance. Upon check-in at the Box Office, patrons are escorted into the performance venue via the backstage area by a YPT staff member. A theatre usher will direct patrons to a wheelchair-accessible washroom as necessary and escort them back out to the lobby at the end of the performance.
YPT encourages the use of personal assistive devices such as Patron-Owned Electrical Equipment and Mobility Devices whenever necessary or possible in order to improve access to YPT programs and services. Please call 416.862.2222 x2 for more information and to make arrangements.
YPT acknowledges the vital relationship and dependency that exists between a person with disabilities and their service animal. Examples of service animals include dogs used by people who are blind, people with ASD, hearing-alert animals for people who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, and animals trained to alert an individual to an oncoming seizure and lead them to safety. Service animals are welcome at YPT. Please inform the box office when booking show tickets, an activity, or a program to ensure suitable arrangements are made.
A person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to have that person escort them on our premises. Support persons will receive a complimentary ticket to our performances. Additionally, there is no fee for support persons attending any of our Education & Participation programs.
Listening devices are available on loan for any YPT production on a first-come-first-served basis. To reserve, please contact the box office at 416.862.2222 or via email at email@example.com at least 24 hours prior to the event. You may also speak to our Box Office staff on arrival.
We have two types of assistive listening devices available:
- The first type of hearing devices is called a Stethoset receiver. This is an in-ear unit that is like headphones, with a volume control that must be worn over clothing so it can receive infrared signal from the infrared radiators.
- The second is an inductor loop unit called a Neckloop receiver. They interact with a person’s hearing aid to give it the audio feed by wearing the unit around the neck. They have an 1/8” jack to plug regular headphones into if desired, which are also available.
The Drama School is an inclusive space that welcomes children and youth of all abilities. Our faculty employ a variety of teaching methods, and works to ensure all students are supported, engaged and having fun. We use a variety of techniques such as a break chair, the right to pass, and active listening to name but a few, to ensure that an ensemble is formed and each student feels a part of the whole. We have a barrier free building. We encourage families to contact us at YPTDramaSchool@youngpeoplestheatre.org to speak further with us about their child’s individual experience and needs. Limited bursaries are available for low-income families in all of YPT’s Drama School programs. More information can be found here.
Young People’s Theatre is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that strongly supports and values diversity and fosters an equitable and inclusive work environment which includes accommodation. Applications from all qualified candidates are welcome, and people with disabilities and individuals from equity-seeking groups are encouraged to apply. Employment opportunities can be found here.
General Facility Information
- YPT is sensitive to allergy-related concerns and endeavours to maintain a nut-free environment.
- Diaper-changing stations are located in the second floor washrooms.
- A limited number of booster seats are available. Please speak to a theatre usher on arrival if you wish to make use of them.
- Children under one year of age do not require a ticket but must sit on their caregiver’s lap. Any child over the age of one must have a ticket to ensure accurate numbers for fire and safety purposes.
- Strollers are not permitted in the auditoriums, however they can be left in the main lobby area as necessary.
- The auditoriums are generally open and available for seating 30 minutes prior to show time. Patrons arriving late, and those returning to their seats after the show has begun, will be seated during a suitable break in the performance at the discretion of management.
Visit our Accessible Format Request Form here.
To see our official Accessibility Statement, click here.
For more information:
Please contact Ryan Singh, Senior Education Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org.