OMAHA (Legal Newsline) — The Omaha Performing Arts
Society (OPAS) will settle a case involving allegations of violating the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, the Department of Justice has announced. OPAS allegedly failed to ensure
that the theater provided access to the disabled after undergoing renovations.
“The ADA requires that when doing renovations, public
accommodations must ensure their facilities are readily accessible and fully
usable by people with disabilities,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We commend the Omaha Performing
Arts Society for cooperating with the Justice Department and taking quick
action to implement the necessary reforms.”
Under the ADA, theaters that go through alterations must
work to comply with certain ADA Standards for Accessible Design. OPAS, to
comply with the settlement, must provide 20 wheelchair and companion seating
locations, as well as 20 designated aisle accessible seats throughout the
theater. Additionally, the company will need to install a permanent lift to
provide an accessible route from the orchestra floor to the stage floor and revise
its ticketing policies to make sure individuals with disabilities have an equal
opportunity to buy accessible seats.
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