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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