OLT Accessibility Policy and Procedures
Ottawa Little Theatre (OLT) is established for the benefit of the entire Ottawa community to come together to create art, express ideas, be challenged, entertain and be entertained. The OLT is, accordingly, committed to making every reasonable effort to make its programs and services available to patrons, staff and volunteers who have physical, visual, verbal or auditory disabilities.
Over the phone
Patrons with a disability can contact OLT via telephone at 613-233-8948 Ext.1. Box office staff can access their information and sell tickets on the phone to be paid by the patron’s credit card. The box office hours are posted on the front door of the theatre and on its website.
At our box office
Patrons can visit OLT’s box office during open hours to be assisted by staff in person. The box office is accessible for patrons with a mobility disability through OLT’s front doors at 400 King Edward Ave. Patrons can pay for their tickets with VISA, American Express, MasterCard, Interac or cash.
Patrons with a hearing or verbal disability can borrow a pen and paper from box office staff in order to write down their order for processing.
Patrons can also contact OLT’s box office on the internet via www.ottawalittletheatre.com in order to set up a personalized web account and make purchases online. This also requires a credit card for payment and is available 24 hours a day.
Attending the OLT
Traveling to the Theatre Patrons who have a mobility disability can travel to OLT in any number of ways.
Para Transpo is a City service administered by OC Transpo. It will accept bookings to drop off and pick up patrons 6:30AM to midnight. Para Transpo can be reached at 613-244-1289 Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM. Bookings must be made at least one day before the performance attended.
The OLT does not have its own parking lot, however there are several parking options in the immediate area. There are over 600 parking spots within two blocks of OLT. One of the most popular options is the the 24-hour LOBLAWS parking garage at Rideau St. And Nelson St. (one block east from OLT) Please remember that public parking at Loblaws is on the lower levels only.
Two machine operated lots are located directly beside the theatre. Capital Parking, located behind the theatre on Besserer St. is at ground level. Target Parking is next door on King Edward and has a multi-level indoor lot.
Entering the Theatre
Patrons with a mobility disability are invited to use the theatre’s stage entrance at 235 Besserer St. This entrance provides step-free access to the OLT auditorium; it does not require the patron to use stairs. Para Transpo can drop them off at this entrance. Those who arrive in any other type vehicle are also invited to use this entrance.
At each regular OLT performance a staff member or volunteer is at the Besserer St. entrance to welcome them, take tickets, hand out programs and guide them to their seat. Patrons can ring the doorbell at that entrance in order to alert staff that they are there.
A patron with a disability can be accompanied by a support person and have access to the person while on the theatre premises. However, when a ticket is required for the admission of the person with a disability, an additional ticket is required for the support person. Notice of this requirement is to be given to the person with a disability before they purchase their ticket.
The OLT may require a patron to have a support person on the theatre premises if necessary to protect the health or safety of the patron or others on the premises.
An animal is a service animal for a person with a disability
(a) if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
(b) if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability
For example, a guide dog for a blind person is a service animal.
A patron with a disability can be accompanied by a service animal on the theatre premises unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from being on the premises. OLT staff or volunteers will lead the patron to their seat where the animal may sit on the floor in front of the patron. Staff will tell the patron whether the performance includes any elements that may make the animal uncomfortable, for example, gun shots or flashing lights.
Using the Theatre – Patrons with a Mobility Disability
The floor of OLT’s auditorium declines, so a set of ramps have been prepared for use by wheelchair patrons in order to provide maximum comfort and sight lines. Six wheelchair seating locations have been established in compliance with the fire code on the far left and far right sides of the theatre (three on each side). These locations are directly across the aisle from the end of row. Every effort will be made to seat a support person for these patrons at the end of the adjacent row of seats depending on availability.
Wheelchair ramps are available immediately upon request to provide stable seating with good sightlines. The Front of House Manager will make sure the ramp is laid out by her/himself or a qualified staff member/volunteer and the patron is situated safely and comfortably upon it.
The OLT accommodates patrons who use other assistive devices for mobility as follows:
• Walkers can be used to get to the row in which the patron sits. Ushers then move the walkers out of the theatre auditorium and place them in the lobby at the nearest exit to the patron’s seat, in a location that does not obstruct the fire exits. The patron’s support person can retrieve the walker at intermission and at the end of the show, or if the patron is alone, the ushers will ensure the walkers are returned to the patron at intermission and at the end of the show.
• Canes can remain with the patron at their seat.
Near the Besserer St. entrance, there is a washroom designed to be accessible for patrons with a mobility disability. Front of House staff and volunteers can direct patrons to this washroom should the need arise.
Using the Theatre – Patrons with a Hearing Disability
For patrons with a hearing disability, OLT’s main auditorium has hearing assistance devices for their use available at the theatre’s coat-check booth. Use of the devices is free of charge, but patrons are required to leave a piece of ID with the coat-check attendant. Patrons may get the devices themselves or ask a staff member or volunteer to do so for them. The devices are available in two varieties. One is a standard set of headphones with an audio plug in device; the other is a transmitter worn around the neck, which will then transmit to the wearer’s digital hearing aids.
Leaving the Theatre
At the end of the performance, it is the responsibility of the OLT Front of House Manager for the evening to wait with patrons with a mobility disability until their vehicles arrives to pick them up. The FOH Manager or volunteer assigned the task will make sure the patron gets safely to their transportation before locking the doors for the evening.
Front of House Staff and Volunteers
The services and policies outlined above for patrons with any type of disability are also applicable to OLT’s Front of House staff and volunteers with a disability. Although there is currently no access to the theatre’s green room or rehearsal hall for those in a wheelchair or unable to use stairs, OLT will, whenever possible, assign Front of House volunteers or staff tasks that allow them to perform their duties within the accessible areas of the theatre such as the box office, upper and lower lobbies and auditorium.