The Paris Opera and the handicapped
As a public establishment one of the Paris Opera's special missions is to facilitate access to culture for the greatest number of people possible and in particular for the 550 000 people who visit the Palais Garnier each year and both theatres’ 800 000 spectators.
Although the Paris Opera participates in work groups concerned with accommodating handicapped people in cultural establishments and has, since 2004, increased the performances with audio descriptions adapted to spectators suffering from impaired sight, the present-day possibilities for welcoming these audiences are still too restricted, particularly at the Palais Garnier. The Paris Opera therefore wishes to initiate a large-scale policy to benefit these spectators.
So far only a few hundred spectators, all handicaps taken together, being welcomed to the two theatres each season.
The Paris Opera therefore wishes to initiate a large-scale policy to benefit these spectators.
This policy’s four principal goals
This policy focuses on four different areas which aim to improve information, purchase of tickets and access to the Opera.
Consequently, the Paris Opera wishes to:
Enable people suffering from a handicap to visit the Opera’s institutional website and purchase their seats online in the easiest possible way
Facilitate access to the public areas and the Palais Garnier theatre, particularly for people with reduced mobility
Make it possible for people suffering from visual and hearing impairments to fully enjoy the performance
Increase the visits and specific activities for this audience
The plan of action
The Paris Opera has identified a certain number of priorities to be undertaken to achieve this wide-ranging policy which include:
Bringing the Opera’s institutional website and the online ticket sales up to W3CWAI standards
Facilitating access for spectators with reduced mobility to the Palais Garnier’s public areas and its theatre by:
- Installing an elevator platform to gain access to the foyer and box office
- Repairing the so-called “Aga Khan's lift”
- Widening doors to certain boxes
Increasing performances with audio descriptions for people with impaired or without vision thanks to an ambitious partnership with the Acces Culture Association
Imagining and putting into practice guided tours and workshops adapted to every type of handicap with the help and experience of Acces Culture