User Perspectives of Accessibility and Usability of a Performing Arts Theatre


  • Susanna E. Meyer, Ph.D., CCC-A Worcester State University
  • Joanne Gallagher Worthley Ed.D., OTR/L, CAPS Occupational Therapy Department, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA, USA
  • Linda Larrivee, Ph.D., CCC-SLP Dean of Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA, USA



Older adults often have limitations due to normal ageing, which interfere with their ability to attend theatre performances. Mobility, visual, and hearing impairments can limit the experience older adults have as they engage in these cultural offerings. In this study, 20 older adults (age range 65-78 years; 15 females, 5 males) perspective of the usability and accessibility of the physical environment before and during a musical performance was studied for one urban performing arts theatre. Participants completed a self-assessment questionnaire, identified accessible features, barriers to access, and made suggestions for improvements. Results showed that the participants had mixed experiences, some participants mentioned accessibility limitations in the built environment, and others regarding communication access. Most participants would recommend the theatre to others. Following up on the recommendations will improve theatre access for any individual with mobility, visual, and/or hearing limitations.

Author Biographies

Susanna E. Meyer, Ph.D., CCC-A, Worcester State University

Professor Emeritus, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA 01608 , USA 

Linda Larrivee, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Dean of Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA, USA



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How to Cite

Meyer, S., Gallagher Worthley, J., & Larrivee, L. (2022). User Perspectives of Accessibility and Usability of a Performing Arts Theatre. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 12(1), 61–75.