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 222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Contact: Ed Rogan, Pam Ronan

(609) 292-3703

RELEASE: June 15, 2007

Department Helps Theatre Alliance Provide Open Captioned Shows for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
TRENTON -- In an effort make live theater more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the department’s Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, has awarded a $45,000 grant to the New Jersey Theatre Alliance to provide open captioning at 32 live theater performances across the state over the next year.

In the open captioning system, as the words are spoken by the actors on stage, attendees will be able to read them on a long narrow screen, thanks to Computer Aided Realtime Translation (CART) that theaters will be using.

“With this grant, people with hearing loss will have the opportunity to experience professional theater with real-time captioning,” said Acting Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “This is a marvelous way to make public events such as these more accessible.”

“Without the leadership support of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, many of our member theatres would not be in the position to offer open captioning,´ said John McEwen, Executive Director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. “We are so happy that our partnership with these two agencies has made it possible for our members to open their doors to people with hearing loss, allowing them to fully embrace the joy of live theater.”

Many New Jersey theaters already offer sign language interpreted performances and listening enhancement systems. The CART system provides one more enhancement.

The times, dates and locations of the performances are available through the New Jersey Theater Alliance, a consortium of 32 professional, not-for-profit theatres in New Jersey. The grant covers one performance at each of the affiliated theaters.

To obtain the calendar of open captioning productions, contact the alliance at 163 Madison Avenue, Suite 500, Morristown, NJ, 07960; by phone: 973-540-0515, ext 10; or e-mail: The alliance website address is:

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