Making Theatre Accessible to Individuals with Autism
On October 2, 2011, TDF Accessibility Program launched the Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI) which makes theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as their families.
Family enjoying the ATI performance of The Lion King

The first autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show was Disney’s landmark musical The Lion King. This performance was so successful that Autism Theatre Initiative has presented many autism-friendly performances of Broadway including Mary Poppins, Spider-Man, Wicked, Matilda, Aladdin and more. 

TDF’s autism-friendly performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the first autism-friendly performance of a non-musical in Broadway history. TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative also consults with theatres and presenting houses across the country as part of their National Advisory Partnerships. 



Family at ATI performance of The Lion King

"I'm a huge Broadway fan and since my son was born. I've thought about taking him to his first show. I gave up on that dream when he was diagnosed. Yesterday, that dream came true and he loved it. He was mesmerized from the first appearance of the animals until the very end. Thank you for making this dream come true!"

"Breathtaking, the show was fantastic. Seeing my son's face overcome with joy was a feeling I can't begin to describe. For me, being a Broadway lover and getting to share this with my son, I felt like a kid at Christmas. You have given us such a gift to share this with our son, and as a family was such a treat. We love what you do for all children, especially ones that are as special as ours. Thank you for making so many people smile...My son's smile was like nothing I have ever seen come from his little body before. Thank you for bringing him such joy."

Family at ATI performance of Aladdin
"My son cried during the performance (as did I). He told me, 'Mommy, this was my favorite day ever!'"
Family at ATI performance of The King and I

"My daughter was absolutely thrilled! She came home and created her own musical, her own props, a character guide and performance. It was incredible. FYI we attended The Lion King through TDF two years ago as well. At that show, my daughter began singing (she was non-verbal at the time, she has since become verbal) during the show."


Offer more pre-performance workshops for schools who serve the autism community
Reduce ticket prices for families that depend on ATI
Offer more free tickets to Broadway performances for families in need