CBST’s street-level location is fully accessible: What makes CBST’s home compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (and beyond)?
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- Mobility. Every level of the building is accessible, thanks to a retrofitted elevator. We have bench seating in the sanctuary in multiple reconfigurable positions, as well as a ramp to the bimah and the ark. There are more ADA-accessible toilet stalls than code requires, and our all-gendered bathrooms allow someone of a different gender to accompany a person of low mobility. In addition, the exterior and interior foyer doors will eventually have push-button automated openers. Finally, we have installed mezuzot at all locations at a height that is reachable for a seated user passing through doorways.
- Vision. Lighting has been installed so participants, regardless of their seating position in the sanctuary, can read text. The space has been designed so that all seats in the sanctuary are within 25 feet of the bimah, and high-contrast lighting has been used to enable orientation for those with less acute vision. Further, the typeface in our signage has been evaluated for ease of legibility and braille lettering has been employed for room signs and elevator buttons.
- Hearing. We have a hearing loop integrated on both levels of the sanctuary (and we are ready for future activation in the chapel). Audio speakers subtly reinforce the sound from the bimah throughout the sanctuary. There are personal sound receivers available on request for anyone who does not have a T-coil hearing aid. In addition, there is acoustical separation between rooms, so that background noise is reduced and does not interfere with speech intelligibility. Finally, construction has been utilized to create spaces where sound carries well but is not overly reverberant. A Hearing Loop puts out a signal that can be picked up by hearing aids that have a built-in telecoil. Unlike traditional one-size-fits-all headset systems, the Loop signal is picked up by a hearing aid designed for an owner's particular type of hearing loss. The Loop signal eliminates much of the background noise, boosts sounds that are farther away - like the Service Leader, Ba'al Tefillah, and the Chorus -and provides clear sound and a very much improved experience. Loops are ubiquitous in Northern Europe, and the US is working to catch up. Here in New York City, Loops have been installed in Temple Emanu-El and Brotherhood Synagogue. You can also find Loops at: Gershwin Theatre, Richard Rodgers Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company; at box offices & ticket windows at MOMA, the Met, Amtrak, Metro North, and Citifield. Loops are also in the new NYC taxis.