Accessibility for Exceptional People

Creating access for
the whole community

 

BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids

Working towards greater accessibility for families at the BPO Kids Family Series

BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids came out of an important relationship between the BPO and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).  In partnership with the staff of the WCHOB’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Center, the BPO works to make the BPO Kids Family Concerts more accessible and comfortable for all children, specifically those with ASDs who face unique challenges.

The program offers a number of benefits for Exceptional Kids families, including an on-site liaison from WCHOB, highly reduced ticket costs, special seating arrangements, a designated quiet space for special needs families (in the event that children need to take a break) and noise-cancelling earphones. Awareness and Education presentations are administered by WCHOB Autism Center professionals for BPO staff, ushers and volunteers to help increase everyone’s understanding of ASDs and provide best practices to communicate and interact with Exceptional Kids and their families.

BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids is sponsored in part by Wegmans Food Markets.

For more information, and to get involved please contact the Education Department at (716) 242-7822 or email education@bpo.org.

 

The BPO Exceptional Holiday Concerts

Exclusive school-day concerts in November and December for group attendance.

The BPO Exceptional Holiday Concerts are developed specifically to enhance the BPO experience for a special needs audience. We performed our first Exceptional Holiday Concert in December 2015 and due to its overwhelming success, we offered it again in 2016. In 2017, we expanded to two concerts in order to serve more individuals. About 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities from several organizations have enjoyed the concerts in Mary Seaton Room. Staff from several of our partner organizations have helped in the creation and development of these concerts. They include Bornhava Early Childhood Center, Center for Handicapped Children (CHC) Learning Center, The Arc of Erie County and Buffalo Public School #84 (Healthcare Center for Children at ECMC Mission).

Concerts are performed in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, to accommodate the flexible seating needed for wheelchairs and floor seating for the youngest audience members.

Some of the feedback we received from those attending these concerts:

“Words cannot describe how much the students, as well as the staff, absolutely loved the performance.  Being able to be up close to the action was so beneficial for the students by keeping them engaged throughout.  With musicians, ballerinas, dancers, sing-a-longs, and playing of the bells provided, they were able to feel involved.”

“I hope the BPO continues this amazing event every year, and I would love to be able to bring even more students to this fantastic performance.”

“AMAZING……What a wonderful morning we all spent at Kleinhans with the BPO. You  should be so very proud……the morning was perfect in every way.”

For more information, and to get involved please contact the Education Department at (716) 242-7822 or email education@bpo.org.

 

Special Partnerships

Working towards greater accessibility through partnerships with our local organizations.

Currently, the BPO enjoys a partnership with The Arc of Erie County which provides vocational and day services for adults with disabilities. Their program participants attended our very first Exceptional Holiday Concert, which led to a request for a deeper level of engagement. A group of 20 adults, selected for their interest in music, comes to Kleinhans for a series of workshops led by BPO musicians. They also attend open rehearsals and select concerts. This partnership is entering its fourth year.

If you are part of an organization that has interest in developing a program, please contact the Education Department at (716) 242-7822 or email education@bpo.org.