Independence Starts Here (ISH) is a program that helps everyone experience art together! It serves patrons that have hearing, vision loss and other sensory disabilities so that they may fully participate in arts and cultural experiences. Art-Reach partners with the PhillyFunGuide to list accessible performances taking place throughout the year.

Using the ISH Email Club, consisting of over 600 people, participants receive FREE information about accessible performances and are provided access to technology. Art-Reach provides resources, marketing and other services to theatres and cultural venues so that the arts remain accessible to everyone. For more information and to sign up to receive our emails, please contact us at (267) 515-6724 or at cmiller@art-reach.org.  

 “ISH has enabled me to experience the arts more completely and it has eliminated the frustration of dependence on others.”
— Christine Grosso, arts patron who is blind

Get Involved

  1. Join our Email Club below!
  2. Share this information with others
  3. Collect emails from people that may be interested in  ISH and also refer them to Art-Reach

ISH Email Club sign up form

The Facts
• Families with loved ones who have varying disabilities use ISH so they can enjoy the arts together and each family member can remain independent.

• Individuals that do not have a disability or self-identify themselves as having a sensory disability often use the technology so they can better understand what is being said on stage.

• On average, 50% of those patrons unaware that accessible technologies were being offered found that they still used the services.

• Services include open captioning, audio description, touch tours, American Sign Language interpretation, Assisted Listening, sensory friendly experiences and Braille and Large Print Programs

• During the 2014-2015 cultural season, more than 45 different events featured accessible services