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Special needs child, 5, removed from R.I. play for excess enthusiasm


UPI News Service, 06/18/2013 

A special needs child, 5, was removed from a Providence, R.I., theatrical performance of "Beauty and the Beast" for humming too loudly, her mother said.

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Nadia Torres, who has a rare chromosomal abnormality that prevents her from speaking, attended a June 2 performance at the Providence Performing Arts Center with her mother, a sibling and a nurse, The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times reported Tuesday.

"They did not ask me to leave. They told me I had to leave," said Nadia's mother, Samantha Torres. Her daughter was "squealing and giggling and humming" along with the show's music, she said.

P.J. Prokop, marketing director of the theater, said Torres was not asked to leave but offered an opportunity to relocate.

Audience members "were turning around. They were looking. They were also kind of gesturing," Prokop said.

At issue is the amount of accommodation a patron is given at a theatrical presentation, given other patrons and the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the newspaper noted.

Torres said she intends to take up an offer from the arts center to conduct sensitivity training for ushers, and is working with the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council to develop a guide for entertainment venues to prepare for people with disabilities.


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