The JJs List Blog

Lessons we can learn from Steppenwolf Theatre

Posted by on June 21, 2012 - 9 Comments

When Jake Joehl, our social media assistant who is blind, returned from a trip to Steppenwolf Theatre, he could not stop raving about what a wonderful experience he had had there. But wait, you might wonder, how could a person who is blind possibly enjoy a theatre performance? Allow Jake to explain in this 3-minute video.

To enable closed-captioning, click the “cc” icon on the player.

For more information about accessibility at Steppenwolf Theatre, click here.

JJ’s List would like to give kudos to the team at Steppenwolf Theatre for making the joy of theatre accessible to people of all abilities. We hope this inspires other theaters to think about doing the same. Here’s a great list of “10 tips for making a presentation more accessible to those with disabilities“. We know for a fact that people with disabilities make for some of the most loyal customers around!
Have your own disability-aware experience to share? Let businesses know what you think! We tell businesses every time a review about them is posted on


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Darek Lane says:
Jun 21, 2012

This is fantastic! I’ve never heard of a touch tour before. Watching this review makes me proud of a theatre company like Steppenwolf, who is taking actions to make theatre accessible to everyone. It’s great to see!

Ellen Garber Bronfeld says:
Jun 22, 2012

Noah and I loved this! What a great job Jake did on the video and how cool that Steppenwolf stepped up!!!
Noah and Ellen

Rose Spinelli says:
Jun 23, 2012

Thanks for sharing, Jake! Maybe Steppenwolf should hire you to write some reviews. In braille!

Mary Morrissette says:
Jun 25, 2012

Thanks, Jake for telling us about how Steppenwolf is making theater accessible to everyone in our community. I never knew that and am proud of them for doing so!

terry moons says:
Jul 13, 2012

I am proud to be a subscriber to Steppenwolf for over 10 years. I didn’t know that they provided this wonderful experience for Jake and others.

Joel Snyder says:
Jul 21, 2012

Bravo, Jake! It was my honor to work with the fine folks at Steppenwolf to train the describers for Steppenwolf. I’m so pleased to hear that the program is a success!

Jake says:
Aug 03, 2012

Thanks everybody for the comments. Darek, I’ve been on a couple of touch tours in addition to this most recent one at Steppenwolf. A touch tour is basically a hands-on viewing of all the props and costumes in a performance. Ellen and Noah, thank you very much. I really enjoyed helping to make the video. Rose, thanks for your suggestion. Perhaps I can touch base with the folks at Steppenwolf about Braille reviews. Mary, thank you. I am proud of Steppenwolf for their great accessibility efforts. Terry, my parents have been Steppenwolf subscribers for several years now and they really enjoy it. Joel, your training really paid off. Thanks for doing it.

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