Big Apple Circus embraces circus-goers with autism, disabilities

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Big Apple Circus, a New York staple, has been clowning around for families for nearly 40-years -- and now it's tweaking its shows to meet the needs of a diverse audience.

Each season, the circus performers put on shows for special-needs audience members, including one for those with autism. That show is adjusted for sensitivities to sound and light, common among people with autism. There's also a calming room that audience members can visit during the show.

CIRCUS OF THE SENSES: The Big Apple Circus puts on a special show for hearing and sight-impaired circus-goers. During the performance, headsets are available so those who cannot see can hear a description of all the action. The circus also provides a sign-language interpreter for audience members who are unable to hear the show.

CLOWN CARE: The non-profit circus does more than just put on shows under the big tent. Clown Care is part of the circus' community outreach program, bringing circus performers to more than a dozen pediatric hospitals across the country. They interact directly with patients and offer up their "prescription for healing."

This season's Lincoln Center show runs into January and then moves on to other cities through the spring.

For more information you can visit the official website at:

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