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Accessibility Center

Accessibility Statement + Policy

Arts Midwest believes the exchange of ideas and creative experiences inspires curiosity and understanding, and that inclusion of people with disabilities in our work improves this exchange and is required to be a just organization.

We believe that accessibility begins with our proactive attitude and approach. In our planning, we place a priority on universal design principles. Arts Midwest is eager to provide accommodations for people with disabilities in our employment, programs, and services, including but not limited to accessibility technology, alternative methods of communication, physical accommodations, and flexibility in our practices.

Arts Midwest inquires about accessibility needs and provides upon request, alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary for people with disabilities to participate in our programs and services, whether as artists, audience, or employees.

All grantees and partners in programs agree to comply with the ADA and 504 regulations as part of their agreement/contract with our organization.

Questions? Please contact our Program & Accessibility Manager Carly ([email protected])


Website Accessibility

At Arts Midwest, it’s important to us that our website is accessible to everyone. We are committed to the ongoing process of making our website usable by all.

Our website currently meets Level A/AA of WCAG. We include alt text and image descriptions for photos and graphics, strive to use screen reader friendly formatting, and use direct and plain language as possible.

Arts Midwest looks forward to launching a new website in 2022 which will allow for greater accessible design.

We’re always open to hearing about your experiences, ideas and needs with website access. If any part of our website is not accessible for you, please feel free to reach out to Carly Newhouse, Program & Accessibility Manager, at [email protected] or 612-238-8002.


Federal + State Laws

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the U.S., shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. 504 compliance is required for employers, agencies, businesses, organizations and programs that receive Federal financial assistance.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment (Title I), state and local government services (Title II), places of public accommodation, and commercial facilities (Title III). Places of public accommodation include but are not limited to: small and large businesses, non-profits, for-profits, churches, clubs, and groups.

The ADA extends requirements of Section 504 to:

  • All activities of state and local government under Title II
  • Places of public accommodation and commercial facilities operated by private entities, including places of “public display or collection,” such as museums, under Title III

This means:

  • Cultural groups operated by state or local governments are covered under Title II
  • Title III covers cultural groups operated by private entities as places of public accommodation, even if they do not receive federal funds
  • Places of public accommodation that are also recipients of federal financial assistance must comply with requirements of both Title III of the ADA and Section 504


Accessibility laws may vary by state. For more information about accessibility laws in each state, and provisions made by state arts agencies in our region, please contact your state arts agency accessibility coordinator directly.


Organizations + Government Agencies Devoted to Accessibility

This is a non-exhaustive list of local, regional, national, and international organizations and government agencies devoted to accessibility work.

  • Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTAC) – A network of regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, that provide information, materials, technical assistance, and training on the ADA.
  • Great Lakes ADA Center – Serving the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
  • Great Plains ADA Center – Serving the state of Iowa.
  • Rocky Mountain ADA Center – Serving the states of North Dakota and South Dakota.
  • Kennedy Center – Information on the LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) Conference.
  • National Arts and Disability Center – Featuring resources aimed at artists with disabilities, arts organizations, and arts administrators, a comprehensive site that includes extensive information on assistive devices, services and products.
  • Minnesota Access Alliance – MN Access Alliance is led by a group of arts and cultural administrators focused on knowledge and resource sharing around accessibility.
  • Chicago Cultural Access has a mission to empower Chicago’s cultural spaces to become more accessible to visitors with disabilities. They facilitate a dynamic community of cultural administrators and people with disabilities to remove barriers in cultural organizations. They offer professional development and free webinars, equipment loans, and an access calendar which promotes accessible events in the Chicago region.
  • Metropolitan Regional Arts Council improves arts access for communities in the seven county metropolitan area in MN through support to artists and organizations. Check out their grant resources.
  • Disability Arts Online is an organization led by disabled people set up to advance disability arts and culture through their online journal and platform.

Accessibility Resources for Organizations + Individuals

As arts and cultural organizations aiming to offer inclusive and creative experiences to all, it’s our responsibility to understand and eliminate barriers to access these experiences. This page is designed to help you find resources for making your programming, services, and communications more accessible.

Handbooks + Checklists

Use these tools to assess barriers, plan, and take specific steps to increase access for people with disabilities.

Tools + Resources

This section lists information on accessibility tools, resources, and organizations to contact.

Digital Accessibility

Virtual Programming + Webinars

Audio Description, Transcripts, Live Captioning, ASL


Awareness + Communication

In striving for accessibility, it’s crucial to understand what makes our communications inclusive and welcoming, from in-person to digital and in between.

Additional Resources

Have questions or suggestions about this page? Please reach out to Carly, Program and Accessibility Manager ([email protected])