The following resources are intended to assist arts organizations in providing accessible services to Americans with disabilities.
Federal Accessibility Laws
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- U.S. Department of Justice ADA Homepage
State Accessibility Laws
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.
Disability Access Symbols The Graphic Artists Guild provides a free package of downloadable logos to use in publicizing your activities to people with disabilities. Their page also explains what the symbols stand for and when it is appropriate to use each one.
Handbooks, Checklists, and Plans
Use these tools to assess barriers, plan, and take specific steps to increase access for people with disabilities.
- Checklist for Existing Facilities – Downloadable PDF document to assess your accommodations for people with disabilities.
- Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook – A downloadable handbook created by the National Endowment for the Arts to provide guidance on making access an integral part of an organization’s staffing, mission, budget, and programs.
- Section 504 Self-Evaluation Workbook – Provided by the National Endowment for the Arts for organizations to evaluate their current state of accessibility of programs and activities.
- Accessibility Regulations Tip Sheet – A tip sheet from the NEA with information about 2010 revisions to ADA Regulations.
- 12 Step Plan to Access – Prepared and shared by Deborah Lewis from the ELA Foundation.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – Guidelines and checklist for Web developers to use in making websites accessible to persons with disabilities, provided by the World Wide Web Consortium.
- The ADA National Network Disability Law Handbook – A broad overview of rights and obligations under federal disability laws.
- Guide to Accessible Meetings, Events, & Conferences – This extensive guide covers site selection, pre-event activities, physical and audio-visual considerations, food service, personal assistants and service animals, tips for presenters and attendees, and emerging promising practices.
- Disability Language Style Guide – A style guide to help people use the correct language when talking about individuals living with disabilities. Created by the National Center on Disability and Journalism.
Organizations and Government Agencies Devoted to Accessibility Issues
- 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.
- VSA – An international nonprofit organization, with affiliates in most states, dedicated to creating a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts
Our Accessibility Policy
Arts Midwest believes the exchange of ideas and creative experiences inspires curiosity and understanding, and that inclusion of people of 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.