Detail of Abstract Rose: Blue, photograph by Lynne Green, St. Louis | signature image, 2014 Missouri Arts Awards


The National Endowment for the Arts offers two related major resources: Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook, which is available as both a printed book and a free downloadable PDF, and The Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators, the handbook’s online companion.

The Guide provides guidance to cultural administrators on how to achieve accessible and inclusive programming for everyone including individuals with disabilities and older adults. It is designed to help your organization not only comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act but also to assist in making access an integral part of your organization, including its staffing, mission, budget, education, meetings, programs and beyond. This document takes these laws and principles and applies them to cultural service organizations and other arts and humanities groups in both the public and private sector.

The Guide outlines a step-by-step “nuts and bolts” process for achieving accessible practices by setting the standard and illustrating how cultural organizations can make it happen. It features examples of “best practices” that illustrate specific methods for opening existing programs, services, facilities, and activities to individuals with disabilities and older adults, as artists, arts administrators, board members, volunteers, teachers, students and audience members. This online text links to a wide variety of resources that assist cultural organizations. It is also provides necessary information to enable arts and humanities service organizations to assist their grantees/constituents in achieving accessible programming.

Links to both the Handbook and the Guide as well as other resources are in the Accessibility Resources section of the NEA’s website.