1 in 5 Americans has a Disability.

VSA Ohio now offers professional development opportunities and trainings to increase access and inclusion in your organization and community.

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Cultural Access Guide





SEPTEMBER 27 + 28, 2018

Click here for more information about the ACT dis/ability conference+festival

We are excited to announce a new resource for the community. Our Cultural Access Guide was developed with cultural administrators in mind. The Guide provides an overview of access in cultural spaces, with resources, best practices, and support to help you welcome people with disabilities. This Guide was made possible with support from the Ohio Arts Council and input from numerous community members.

Click the image below to download the Cultural Access Guide as a PDF. The Guide may be shared and cited.

Question mark access logo
**Accessibility. Download a more accessible Word version of the Guide.

Contact VSA Ohio to get the Guide in an alternate format and/or receive a hard copy, 614-241-5325, info at vsao.org.

Click here to download the Cultural Access Guide; if problems with access, please call 614-241-5325


VSA Ohio partnered with the Ohio Museums Association to create a statewide accessibility workshop in five Ohio locations during June 2018.
Collage of images with workshop title overlayed

Museum Accessibility for Guests & Artists
In this workshop we’ll discuss disability history and trends, accessibility 101 (including customer service), specific adaptations you can make for your programs, and how to approach authentic inclusion of artists with disabilities in your spaces. The goal of these workshops is to demystify access into something that is manageable, not necessarily expensive, and ways to make it a priority at your organization (big and small).

Fremont – June 6, 2018, Hayes Presidential Library and Museums
Co-Presenter: Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, The Center for Disability Empowerment

Canton – June 11, 2018, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Co-Presenter: Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, Center for Disability Empowerment

Columbus – June 13, 2018, Columbus Museum of Art
Co-Presenters: Jane Ehrenfeld, Audio Description Consultant & Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, Center for Disability Empowerment

Athens – June 18, 2018, Southeast Ohio History Center
Co-Presenters: Christi Hysell, Artist & Nate Thomson, Athens Photographic Project

Cincinnati – June 20, 2018, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Co-Presenters: Sara Birkoffer, Coordinator of Interpretive Programming, Cincinnati Art Museum & Linda Kunick, Artist, Visionaries + Voices & Marion Cosgrove Rauch, Visionaries + Voices


Create more inclusive: Spaces | Programs | Governance | Attitudes | Operations

Training Styles available: Presentations | Program/Space Consultation | Hands-on Scenario | Webinars | 1:1 and small groups

Designed for: Arts | Culture | Humanities | Nonprofits | Small Businesses | Public Sector | Universities

Content topics can be tailored to your needs and might include:

– Disability 101: History, Trends, Policy, Basics, People-first language
– Disability 201: Marketing, Events, Accessibility Planning, Physical Spaces, Audio Description
– Relaxed Environments: Autism 101, Autism 201, sensory-friendly information

Funding from the Ohio Arts Council provides a limited number of trainings are available by scholarship through June 2017.
Consultations can be scheduled by contacting VSA Ohio at 614-241-5325.

Ohio Arts Council


Increasing Access: Opening Doors for People with Disabilities

Presented November 2016

Presentation Screen shot: Increase Access, Opening Doors webinar

Accessibility 201: Relax and Create Sensory Friendly Experiences
Presented April 2017 by Erin Hoppe

Image of Webinar Presentation stored on Youtube. Slide is for Tips, Guides, Schedules and More

Accessible Events: A little more planning, fewer surprises, happier attendees.
Presented March 29, 2018

Click here to watch the webinar / screen shot of YouTube channel with webinar slide


How can you make your arts, culture, or public space more accessible to people with different disabilities? Here are a few links to help you think about governance, programs, physical spaces, attitudes, marketing, and more.

AccessAbility Penn State: What to Fix Guide for Web Accessibility

Accessible Meetings, Events & Conferences Guide, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

ADA Hospitality: An ADA National Network Initiative

ADA Online Audio Conferences

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Assistive Listening Devices for People with Hearing Loss: A Guide for Performing Arts Settings

Audio Description Project

Audio Description Associates

Audio Description Coalition

Best Practices and Guidelines for Large Print Documents, authored by the Council of Citizens with Low Vision

Web Accessibility Research

CAST – Universal Design for Learning

Center for Applied Special Technology

College Guide for Students with Visual Impairments
Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook
Disability Law Handbook

Disability Statistics Compendium

Disability Studies, Temple University

Disability Studies Quarterly Journal

Disabilities Unlimited

Disabled Writers: a listing of writers and identity

EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America (The Smithsonian)

Disability and I Do

Film Festival Access Guide by ReelAbilities Toronto

Guide to Accessible Meetings, Conferences and Events

Kaleidoscope Magazine, United Disability Services

Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilty (LEAD) Resources

Marketing to the Disability Community (Arts Access Australia, PDF)

Mentoring Individuals with Disabilities – employment

Museum Access Consortium

Museum of Modern Art, Accessibility Page

National Center on Disability and Journalism

National Endowment for the Arts, Office for Accessibility

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Resources for Employers

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Smithsonian’s Accessibility Page

Webinars on Accessibility for Arts & Recreation, Great Lakes ADA Center archive


2nd annual building access by design conference, September 21, 2016. Register now

About Building Access by Design 2.0:

Build your audiences and inclusion efforts with new resources and initiatives to improve accessibility for people with disabilities at your cultural institution. This is the second iteration of the Building Access by Design statewide conference in Ohio.

Image of Justin Martin wearing a black shirt and glasses.


“A Second Pain-Relief Cassette”

by Justin Martin

Writer, Poet, Advocate from Hilliard, OH

and Student at Kenyon College.

Click here for the conference agenda as a Word Document

Who Should Attend:

– Cultural Administrators
– Educators
– Disability Professionals
– Public Sector Employees
– University Employees
– Advocates

When & Where:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 @ Columbus Museum of Art

Conference Accessibility:

We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible conference to the widest possible audience. Universal Design principals and best practices have been implemented as possible.
Please be certain to note any requests for accommodation during the registration process. Requests for professional access services (ASL, CART, Braille, etc) must be made by September 13.

Any questions or requests should be directed to VSA Ohio at 614.241.5325.

Questions? Call 614.241.5325 Wheelchair accessible location

Click here to download the conference access guide as a PDF

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VSA Ohio | 77 South High Street, 2nd Floor, Columbus OH 43215 | 614.241.5325 | [email protected]
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