ADA Access Plan
The NAC encourages all organizations to have an ADA Access Plan. If your organization does not have one in place, one of the first steps to take is to organize an Access Advisory Committee.
The committee should include persons with disabilities and service providers to persons with disabilities. These individuals can provide insight into the extent and scope of accessibility concerns, and make suggestions for improved outreach.
The recommendations of the advisory committee should be used in conjunction with ADA policy development and a survey of your organization’s facilities to complete an ADA Access Plan. The NAC has examples of Access Plans available. Ideally, your organization’s ADA Access Plan should include the following:
- A policy statement regarding accessibility and a brief description of how the policy was developed.
- The ways in which facilities, programs and services are currently accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Accessibility goals yet to be addressed.
- A timeline and budget of action steps to accomplish the organization’s accessibility goals.
The Section 504 Self-Evaluation Workbook produced by the NEA can help you identify the access needs of your organization and aid in the creation of an ADA Access Plan.
The National Endowment for the Arts has several handbooks and other resources available regarding accessibility.
Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook is an excellent resource for artists and administrators alike. You can download either the whole handbook or individual chapters.(www.arts.gov/publications/design-accessibility-cultural-administrators-handbook)
The Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators is an online companion to the above printed text. 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 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 sectors.
The Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design is an excellent resource tool for those interested in learning more about accessibility and museum exhibition design. (www.si.edu/FAQs/Access)