Accessibility should be an integral part of any arts experience. This list of resources can be used to ensure organizations are using best practices to make their arts and cultural programs accessible to all.


Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life. The ADA provides information on laws and regulations, design standards and technical assistance materials.

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) strives to make the arts more accessible. They offer multiple, national resources for accessibility.

  • Office of Accessibility: The NEA’s Office of Accessibility is the advocacy-technical assistance branch of the NEA. They aim to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans and people living in institutions.
  • Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook: This handbook is designed to help organizations not only comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also assist in making access an integral part of planning, programs, outreach, meetings, budget, staffing and overall mission.
  • Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators: This resource guide offers useful tips for cultural administrators on how to achieve accessible and inclusive programming for everyone, including individuals with disabilities and older adults.
  • Section 504 Self-Evaluation Workbook: The Section 504 Self-Evaluation Workbook is designed for use in conjunction with the handbook “Design for Accessibility” to help leaders evaluate how accessible their programs are for visitors and employees with disabilities.

Suggested 12-Step Process to Assist Arts Organizations

This 12-Step Process is designed to help arts organizations identify their barriers to accessibility and then create a plan to remove them.

Disability Access Symbols

These 12 disability access symbols from the Graphic Artist Guild should be used to promote and publicize access for people with disabilities.

Local American Sign Language Interpreters

Find sign language interpreters through the following resources: Iowa Interpreter Contact Database, Hands Up Communications, Life Interpretation and Deaf Services Unlimited.

Audio Description Services

The Iowa Radio Reading Information Service can connect Iowa theaters, museums and other arts organizations with audio-description services for blind patrons.