The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs works to ensure that meaningful arts experiences are available to all of its state's citizens, including people with disabilities, patients and caregivers in healthcare settings, and older adults. The Division assures that all of our offerings are accessible. Our grantees sign a contract certifying that they will comply with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
In addition we ask that General Program Support and Specific Cultural Project grantees complete a yearly Accessibility Self Evaluation, use accessibility symbols in their marketing, and list the name of their accessibility coordinator.
Use the resources below to raise awareness, improve overall customer service and comply with the ADA laws.
Section 504 Basics for Applicants and Grantees
Section 504 Plan / Accessibility Self Evaluation
These forms are designed to assist arts and humanities organizations in performing on-site evaluations of their organization's policies, programs, services, and facilities. The Division recommends that all art and cultural organizations complete one of these forms on a yearly basis. This process will help you plan, budget, and complete necessary access improvements to meet or exceed legal standards.
- Section 504 Self Evaluation Workbook (pdf)
- Arts and Humanities Accessibility Checklist (pdf)
- Abbreviated Accessibility Checklist (pdf)
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs only recommends this abbreviated checklist for first-time self-evaluations.
- Downloadable Disability Access Symbols
Twelve downloadable symbols that may be used to promote and publicize accessibility of places, programs and other activities for people with various disabilities.
- Sensory Friendly Access Symbol and Information (pdf)
Using the Sensory-Friendly symbol indicates that the advertised cultural event/performance will provide accessible accommodations for individuals with Sensory Processing Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
DCA Accessibility Webinars
- Access on a Shoestring
- Create a Sensory Friendly Event
- Planning for Patrons with Hearing Impairments
- Planning for Patrons with Visual Impairments
- Planning for Patrons with Mobility Issues
- Putting it all Together & Training Your Staff
- Ecotourism and Accessibility
- Symbols and their Use
- Making Your Marketing Materials Accessible
- Making your Online Marketing Accessible
- Thinking Outside the Box Partnering & Funding
- Inclusive Tourism and Tourism Marketing of Accessibility
- Accessibility and New Audiences: Marketing Locally
- Accessibility in the Classroom
- Famous Figures with Disabilities
- Disability History and Awareness: A Resource Guide
Websites and Tools
- Americans with Disabilities Act web site
This is the official source of information and technical assistance about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Audio Description
This website is specifically oriented towards the subject of audio description and includes information on technology, service providers, trends, and more.
- Browsealoud Speech Enabled Web Access
The Smithsonian uses the free Browsealoud program to enhance the accessibility of its web site. Browsealoud reads the words on any web page through their computer speakers. The program helps people who may find it difficult to read text online, those who may have literacy problems, or those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. It is also a beneficial tool for those for whom English is a second language and may have trouble reading.
- Communicating With and About People with Disabilities
"People-first" language helps us remember that people are unique individuals and that their abilities or disabilities are only part of who they are.
- Human Centered Design
The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), founded in Boston in 1978 as Adaptive Environments, is an international non-governmental educational organization (NGO) committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. IHCD's work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.
- NEA Office for AccessAbility
The National Endowment for the Arts' Office for AccessAbility is the advocacy-technical assistance arm of the Arts Endowment, whose mission is to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people living in institutions. The National Endowment for the Arts' AccessAbility website offers numerous resources and downloads.
- VSA Arts
With a mission of creating a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts, VSA Arts both showcases accomplishments of disabled artists and offers education programs to increase disability awareness.
Florida Accessibility Organizations
- Disability Rights Florida
Disability Rights Florida was founded in 1977 as the statewide designated protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities in the State of Florida. Disability Rights Florida is a not-for-profit corporation that has authority and responsibility under eight federal grants. Their services are free and confidential.
- Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology
The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology is an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for all Floridians with disabilities through advocacy and awareness activities that increase access to and acquisition of assistive services and technology.
- Florida Council for Community Mental Health
The Florida Council for Community Mental Health (FCCMH) is a statewide association of 70 community-based mental health and substance abuse agencies. The association's membership includes a number of agencies that specialize in substance abuse services and children's services, as well as hospital-based programs.
- Southeast ADA Center: Florida State Resource Network
Accessibility contact information for the state of Florida.
- VSA Arts of Florida
VSA Arts of Florida's mission is to create a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. Founded in 1981 by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of State, VSA Arts of Florida incorporates an extensive network of program sites and partnerships.
National Accessibility Organizations
- National Center on Accessibility
Promotes access and inclusion for people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism.
- National Park Service
For information and assistance on access to parks, historic properties and museums
- The United States Access Board (Architectural & Transportation Barriers Compliance Board)
Contact for free copies of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) required under Title III (public accommodations) and other technical assistance materials concerning architectural, transportation and communications issues:
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
For information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
- U.S. Department of Transportation
For information and assistance on transportation issues
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
For information and assistance on employment issues
- Accessible Exhibition Design
This "living document" by the Smithsonian Institution is designed to help museums incorporate accessible design as a "new philosophy of exhibit development."
- Accessible Information Exchange: Meeting on a Level Playing Field
This U.S. Department of Justice publication focuses on planning and conducting meetings and events that are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs provides copies of Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook free of charge for arts organizations. Published by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, this book addresses all aspects of both architectural and programming accessibility for people with disabilities. It's designed not only to help arts organizations comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, but also to assist in ensuring that access is an integral part of an organization's mission, planning, programming, outreach, meetings, budgets, and staffing.
- The Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators
This guide is an online companion to Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook. The guide provides recommendations to cultural administrators on how to achieve accessible and inclusive programming for everyone including individuals with disabilities and older adults.
- Maintaining Accessibility in Museums
This is a U.S. Department of Justice publication addressing the essentials of museum accessibility.
ADA/Access Initiatives - Funding
State and Federal grant funding opportunities for ADA/Access projects are available through the National Endowment for the Arts and VSA Arts of Florida. The Division's Fast Track Project Grants can also be used to fund accessibility initiatives.