Accessibility image compilation: information, cane use, wheelchair use, low/no vision, low/no hearing, light sensitive, touch access, ASL, service animal, infant, pregnant

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.

Jump to:
Cultural Access Guide
Upcoming Workshops

Cultural access guide
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. Click here to download an 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

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

VSA Ohio is partnering with the Ohio Museums Association to create a statewide accessibility workshop in five Ohio locations, June 6 - 20, 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). 
Workshop locations include:
Fremont – June 6, 2018
Where: Hayes Presidential Library and Museums 
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 4, 2018
  Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, The Center for Disability Empowerment
Canton – June 11, 2018
Where: Pro Football Hall of Fame
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 7, 2018
  Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, The Center for Disability Empowerment
Columbus – June 13, 2018
Where: Columbus Museum of Art
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 11, 2018
  Jane Ehrenfeld, Audio Description Consultant 
  Derek Mortland, Artist & ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator, The Center for Disability Empowerment
Athens – June 18, 2018
Where: Southeast Ohio History Center
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 14, 2018
  Christi Hysell, Artist
  Nate Thomson, Athens Photographic Project
Cincinnati – June 20, 2018
Where: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
When: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 18, 2018
  Sara Birkoffer, Coordinator of Interpretive Programming, Cincinnati Art Museum
  Artists & Staff (TBA), Visionaries + Voices
Registration cost – all locations: $15
OMA members or use promo code VSAOHIO at checkout.
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



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


VSAO was invited to present webinars as part of the Ohio Arts Council's webinar series. They are archived on Youtube and here. You can watch to get a taste of what trainings are like and pick up a few tips.

Increasing Access: Opening Doors for People with Disabilities
Presented November 2016 by Erin Hoppe

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



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 Center on Universal Design for Learning

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

8:00am - 4:30pm

Columbus Museum of Art, 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215


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

Conference Sponsors & Partners:


Disability Rights Ohio logo

Columbus Museum of Art

Ohio Arts Council

Greater Columbus Arts Council Logo

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Logo

The Columbus Foundation