A Guide to Accessible Programming

A Guide to Accessible Programming
There are many steps in making a program completely accessible; below are some
resources that can help you get started. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a
guide to assist you in ensuring that your programs and activities are accessible for all
people. Please note: inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement, but is
provided for informational purposes only.
General Resources About the ADA:
Understanding what is and is not covered under the ADA can be complicated. The
resources below can help your organization identify what aspects – whether physical
or programmatic – should be altered to ensure accessibility for all.
ADA Accessibility Standards 2010 – Current Accessibility Standards for
renovations, additions and new construction of buildings and facilities
ADA National Network (Regional Centers) – Through its 10 regional centers, the
ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on the
Americans with Disabilities Act.
(800) 949-4232 (Voice /TTY)
Chicago Accessibility Code – Questions should be directed to the Mayor’s Office for
Persons with Disabilities (MOPD) Accessibility Compliance Unit.
Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium – Empowers Chicago’s cultural spaces
to become more accessible to visitors with disabilities.
City of Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
(312) 744-7050 (312) or 744 4964 (Toll Free/TTY)
Great Lakes ADA Center – Regional ADA Center for Technical Assistance and
Training on the ADA.
(800)-949-4232 (V/TTY)
Illinois Accessibility Code – Illinois has additional standards beyond the federal
The Chicago Community Trust – “Renewing the Commitment” An ADA Compliance
Guide for Nonprofits
Title III (Privately owned and operated programs and services) –
Nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in
commercial facilities
U.S. Access Board – A federal agency that promotes equality for people with
disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of
accessibility guidelines and standards
(800) 872-2253 (Voice), (800) 993-2822 (TTY)
U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Division
(800) 514-0301 (Voice), (800) 514-0383 (TTY)
Accessibility at Your Cultural Organization:
In addition to the general resources listed above, there are a number of useful
resources specific to the accessibility of cultural organizations.
Bodies of Work – A network of artists and organizations whose art illuminates the
disability experience. –
Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrators Handbook
Listen Tech- makes iDSP, a new generation of personal listening products that can
be used in various places where it’s difficult to hear, like: theaters, lecture halls,
concert venues, houses of worship, and more.
1-800-330-0891 or 1-801-233-8992
The Kennedy Center – One of the leading experts in accessibility with many tip
sheets and resources. See below for a full listing of resource topics.
Tip Sheets:
• The Color Red in Design
• Captioning and CART
• Large Print Programs
• Radio Frequency, Induction Loop, and Infrared Assistive Listening Systems
• Producing and Distributing Braille and Large Print Programs
• Service Animals and the Revised ADA Regulations
• Staff Training Resources
• Universal Design Resources on the Web
• Universal Principles of Online Accessible Ticketing
• The Impact of the 2010 Regulations on Hold and Release Policies for
Wheelchair Accessible Seating
Books and Brochures:
• Assistive Listening Devices for People with Hearing Loss – A Guide for
Performing Arts Settings
• Audio Description for People with Vision Loss – A Guide for Performing Arts
• Sensory Friendly Programming for People with Social & Cognitive Learning
Website Accessibility:
An organization’s website is one of the first places patrons visit for information and
it is vital that your website is accessible to all audiences. Below are some guidelines
and a resource to help evaluate the accessibility of your site.
Knowbility – Organization that has done a lot of work with the Arts/Culture
Community regarding Web Accessibility and performs web accessibility evaluations
Section 508 Web Accessibility Standards
U.S. DOJ Fact Sheet on Web Accessibility for Local and State Governments
Accessible and Effective Communication:
People who have vision, hearing or speech disabilities (“communication disabilities”)
use different ways to communicate. To ensure all people can enjoy performances,
screenings, panels and other experiences, there are a number of accommodations
organizations can make to improve communication. The most standard are:
American Sign Language Interpreters
Captioning for videos
Communications Access in Real-time Translation (CART)
Audio Description
Touch Tours
View a general fact sheet about different types of communications here:
Audio Description Associates, LLC. – Audio Description provides access to the
visual elements – action, costumes, settings, gestures, facial expressions and other
visually engaging images – of television/film, museum exhibitions, theater and a
variety of events.
(301) 920-0218
Chicago Hearing Society – Empowers deaf, hard of hearing and hearing people to
communicate and collaborate by providing an array of services including interpreter
and CART services.
(773) 248-9121
Efficiency Reporting – CART and Captioning
(630) 682-8887
Wilde Mouth – Chicago-based professional Voice Actor and Audio Describer for
ensuring performances and screenings are accessible to X and Y.
(773) 895-5691
Training Resources:
Great Lakes ADA Center – Regional ADA Center for Technical Assistance and
Training on the ADA
800-949-4232 (V/TTY)
JJ’s List – Communications and marketing social enterprise that helps businesses
incorporate disability-aware marketing, customer services and employment best
practices into core business strategies.
(847) 869-0000
Open Doors Organization – Makes goods and services accessible to people with
disabilities in the travel and tourism industry.
(773) 388-8839
Contributing Organizations: ADA 25 Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium