April 2022 Accessibility Corner Blog

To raise awareness about accessibility in the arts, CCI is reintroducing the “Accessibility Corner”! Every month, this newsletter will include a link to a blog post on a different aspect of accessibility in the arts. We define accessibility as “when the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered, and products, services, and facilities are built or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities.” (Disability and Health Inclusion Strategies) We will be curating resources by accessibility advocates, featuring the work of artists with disabilities, and organizing panels for deeper conversations on accessibility topics. This initiative is “one means to a larger goal— inclusion in the cultural community of people of all ages, with and without disabilities.” (Patterson et al.)

Accessibility is an important and often overlooked aspect of equity, diversity, and inclusion. One in five adults in Colorado has a disability. As RespectAbility notes, “People can be born with a disability, or acquire one due to an accident, aging, gun violence or in military service to our nation”. (Inclusive Philanthropy Toolkit for Philanthropists and Funders) Disability affects people from all demographics and walks of life. Everyone deserves access to engage in the arts.

It's CCI’s goal to make sure all Coloradans have access to creative environments and experiences. CCI is curating these resources because prospective grant applicants must demonstrate their organization is complying with ADA regulations. CCI applicants must acknowledge that their programs, services, and facilities are accessible, or be following a plan to make them accessible. This feature will provide resources that can spark discussion and inform applicants’ accessibility initiatives.

Our intended audience for this work is broad and will vary from month to month. Since accessibility can be incorporated into every facet of the arts, we will have resources for individual artists with disabilities, arts organizations (serving patrons and employees with disabilities), and philanthropic organizations funding the arts. These resources will apply to a variety of artistic mediums including the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, and more.

To ensure that we create content that reflects the interests of the disability community, we are engaging in frequent discussions with multiple leaders in the Colorado arts community focused on disability advocacy. We aim to supplement existing resources and highlight the work of experts in this field. We intend to keep intersectionality, inclusion, and intentionality at the center of this work. Understanding that this work is ongoing, we welcome any and all feedback on how we can improve these resources.

Thank you for engaging in this crucial work to make Colorado’s arts community accessible to all.