Equity and accessibility resources for organizations.

Resources to build capacity for equity work.

These resources on building capacity for equity work are geared to small, midsize and volunteer-led organizations. The information focuses on processes, strategies and tactics organizations can start employing now. Each resource has some background information, links and practical items included.

Creating equitable spaces for your internal stakeholders.
Diversifying your board, staff and volunteers.
Self assessment tools
Recordings of creating access and inclusion workshops

The workshops are designed to provide guidance about interacting, communicating with and including people with dis/abilities and differences to change things for the better and become part of the equity solution.

  • Getting Started: Understanding Dis/ability and Improving Accessibility. This two-hour workshop, presented by RISCA and Arts Equity RI, features Jeannine Chartier (Arts Equity RI), Conor Moynihan (RISD Museum) and Charles Baldwin (Mass Cultural Council).
  • Understanding Neurodiversity and Enhancing Inclusion. This two-hour workshop, features Jeannine Chartier (Arts Equity RI), Mario Gomez (marioagomez.com), Rikki Davis (RIOT RI), and Howie Sneider (the Steel Yard).
  • Creating Access in Nonprofits: Disability Rights under the ADA and 504. The 90-minute workshop examines the requirements of nonprofits under federal disability rights legislation, including the ADA and 504. A link to the PowerPoint slides in the presentation is available in the video’s description. During the workshop, scenarios and problem-solving opportunities sparks ideas about how the laws and inclusive design can help organizations enrich their programs and build diverse audiences. Specific examples are germane to cultural organizations.
Example accessibility plan
What is considered a dis/ability in Rhode Island?

The law defines dis/ability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

R.I. resources
  • Governor’s Advisory Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired. An advisory body appointed by the Governor and mandated by state law that advises the Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired regarding the programs provided by the agency. Participates in working relationship with the State Rehabilitation Council and Statewide Independent Living Council.
  • IN-SIGHT. A private, non-profit organization incorporated in 1925 to serve the needs of Rhode Island’s blind and visually-impaired population of all ages. As Rhode Island’s reading service for people who are blind and visually impaired, they operate a fully equipped radio station: INSIGHT Radio.
  • Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL). OSCIL is a consumer controlled, community based, nonprofit organization established to provide a range of independent living services to enhance, through self direction, the quality of life of Rhode Islanders.
  • Accessible Rhode Island. A website that lists the accessibility of libraries, restaurants, museums, cinemas and cultural sites that have been surveyed according to the guidelines for identifying accessibility outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Other resources
  • National Endowment for the Arts. A wide range of resources from The Arts Endowment’s Office of Accessibility, the advocacy-technical assistance arm of the Arts Endowment to make the arts accessible for people with disabilities. Includes A Brief Accessibility Checklist.
  • Cultural Access New England. CANE was founded to advance access to cultural facilities in New England for people with disabilities of all types.
  • WebAIM. Provides the guidelines and key principles of accessible design to implement web accessibility so you can do your part to ensure the web can be accessed by a broader population.
  • CAST: Universal Design. Provides a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities. Located near Boston, CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that created the Universal Design for Learning framework and UDL Guidelines, now used the world over to make learning more inclusive.
  • NeurodiversityHUB. The Resources section includes a vast array of resources that have been created or curated for use by neurodivergent students, their parents and caregivers, employers and universities.
Additional Resources from the Mass Cultural Council
  • Disability Visibility Project. The Disability Visibility Project is an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.
  • Sins Invalid. Sins Invalid is a disability justice based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and LGBTQ / gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Sins Invalid has created and curated a helpful curriculum and resource list as well.
  • Autism Self Advocacy Network. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. ASAN provides leadership training, advocacy tools, and educational resources.
  • LEAD Conference. As an integral part of the Kennedy Center’s Access/VSA International Network, the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) program advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities in arts and culture. With a focus on expanding the breadth and scope of accessible programming, LEAD provides an opportunity for professionals in the field to develop best practices and resources; engage in conversations with colleagues and experts from around the world; and learn practical methods for designing inclusive arts experiences and environments.

Thank you to Dr. Brea Heidelberg, ISO Arts Consulting, Jeannine Chartier, Arts Equity, and Charles Baldwin, Mass Cultural Council, for their participation in the workshops and compiling the resources.