Florida Division of Cultural Affairs

Promoting arts and culture through programs, services and the Museum of Florida History.



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.

  1. Section 504 Self Evaluation Workbook (pdf)

  2. Arts and Humanities Accessibility Checklist (pdf)

  3. Abbreviated Accessibility Checklist (pdf)
    The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs only recommends this abbreviated checklist for first-time self-evaluations.

Accessibility Symbols
  • 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).


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.

You may order hard copies of the handbook through the NASAA web site. http://nasaa-arts.org/

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.

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.

As users move their cursors over words on a web page, Browsealoud reads them aloud, highlighting the words as they are being spoken. Alternately, users can select a "continuous" option, which allows the entire contents of a web page to be read without using the mouse. Browsealoud can also be turned on and off with a click of the Ctrl key.

Users can customize the voice, pitch, and speed of the reader to suit their needs. Browsealoud resides in the system tray when it is enabled. The icon resembles a bullseye and will have a checkmark when a Smithsonian website is speech enabled.

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, including:

  • advocacy
  • projects and partnerships
  • workshops and seminars
  • technical assistance
  • resources and web links
  • checklists
  • publications
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.

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.

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

DCA Accessibility Webinars

Access on a Shoestring, Transcript
Create a Sensory Friendly Event, Transcript
Planning for Patrons with Hearing Impairments, Transcript
Planning for Patrons with Visual Impairments, Transcript
Planning for Patrons with Mobility Issues, Transcript
Putting it all Together & Training Your Staff
Ecotourism and Accessibility
Symbols and their Use, Transcript
Making Your Marketing Materials Accessible, Transcript
Making your Online Marketing Accessible
Thinking Outside the Box Partnering & Funding, Transcript
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, Resources


Maureen Murphy
Arts Administrator, Accessibility Coordinator