DISABILITY. DANCE. ARTISTRY. RESOURCES
Last Updated August 25, 2023, 10:00 a.m.
The following represent those service organizations and government entities that provide the most up-to-date and useful resources at the intersection of disability and dance in the New York City metropolitan area as identified by Dance/NYC and its Disability. Dance. Artistry. Task Force. This list is not comprehensive, and Dance/NYC welcomes information about additional resources. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.
Art Beyond Sight
Art Beyond Sight (ABS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using art as a vehicle for education and personal enjoyment among people with visual impairments and other disabilities. Among its activities, ABS offers free resources to promote engagement of disabled people in the arts. Examples include the Project Access Database, which provides information on accessibility features for cultural institutions; tip sheets, FAQs, training materials, and other tools for cultural institutions to use in their inclusion initiatives; and materials highlighting Awareness Month. Special projects for disabled audiences include New York Beyond Sight, which features verbal descriptions by prominent New Yorkers (including leaders in the dance community) of their favorite works of art and culture, architecture, and city landmarks; and the Art History through Touch and Sound Series, a multisensory approach to the history of visual art.
Dance New Jersey
Dance New Jersey is a member-based service organization committed to reaching new audiences and promoting the energy, excitement and excellence of dance and dance education in New Jersey, including the New York City metropolitan area counties of Bergen and Hudson. Its Dance Space Inventory, an online directory (organized by county) features New Jersey performance venues and dance spaces available for rent, which includes information on the accessibility and level of ADA compliance of each space.
Disability/Arts/NYC Task Force
The Disability/Arts/NYC Task Force (DANT) was an arts advocacy organization committed to fostering disability artistry in New York City. They had two primary goals: to shape a disability arts platform for NYC, and to bring greater cohesiveness and support to the disabled artists working in NYC. DANT was formed around a unique moment for disability arts and artistry. It witnessed bold artwork across genres and disciplines that take up disability as a profound aesthetic and analytic value. And yet, there are persistent obstacles that limit the possibilities for disabled artists and disability artistry. A history of DANT's work and its outcomes and challenges can be found in DANT’s report: Disability Equity in NYC’s Arts and Culture Landscape.
Museum Access Consortium
Museum Access Consortium (MAC) is a volunteer-based association that brings together cultural practitioners, people with disabilities, and disability advocates to share experiences, learn from one another, and refine best practices with the aim of advancing accessibility and inclusion in cultural facilities of all types in the New York metro area. MAC hosts professional development workshops to address the isolation staff may experience at their home institutions and seeks to respond to and engage cultural professionals from museums, theaters
and libraries at all levels. MAC’s website features a cultural calendar with accessible events and a resources section for training and best practices.
Theatre Development Fund
Theatre Development Fund’s (TDF) twofold mission is to identify and provide support, including financial assistance, to theatrical works of artistic merit and to encourage and enable diverse audiences to attend live theatre and dance in all their venues. For disabled theatergoers, it offers a TDF Accessibility Program (TAP) membership, with specific Autism, Hearing Loss, Vision Loss, and Physical Mobility Programs. For presenters, it offers both a National Open Captioning Initiative and Accessibility Grants for events that are being made available to the public in New York State. Access for Young Audiences is a program for elementary and secondary school students in the tristate area, offering them the opportunity to attend accessible Broadway performances.
Notable national service providers addressing the intersection of disability and the arts include National Arts And Disability Center/Tarjan Center at UCLA, National Dance Education Organization, and VSA Arts, whose New York affiliate, Marquis Studios, offers dance education programs for disabled children. Dance/NYC works in alliance with Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance.
New York City:
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities works hand in hand with other city agencies to ensure that the voice of the community is heard, and that City programs and policies address the needs of disabled people. Its website offers directories detailing programs, services, activities, and other resources that are accessible to disabled people.
New York City Department of Education
The Department of Education and its Office of Arts and Special Projects provide New York City public school communities—students, teachers, school leaders and parents—with information to support arts education. Resources include regularly published research, such as the NYC Schools Survey and Annual Arts In School Report; Arts & Cultural Education Services (ACES) Guide to provide New York City’s public school teachers, administrators, and school leaders access to the education programs of New York City’s dance and cultural community; and the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance, a resource for dance teachers and other educators, which includes an appendix on students with disabilities.
New York State Council on the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts offers accessibility resources links to City, State, and Federal agencies, including ADA/general resources and architectural resources/physical access.
New Jersey State Council on the Arts/New Jersey Theatre Alliance
In partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the New Jersey Council on the Arts, created The Cultural Access Network Project (CANP), the Cultural Access Network Project (CANP), established in 1992, to assist all of New Jersey’s cultural arts organizations in making their programs and facilities accessible to seniors and individuals with disabilities in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The CANP offers the field tools and resources in developing ADA plans; a wide range of technical assistance opportunities such as sensitivity training and marketing guidance; and equipment loans, referrals, and grant opportunities to assist institutions in maintaining ADA compliance.
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts’ Office of Accessibility is the advocacy-technical assistance arm of the NEA to make the arts accessible. It maintains extensive accessibility resources, including publications and checklists, information about laws and compliance standards, and details on leadership initiatives. The NEA’s Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook (2003) and companion piece, Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators, provide guidance to cultural administrators on how to achieve accessible and inclusive programming.
Dance/NYC strives to make website content and features accessible to all users. The Dance/NYC website has implemented standards and best practices to assist users (blind, low-vision, deaf, hard of hearing, and/or those with other disabilities) in accessing and contributing website content. These standards are detailed in two easy-to-use guides on web accessibility: one on how to access content and features on Dance.NYC, and one on how to create accessible listings as a Dance.NYC registered user. Both resources are specific to Dance.NYC, but provide useful tips and best practices that we encourage our peer organizations to adopt and utilize.
Event Accessibility and Venue Evaluation
Dance/NYC strives to create spaces that allow the full and equitable participation of disabled persons at all convening and events. Dance/NYC has implemented standards and best practices for event preparation and production. These practices are detailed in two guides: one on event accessibility, and one to conduct a self-evaluation of venue accessibility. Both resources are specific to Dance/NYC, but provide useful tips and best practices that we encourage our peer organizations to adopt and utilize.