Mass Cultural Council’s Commitment to Accessibility
Mass Cultural Council is dedicated to making its events and services inclusive and accessible to all. Our ADA Coordinator and Contact for Accommodations is Charles G. Baldwin, who can be reached at 617-858-2739.
Request Accommodation for Mass Cultural Council Programs, Services, and Events
As a matter of practice, Mass Cultural Council provides live captioning when hosting virtual events with 50 or more registered attendees, and proactively requests the services of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters when hosting virtual events with 100 or more registered attendees.
To ensure accommodation requests are met, please make your request at least three weeks before any online or in-person event or grant deadline. Some examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:
This website provides translation using GTranslate and is currently set up to auto-translate into Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. (In the site’s top navigation bar, select the flag that corresponds to the desired language.) Additional languages can be provided upon request.
Mass Cultural Council’s goal is to respond to suggestions for improvement in a responsive, interactive, and informal manner to provide the highest level of service to all our constituents. We welcome and appreciate your feedback. You may provide feedback by contacting Mass Cultural Council staff, or using Mass Cultural Council’s Access Feedback Form. or contact Charles G. Baldwin.
Grievances for Programs or Services Provided by Mass Cultural Council
Mass Cultural Council is dedicated to making its events and services that it provides inclusive and accessible to all. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the situation before filing a grievance, contact Mass Cultural Council staff.
To file a formal grievance, please fill out Mass Cultural Council’s Grievance Form. Grievances should be limited to the facilities of Mass Cultural Council, public meetings conducted by Mass Cultural Council, and programs and services operated by Mass Cultural Council.
If possible, please file your grievance within 30 days after the action has occurred. In extenuating circumstances, Mass Cultural Council may extend the 30-day requirement and allow more time.
If you need assistance in filing a grievance, you may delegate another person to file the complaint for you or contact Cathy Cheng-Anderson. The individual filing a grievance can expect a response from Mass Cultural Council no later than 30 days after receipt of the grievance.
Mass Cultural Council will first work with you to understand the situation and provide assistance as appropriate. Issues and concerns raised with Mass Cultural Council will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Grievances for Programs or Services Outside of Mass Cultural Council
If you believe a program or service to be non-accessible for individuals with disabilities or in unlawful violation of non-discrimination laws, please directly contact the organization for which you have concerns with. This often can provide an immediate avenue for dialogue and potentially expedite the resolution process.
Please know, Mass Cultural Council does not function as a regulatory or enforcement authority, nor do we possess the ability to investigate or enforce matters related to the accessibility of programs, events, employment, and services provided by our grantees.
If you believe your grievance was not handled appropriately by the organization, we have listed enforcement entities that have set procedures to manage grievances:
Accessibility Requirements for Mass Cultural Council and its Grantees
Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are contractually committed to abide by state and federal regulations which bar discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and which require accessibility for persons with disabilities. Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are expected to be in compliance with:
Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. Mass Cultural Council through its grant programs and education offerings aims to help grantees understand their obligations and recognize the opportunities that increasing access can provide for both the public and the grantee. Although we support the aim of greater accessibility in the sector it’s important to note that we do not function as a regulatory or enforcement authority, nor do we possess the power to investigate or enforce matters related to the accessibility of programs, events, employment, and services.
Compliance Tools for Grantees
A helpful tool to ensure compliance with ADA and Section 504 requirements is the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Accessibility Planning and Resource Guide for Cultural Administrators. The guide is designed to help organizations not only comply with ADA and Section 504 but to assist in making access an integral part of planning, mission, programs, outreach, meetings, budget, and staffing. The NEA also provides forms designed to assist organizations in performing on-site evaluations of their organization’s policies, programs, services, and facilities.
Mass Cultural Council offers several funding opportunities to provide support for organizations that are seeking to improve facility or programmatic accessibility:
UP Innovation Fund
The Universal Participation (UP) Initiative aims to activate the aspirations of the Americans with Disabilities Act to break down the barriers that prevent full civic participation in Massachusetts’ cultural sector. Both a movement and a designation, our UP Initiative supports organizational change through inclusive design practices, community engagement strategies, and peer learning networks.
Cultural Facilities Fund
The Fund provides Capital Grants to promote the acquisition, design, repair, rehabilitation renovation, expansion, or construction of nonprofit cultural facilities in Massachusetts. Funds are available for the repair, rehabilitation, or renovation of existing facilities including efforts to improve physical accessibility. Funds are also available to support pre-implementation planning efforts such as accessibility assessments.
Cultural Investment Portfolio
Those organizations already receiving Portfolio or Gateway funding may choose to put the unrestricted funds towards universal design or accessibility initiatives. Organizations that are not already receiving Portfolio or Gateway funding may be eligible to apply for Festivals & Projects grants which provides project-based grants. An organization could choose to apply for a Festivals & Projects grant for an accessibility-focused project such as producing an autism-friendly performance, or other projects meant to welcome and engage audiences in a new way.
The following resources are meant to provide general information, help grantees comply with accessibility laws, raise awareness, and improve overall customer service.
Open Door Arts
The Massachusetts Office for Disability
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
Executive Office of Elder Affairs