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Home / Access Policy

Access Policy

Mass Cultural Council Accessibility Coordinators
All Mass Cultural Council Staff have been trained to serve as accessibility coordinators. You can contact program staff using the Mass Cultural Council Staff list. If you are not sure what program area you should reach you can contact Charles Baldwin, Program Officer for the Universal Participation Initiative.

Request Accommodation for Mass Cultural Council Programs and Services
The Mass Cultural Council is happy to offer alternative formats, auxiliary aids, and services necessary so that any individual can participate in the Mass Cultural Council’s programs and services. Contact Mass Cultural Council Staff for help.

To facilitate your request in a timely manner, please contact us at least two weeks before any Mass Cultural Council event or grant deadline.

Accessibility Requirements for the Mass Cultural Council and its Grantees
The 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. The Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are expected to be in compliance with:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Other applicable state and local laws

The Mass Cultural Council’s grantees sign a contract certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. The Mass Cultural Council aims to help grantees understand their obligations and recognize the opportunities that increasing access can provide for both the public and the grantee.

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.

Provide Feedback
The Mass Cultural Council’s goal is to respond to suggestions for improvement in a responsive, interactive, and informal manner in order 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.  If you are not sure what program area you should reach you can contact Charles Baldwin.

Grievance Procedures
If a program or service is inaccessible to persons with a disability or is illegally discriminatory and you want to file a grievance we have a formal process for doing so.

If possible, please file your grievance within thirty days after the action has occurred. In extenuating circumstances, the 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 ask for assistance from Mass Cultural Council Staff. The individual filing a grievance can expect a response from the Mass Cultural Council no later than thirty days after receipt of the grievance.

For programs or services provided by the Mass Cultural Council
Complaints should be limited to the facilities of the Mass Cultural Council, public meetings conducted by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and programs and services operated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

  • 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, fill out the Mass Cultural Council’s Grievance Form

For programs or services that are not provided by, but are funded by the Mass Cultural Council

  • Communicate the grievance to the sponsoring organization
  • If you think your grievance was not handled appropriately by the organization, or if you have not received a response from them within thirty days, contact Mass Cultural Council Staff.

The Mass Cultural Council will first work with you to understand the situation and then provide assistance as appropriate. Issues and concerns raised with the Mass Cultural Council will be handled on a case-by-case basis. At any point in the process, you may choose to file a grievance with the Mass Cultural Council using the Mass Cultural Council’s Grievance Form

Resources and Additional Information

Funding. The Mass Cultural Council offers several funding opportunities to provide support for organizations that are seeking to improve facility or programmatic accessibility:

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 funding as a Colleague or Partner may choose to put the unrestricted funds towards universal design or accessibility initiatives.  Organizations that are not already Colleagues or Partners may be eligible to apply for CIP-Projects which provides project-based grants. An organization could choose to apply to CIP-Projects 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.

Other Resources. The following resources are meant to provide general information, help grantees comply with accessibility laws, raise awareness, and improve overall customer service.


National Endowment for the Arts, Accessibility Office

Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD)

Americans with Disabilities Act Website


Cultural Access New England

New England ADA Center


VSA Massachusetts

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

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