The arts have many special values to people with disabilities, but one of the most important is a method of expression sometimes not possible by any other means. Art can also be a vehicle for learning a wide range of other life skills—including skills in education, employment and comunication.
In addition, artists with disabilities often use their disabilities in their visual art, either as content or by alternative methods and materials.
Read below to see a range of Web sites geared toward arts and disabilities.
Kansas City-based Accessible Arts works with educators, caregivers, organizations, and institutions such as museums and galleries to facilitate making the arts accessible to and participatory for children and adults with disabilities.
Coalition for Inclusive Performing Arts
The Coalition for Inclusive Performing Arts, a new membership organization located at the National Arts and Disability Center on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, works to foster the full participation and involvement of individuals with all types of disabilities in drama and theater activities.
Founded in 1982, New York-based Hands On is dedicated to providing greater accessibility to arts and cultural events for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
National Arts and Disability Center
The National Arts and Disability Center (NADC), a project of the University of California at Los Angeles' Tarjan Center for Developmental Disabilities, is a national clearinghouse for information, technical assistance, and referrals in the field of arts and disability.
State Arts Agency and Regional Arts Organization 504/ADA Coordinators
Generally speaking, the mission of state arts councils and commissions is to provide statewide leadership in the arts. This link, provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, lists Section 504/Americans with Disabilities Act coordinators for state arts councils or commissions. The kinds of services provided to facilitate access will vary from state to state.
Survivors Art Foundation
The Survivors Art Foundation in Westhampton, New York, is committed to mainstreaming trauma survivors with physical and mental disabilities into the arts through a range of outlets, including national exhibitions, outreach programs and publications, and an online gallery.
VSA Arts Connection
VSA, a nonprofit educational affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., creates opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities. The organization's programs are implemented through a network of local, state, and national organizations, including educational and cultural institutions, arts agencies, associations for disabled people, and health and rehabilitation organizations.