Director's Blog

Director's Blog



ArtLinks 2017

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center - Monday, October 23, 2017

Each year my colleagues in the Arkansas Arts Council host ArtLinks: A Conference for Artists, Arts Administrators, Community Leaders and Educators. This conference is a fantastic opportunity for people who work in the arts to learn more about the ways in which to improve everything from programming to economic development in their communities. This year, my colleague Jennifer Moore and I were invited to speak on the work we’ve each been doing around accommodations for individuals experiencing wide range of disabilities. In putting together our presentation, we shared with attendees resources that we’ve found helpful in our work. I’ve included the list below in case others might find it useful as well. Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for following up on our ArtLinks presentation.

Resource for thinking about the intersection between disability and racial justice.

This is geared more towards art therapy and interacting with children

This is a great resource for how to encourage positive behaviors by setting the space appropriately. I often find that the biggest challenge folks face with working with children on the spectrum is their unique physical/verbal behavior. This is a generalized, but clear toolkit for breaking down those barriers.

Based in Massachusetts this company works with organizations to create universal designed spaces. They have a history of working with historic properties so it’s a great resource for folks interested in physically changing their space.

Most states that have some sort of arts agency have a Section 504 contact person who is responsible for making sure that grant funded programming is not discriminatory based on ADA guidelines. It’s a good idea for folks looking for funds to be in contact with whomever the rep is in their state if they are applying for federal funds. For Arkansas, the contact person is Janet Perkins at the Arkansas Arts Council.

Great resource for the concept and principles of universal design. If you click on the “principles of universal design” link there is a visual resource showing how to rethink our spaces and whether they truly are welcoming to everyone.

Article and resources for using people first language.

Group that advocates identify first language for autistic people. There is a LOT of controversy within the disability community over people first versus identity first language—in general I take the how would you prefer to be addressed stance and ask though I almost always use people first language in a formal setting.

She was the first deaf blind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and has since become a strong advocate for persons with disabilities. She really emphasizes that the problem is not with people with disabilities, but society’s expectations. Her website includes a couple of videos of her speaking.

She partnered with StoryCorps to highlight people with disabilities many of whom are also people of color.

While this site is geared more towards museums, there are some interest articles about ways museums can be more inclusive places. Most aren’t diversity related, but I really like some of the questions/frames of thinking they bring especially the family inclusive language guide: https://incluseum.com/2016/04/27/new-language-21st-century-museum/ and this article by guest post-er Nina Robinson: https://incluseum.com/2016/06/28/art-of-relevance-nina-simon/


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