Arts & Accessibility

New England Dance Fund grantee Serenity Smith Forchion/Nimble Arts' workshop/performance with AXIS Dance; photo: Elsie Smith

Making Your Programs and Services Accessible

NEFA supports universal access to the arts, and strongly encourages all arts organizations to foster integration for individuals of all ages and abilities, whether audience members or artists, in all of their arts programs.

NEFA abides by state and federal laws that prohibit public support to organizations (people or entities) that discriminate against people with disabilities. Therefore, each grantee is required to assure that they are in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

ADA Grievance Policy

It is the policy of NEFA not to discriminate on the basis of disability, and NEFA is dedicated to providing equal access to individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable law. If you believe that a program or service is inaccessible to persons with a disability or is otherwise illegally discriminatory and you want to file a grievance, we have a formal process for doing so.

Grievance Procedures 

Please file your grievance in writing within thirty (30) days after the action has occurred. In extenuating circumstances, NEFA, upon written request, may extend the thirty (30) day requirement and allow more time. If you need assistance in filing a grievance, you may designate another person to file the grievance for you. To request an alternate format to file your grievance or for any additional assistance, please contact NEFA’s accessibility coordinator, Jane Preston, at or 617-865-1835. The individual filing a grievance can expect to receive a written response from NEFA no later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the properly filed grievance. 

For programs or services provided by NEFA: 

All grievances shall be limited to the physical facilities of NEFA, meetings conducted by NEFA, and programs and services operated by NEFA.

  • If you have any questions or would like to discuss the situation before filing a grievance, contact NEFA’s accessibility coordinator at or 617-865-1835.
  • To file a formal grievance, please complete NEFA's ADA Grievance Form.

For programs or services that are not provided by, but are funded by, NEFA:

Please communicate the grievance in writing directly to the sponsoring organization

  • If you think your grievance was not handled appropriately by the sponsoring organization, or if you have not received a response from the organization within thirty (30) days, contact NEFA’s accessibility coordinator at or 617-865-1835.
  • At any point in the process, you may choose to file a grievance with NEFA using NEFA’s ADA Grievance Form

NEFA will first work with you to understand the situation and then provide assistance as appropriate. Issues and concerns raised with NEFA will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  

Submit an ADA Grievance

To request an alternate format, contact NEFA’s accessibility coordinator at or 617-865-1835.

NEFA Grant Recipients

By signing a NEFA application, grant recipients are in effect acknowledging that their programs, services, and facilities are accessible, or a plan to make them accessible is in place and being followed. Funds will not be granted unless applicants are able, if requested, to provide documentation of their compliance efforts.

All grant recipients are expected to complete the Section 504 Self-Evaluation Workbook and submit a copy to NEFA if requested.

Accessibility Resources

National Resources

Disability Access Symbols

The Graphic Artists Guild provides downloadable Disability Access Symbols to advertise your accessibility to employees, customers, audiences, and anyone else who needs access to your facilities or programs. Examples of places you’ll want to promote your accessibility include: advertisements, websites, newsletters, conference and program brochures, membership forms, building signage, floor plans and maps.

The Accessible Icon Project is an ongoing work of design activism and continues its work as a collaboration among people with disabilities and their allies toward a more accessible world. Download the graphic icon for use in the public domain.

Accessibility Committee

NEFA’s Accessibility Committee serves as a core resource for NEFA, advising on matters pertaining to providing access for people with disabilities and compliance with federal regulations and best practices regarding accessibility and inclusion

  • Jane Preston, NEFA - Chair
  • Todd Hanson, JSA Design, Portsmouth, NH
  • Michael Jordan, Adobe, Newton, MA
  • Toby MacNutt, Burlington, VT
  • Elizabeth Shapiro, Office of the Arts, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Hartford, CT
  • Ann Wicks, NEFA


For questions, please reach out to NEFA’s accessibility coordinator at or 617-865-1835.

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