Access Plan

Art Shanty Projects - Access Plan - 2015-2016

Approved by the Art Shanty Projects' Board of Directors on June 2, 2015.

Updated October 27, 2015.

INTRODUCTION:

Art Shanty Projects is an artist-driven temporary community exploring the ways in which relatively unregulated public spaces can be used as new and challenging artistic environments. The organization values artists, the communities in which we present and the importance of interaction between them. Through an array of artists receiving fair wages for their work, we wish to broaden definitions of art and artist while maintaining respect for the environment and creating positive cultural impact.

Art Shanty Projects embraces the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our commitment to assuring that all members of our community can participate as fully as possible in our arts events, programs, meetings, facilities and communications.

The Executive Director will serve as an Accessibility Coordinator, conduct an Accessibility Audit, and draft Accessibility Policy. This policy will be vetted during the April 24, 2015, Board Meeting and voted it into effect on June 2, 2015. An outside consultant will be hired to help address gaps and train artists, staff, board and volunteers in compliance.

COMMUNICATIONS ACCESSIBILITY:

Current Status: Most communications with board members, individuals or organization members, artists and the general public currently involve in-person meetings, telephone, e-mail, print media, mailings, website and Facebook.

Goal: All communications with board members, individual or organization members, artists and the general public are to be accessible.

Policy: Art Shanty Projects will provide notification of meetings, programs and other opportunities for constituents at least two weeks prior to the announced activity. Notices will be posted on the Art Shanty Projects website (www.artshantyprojects.org) which will be made more accessible to people with vision impairment via text labels and simple layout formatting. Upon request, our written information and publicity will be made available in alternative formats including email, large print, Braille or electronic. 

Policy: Art Shanty Projects will arrange and pay a sign language interpreter for meetings between staff or board members and individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. We will budget for and publicize the provision of interpreters for designated public presentations, workshops and programs. We will also publicize our policy for requesting a professional Sign Language interpreter which states the organization reserves the right to have a minimum one week prior notification of interpreter need outside of scheduled programming.

FACILITIES & EVENTS ACCESSIBILITY:

Current Status:

Art Shanty Projects does not own or rent any facilities. Board meetings take place at facilities which are wheelchair accessible. The On-Ice Program event is the frozen surface of White Bear Lake which is not an inherently wheelchair accessible space.

Goal: We maintain a policy to arranging for meeting spaces or venues to assure that entrances, rooms, bathrooms and audience areas are physically accessible to persons with mobility impairments. The board will work with other venue owners to make accommodations for accessibility and assure that all people can enter and exit safely.

Policy: Effort will be taken to ensure programs, exhibits, workshops and presentations conducted, sponsored or co-sponsored by our organization are held in spaces that are physically accessible to people with mobility disabilities. This physical access pertains to parking, entrance areas, movement to and through the activity area, and restroom facilities. If the space is not inherently wheelchair accessible, such as the case with our On-Ice Program event, accommodations will be made to assist people with mobility disabilities to participate to the fullest extent possible given landscape restrictions. For example: identify and keep clear the entrance onto the lake, all snow and ice for the accessible path.

Current Status: Art Shanty Projects has seldom hosted persons who are deaf or blind at our meetings or events. Since we wish to make our presentations accessible to people with hearing or vision loss, we have adopted the practice of scheduling one weekend of the four weekend event production schedule to include prearranged tours of the festival with a professional Sign Language interpreter and/or Audio Description provision.

Goal: In order to accommodate people with hearing or vision loss at our meetings or programs, we will maintain a policy that allows for the incorporation of Sign Language and/or Audio Description into at least one weekend of our On-Ice Program event. Signage will utilize sans serif font at least 18-point, at an appropriate height for persons standing or in chairs to read.

Policy:  Upon one week advance notice, we will honor a request to obtain the services of a professional Sign Language interpreter, captioner or audio describer.  We can also make our printed materials (agenda, program schedule, etc.) in an accessible format, such as Braille or large print (per requested font size).  Or if preferred, we can send our printed materials electronically. We will remind participants to speak clearly and to identify themselves when necessary so that all can hear, know who is speaking and participate.

OTHER PROGRAM ACCESSIBILITY:

Policy: In seeking a diversity of people, talents and abilities to participate in our organization, staff, board, volunteers, artists, etc., we will include people with disabilities among other groups whom we wish to attract and serve.

Policy: The On-Ice Program is free admission for everyone in order to encourage attendance. We will publicize this policy in our publications, news releases, website, production manual and other correspondence.

Policy: We will publicize efforts for greater mobility and accommodations for the disability community  in our print/email/social media publicity, website and through VSA Minnesota’s Accessible Arts Calendar. We will use accessibility graphics (symbols for wheelchairs, ASL, Audio Description, etc. at Graphic Artists Guild) in advance publicity to make people aware of accommodations that are available. Deadlines will be indicated. 

Policy: New board members will be provided a copy of the Access Plan as part of the Board Manual used for orientation, training, and reference.

Policy: This Access Plan will be reviewed annually by the Art Shanty Projects Board of Directors after completion of each On-Ice Program season. Iterations of this living document will be used as an evolving tool and process to guide the organization towards continued improvements for greater access. Our organization will seek consultation from key resources, such as VSA Minnesota, the Minnesota Council on Disability, and local access consultants for information regarding specific accessibility resources, publications and/or access guides and surveys.

Policy: Art Shanty Projects will include a budgetary line-item for Accessibility resources for items such as professional sign language interpreters, audio description, Braille, large print, website formatting for accessibility features, training, and event expenses related to ADA compliance in order to maintain and improve ongoing implementation of this Access Plan.

The general public as well as Art Shanty Projects employees, Board members and volunteers may, at any time, submit comments, complaints or grievances regarding the organization’s efforts to make its programs, events and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. These comments should be in writing, via audio tape or via e-mail. All comments in this regard will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for consideration. (SEE Grievance Policy at the end of this Access Plan.)

Art Shanty Projects will strongly encourage organizations who partner with us in presentations or events to follow the policies above and make every effort to ensure compliance with these policies.

When Art Shanty Projects is one of many collaborators / funders / sponsors at an event / performance / presentation, even when it is not the main (or largest) of the collaborators, the organization will work to ensure that goals listed in these Access Policy Statements are achieved. The organization will work diligently to implement its policies and use these opportunities to educate and advocate for improved access in future collaborations.

This updated report is presented to the Board of Directors on October 27, 2015.

Dawn Bentley, Executive Director

 

Art Shanty Projects makes every effort to make its programs accessible to artists, arts organizations, community groups and other constituents. To ensure these programs remain accessible, we set forth this grievance policy and procedures for individuals to file complaints about aspects of our programs or services which they deem inaccessible.

  1. Grievances about the accessibility of programs or services must be filed with the agency Executive Director no later than 20 days from the date the grievor attempted to access the program or service.
  1. Grievances will be communicated to the Executive Director in written or verbal form, or in a means of communication most appropriate to the person filing the grievance. The individual or organization filing a grievance will bear any costs necessary to prepare and present the grievance to the Executive Director.
  1. A grievance will include the following:
    1. Full name, address, and telephone number, and the name of the person alleging discrimination, if different;
    2. The specific program or service involved in the complaint;
    3. Date of the incident;
    4. A description of the specific complaint about the accessibility of the program or service;
    5. Other information that you believe necessary to support your complaint. Do not send original documents or materials. Please send copies and retain originals.
  1. The Executive Director will conduct an investigation of the grievance and will respond within 20 days from the date of the grievance in a form of communication most appropriate to the grievor (e.g., Braille, large print, email, etc.). This will be done at the organization’s expense. If additional action is needed, the Executive Director will seek the expertise of other related entities for advice and direction including the Minnesota State Council on Disability and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
  1. The decision of the Executive Director may be appealed to the Board of Directors by presenting the above materials, the Executive Director’s decision, and your reason for appealing the decision within 20 days from the date of the Executive Director's decision.The appeal will be presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting. The decision of the Board will be set forth by the Board Chair 10 days after the Board meeting and will be the final step in this grievance policy. Such appeal would be sent to the Board Chair with a copy sent to the Executive Director.
  1. In all complaint cases, Art Shanty Projects will look for good faith compliance with ADA/504 regulations and gestures of reasonable accommodations toward individuals with disabilities. If Art Shanty Projects is unable to resolve the complaint, the Board Chair will refer the complaint to the appropriate state or federal agency.
  1. The general public as well as Art Shanty Projects employees, Board members and volunteers may, at any time, submit comments, complaints or grievances regarding the organization’s efforts to make its programs, events, and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. These comments should be in writing, via e-mail or an acceptable alternative format. All comments in this regard will be forwarded to the Art Shanty Projects Board of Directors for consideration.