The Oregon Arts Commission’s Arts Access Reimbursement program helps support organizations in making their programs more accessible to all members of the public, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since the creation of the program in 2011, groups around the state have used funds in innovative ways to support their visitors. A few notable examples include:
- The Oregon Festival Chorale (Salem) received partial support for the purchase of parking permits from the city to reserve additional wheelchair accessible parking spaces, after learning that patrons were less likely to attend concerts due to limited city-provided parking. The funds also supported reusable signage to draw attention to the temporary parking spaces.
- The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts (Eugene) has received funding several times to support various phases of the installation of copper coil audio enhancement systems in the box office, performance spaces and meeting rooms throughout the facility.
- The Tower Theatre (Bend) received funds to offset a portion of the cost of seven infrared enhanced hearing headsets. These assistive listening devices are provided to patrons at no cost.
- The Lincoln City Cultural Center used Arts Commission support to defray the cost of replacing an automated door operator (the motorized system that opens the glass door when the button is pressed) at the facility’s only pedestrian/wheelchair accessible door.
- The Oregon Chorale (Hillsboro) received enough support to pay for the full cost of providing printed lyrics and English translations of all songs at their December concerts.
- CymaSpace (Portland) was reimbursed for the full cost of interpretation services, including both ASL interpretation and visual captioning, for the “Northwest Deaf Arts Festival.”
- The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art received partial funding for American Sign Language interpretation services for the “Subharmonic” event, which included rental of AudioLux LED light spokes to provide appropriate lighting for the live interpreters.
- The Arts Commission’s own Poetry Out Loud program utilizes ASL interpreters from the stage, but also hires “social interpreters,” who work directly with participants who use ASL to allow seamless communication with event staff and other participants.
For Access Reimbursement Funding: https://www.oregonartscommission.org/grants/access-reimbursement