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Winter 2002

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Arts for All

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts emphasize the importance of complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and strive to help applicants make their facilities and programs accessible to all citizens.

All grant requests for the program year 2003 will require you to address accessibility thoroughly. You (the legal authority to obligate the applicant) will be required to either give assurances that your project/program/facility is accessible and in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or submit a transition plan indicating how and when you will be in compliance. Contact the Arts staff for a copies of the required transition plan forms. The forms will also be available by December 30, 2001 on our website ( All applicants receiving support from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts are expected to comply with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA of 1990.

Grant recipients must be ready to accommodate a person with a disability even if there is no perceived present need. In the process of ensuring nondiscrimination, 504 requires certain actions that must be taken regardless of the presence of disabled persons who might benefit. This does not mean that arts organizations must provide specific program accommodations when there are no people with disabilities present — brailled materials or sign language interpretation, for example. The principle means that the organization must place itself in the position to provide such accommodations in case requests are made in the future. Organizations should make advance preparations for program accessibility. The requirements for organizations receiving state and federal funds are the same regardless of whether the building is owned or leased.