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Access Assistance

Arts Access Services

VSA Minnesota provides information and services to state arts organizations so that they are able to meet the various needs of patrons, participants, employees and volunteers who have disabilities. This includes:

  • Conducting an Arts Access Survey to assess how easily people with disabilities can use an organization’s physical space and participate in its programming;
  • Presenting workshops on connecting with and engaging people with various types of disabilities;
  • Creating Braille programs for patrons who are blind attending a performance;
  • Providing assistance in finding trained theatrical ASL interpreters, audio describers and CART providers adept at providing captioning services for live performances;
  • Training box office personnel in Best Practices of accommodating people with various types of disabilities.

These services are provided by VSA Minnesota staff and by community volunteers, with and without disabilities, with specific skills and experience in accommodating a broad range of needs.

Craig Dunn speaking at Disability Mural Reception in Minneapolis with ASL interpreter Rosalinda Estrada-Alvarez standing next to a captioning display unit.

Craig Dunn speaking at Disability Mural Reception in Minneapolis with ASL interpreter Rosalinda Estrada-Alvarez standing next to a captioning display unit.

Arts Access Workshops

Future Workshops:
If you would like to arrange a VSA Minnesota workshop on an accessibility topic that would serve your organization, contact:
VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888 ext. 2, or email access@vsamn.org.

Access Equipment for Loan

Did you know that there are places around Minnesota where you can borrow equipment that will make your productions and presentations more accessible to people with certain disabilities? Here is a list of what is available and who to contact:

CaptionView Digital Display Screen & Software

VSA Minnesota, Minneapolis, Jon Skaalen, 612-332-3888 ext. 2, jon@vsamn.org

The equipment includes a digital captioning display unit (approx. 4’x1’) and a tripod. A CART provider (Communication Access Realtime Translation) can connect to the unit, or the arts group can use the free CaptionView software to caption lyrics, script dialogue, scene change notices, etc. Script caption training is available from VSA Minnesota. Free shipping is available anywhere within Minnesota.

Audio Description Equipment

Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Alissa Matara, 612-225-6390 accessibility@guthrietheater.org

A Center for the Arts, Fergus Falls, 218-736-5453, ac4ta@fergusarts.org

Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro, David Hennessey, 507-467-2905 x205, david@commonwealtheatre.org

Duluth Playhouse, Duluth, 218-733-7555, phoffice@duluthplayhouse.org

This equipment includes a steno mask and headset microphone (for the describer) and a dozen receivers and earbuds (for patrons who are blind or low-vision).