Friday, 03 March 2017 12:37

Increasing Employment Opportunities in the Arts for People with Disabilities

Sponsoring Organization

National Endowment for the Arts



Washington, DC






Project Proposal Receipt Deadline: April 18, 2017

Organizations must submit their proposals electronically through, the federal government’s online application system. The system must receive your validated and accepted proposal no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the deadline date above. We strongly recommend that you submit your application by April 8, 2017 to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter.


People with disabilities experience many barriers to careers in the arts, such as inaccessible work spaces, fluctuating job stability and health benefits, and attitudinal barriers about employment opportunities. In a June 2016 online dialogue with the arts and disability community facilitated by the U.S. Department of Labor, participants identified a need for more online tools, resources, and professional development opportunities for people with disabilities seeking employment in the arts. Similarly, new resources are needed to help arts organizations see the value of including people with disabilities in their employment and other opportunities.

The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization to develop a web- based toolkit designed to provide resources for job seekers and employers to help reduce barriers to careers in the arts for people with disabilities. These resources will assist artists and arts workers with disabilities with developing careers in the arts, as well as build capacity within arts organizations and the disability sector to better serve people with disabilities who seek employment. The toolkit will be housed on the National Endowment for the Arts’ website.

Note: Arts careers will be defined as visual or performing artists, writers, designers, arts educators, arts administrators, and other “backstage” workers including exhibit designers, museum curators, theater tech crew, etc. (also called “arts workers”).



Scope of Work

Through this program solicitation, the National Endowment for the Arts will select an organization (“Cooperator”) to develop a web-based toolkit and undertake related activities. In brief, the Cooperator will:

  1. Developatoolkitofonlineresourcesspecifictocareersintheartsfor people with disabilities. The toolkit’s primary audience will include: individual artists and arts workers with disabilities; arts organizations; K-12 schools, universities, and community arts education programs; and disability employment programs/agencies.

  2. Coordinateawebinarseriesfeaturingdisabilityemploymentexperts,arts employment experts, artists with disabilities, etc., addressing relevant topics.

  3. Conductafieldscananddevelopapublicdirectoryofprogramsthat provide education, job training, career services, and job opportunities in the arts for workers with disabilities.

  4. Assistinthedevelopmentandimplementationofacomprehensive communications and promotion strategy for the toolkit. 


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