Vermont Arts Council

Communication is Key

For some people, the potential, unknown access challenges of a new space mean they won’t venture into a class or event. They don’t know what they will encounter. The ability to clearly communicate what to expect at your venue is a valuable asset. Cues like these: “The entrance to our gallery has a ramp and the restroom is up one step;” or “Assisted listening devices are provided;” or “Family-friendly shows leave house-lights at a partially dimmed setting;” help potential customers become new customers.

About the Workshop

The Key is Communication will train participants to recognize existing important physical characteristics of their space and describe them  on a website, in printed materials, and in event descriptions. Workshop attendees will learn how to encourage access questions and to discuss individual access needs as they arise.

Participants will gain an understanding of:

  • the kinds of accessible features to look for in selecting a space for your event
  • what is meant by “barrier,” and “fixes that don’t work”
  • ways to easily correct barriers that people don’t often think of
  • strategies for communicating what those barriers are
  • strategies for spotting easily corrected barriers and mitigating others
  • ways to train staff and volunteers
  • resources available online

who should attend

Administrators of nonprofit organizations, or people who teach or lead programs, including volunteers. The workshop will best serve organizations with a primary focus on the arts, but any nonprofit personnel are welcome.


  • May 8, 2018 | Town Hall Theater, Middlebury | 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • free for returning members | $25 for new organizations
  • instructors: Toby MacNutt from VSA Vermont and Mike Charron from the Vermont Center for Independent Living
  • register online by April 13, 2018

Construction projects and major facility changes are not addressed in this workshop. People who attended Accessibility: Plan Ahead are well prepared for the discussions we will hold. We recommend someone from all organizations receive in-depth training on physical access requirements, codes, and funding for upgrades in addition to this communication workshop.


The Town Hall Theater is physically accessible for participants who use wheelchair or other mobility aids, and those who prefer not to use stairs. We invite you to contact us with specific accommodations you need to facilitate your participation workshops or any other questions you have.

Contact Michele Bailey, 504/ADA coordinator by sending an email or by calling 802.828.3294.


Contact Sarah Mutrux by email or by calling 802.828.5425 with any questions or concerns that you have.

admin-place September 25, 2017