Commitment to Accessibility
Commitment to Accessibility
The Vermont Arts Council strives to ensure that its facility, events, services, and communications are equally accessible to all in an inclusive arts environment. It is the policy of the Vermont Arts Council that no qualified individual shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the organization, or be subjected to discrimination.
We welcome and encourage constituents and visitors with disabilities to contact us with specific reasonable accommodations that they may need to facilitate participation in our activities, programs and services.
Grantee Compliance Procedure
Accessibility is considered in the panel’s review of every grant application. Poor responses or a lack of response to questions about accessibility are reflected in panel scores which ultimately affect the funding recommendations. Questions about accessibility are incorporated into the final reporting process as well.
The Council may determine that a consultation or site visit is necessary to help ensure grantee compliance. The Council will take these steps to determine and prioritize the need for a site visit or review:
1. The 504/ADA coordinator and an accessibility consultant will review applicant responses to the access questions within grant applications. In addition, panelists involved in the grant review are asked to flag any applicants they may have concerns about.
2. If an applicant has received funding and their application has been flagged, the 504/ADA coordinator (or other staff as appropriate) and/or an accessibility consultant will have a phone conversation with the grantee asking any questions that may have come up in the application process.
3. If it is determined that a site visit is necessary, the 504/ADA coordinator and an accessibility consultant will go to the venue. Their intent will be to disseminate information and to provide the tools and information necessary to address access concerns.
4. Grantees that have been given a site visit will be asked to address the concerns and submit an implementation plan with the final report (in the first year if a multi-year grant) for their grant. The 504/ADA consultant and an zccessibility consultant will review the responses in the final report and follow up with a phone call or email if questions still arise.
5. The Council will then ask appropriate members of its Access Resource Network (and other knowledgeable accessibility service/advocacy organizations representatives if necessary) to review the plan/documents and make a recommendation to the Arts Council board as to whether future applications/funding should be allowed. It is not the Council’s intent to withhold funding indefinitely, but only until such time as concerns have been adequately addressed. Decisions of the board are binding and final.
From time to time, a member of the public may have a grievance with a current grant recipient which may lead to a formal complaint against the grantee.
According to the National Endowment for the Arts:
- a grievance is an informal, verbal complaint (sometimes informal complaints come in the form of an email or letter)
- a formal complaint written and filed with the appropriate agency.
A grievance procedure provides for prompt and fair resolution of complaints received from the public. It is the function of the this procedure to resolve problems to the best of the Council’s ability by determining a solution that provides improved access. All complaints will receive immediate attention.
A grievance against a grant recipient within the Council’s current fiscal year will be reviewed in consultation with appropriate members of the Council’s Access Resource Network and other knowledgeable accessibility service/advocacy organizations, such as the New England ADA Center. (Note: A complainant that has a grievance against an organization that is not a current grant recipient will be asked to contact the Vermont Human Rights Commission.)
The grievance procedure for current grant recipients is as follows:
1. The 504/ADA coordinator and/or the executive director will meet with the complainant on an informal basis to determine the nature of the concern, to discuss the situation, and answer any questions raised by the complainant. The complainant may designate another person to act in their stead and other Access Resource Network members may join this meeting should they have pertinent information that will help to resolve the matter. Once information is gathered, the 504/ADA coordinator and/or executive director will discuss the complaint with the grantee.
2. The Council will then ask appropriate members of its Access Resource Network (and other knowledgeable accessibility service/advocacy organizations representatives if necessary) to review and discuss the grievance and make a recommendation to the Arts Council board. If it is determined that a violation of the 504/ADA has occurred, the Council will then put a hold on any grant funds. If necessary, the Council will also negate the grant and recover any funds that have been dispersed in the last year. Decisions of the Board are binding and final.
3. If an immediate action is not identified and/or the complainant wishes to lodge a formal complaint, the patron should contact the Vermont Human Rights Commission or the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Vermont Human Rights Commission
14-16 Baldwin Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-6301
Toll free: TTY 877.294.9200
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Post Office Box 570
11 Elmwood Avenue, 3rd Floor
Burlington, VT 05402-0570
The Vermont Arts Council (Council) is committed to maintaining an environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic bias, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or other category protected by applicable state or federal law.
This policy is applicable to all Council personnel, trustees, and other business relationships that the Council, from time to time, enters into, including the awarding of grants and the selection of vendors.
In addition, everyone at the Council is responsible for maintaining acceptable standards of behavior and ensuring that others have the opportunity to carry out their responsibilities free from discrimination or harassment.
Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:
Unwanted sexual advances
Requests for sex
Sexual jokes or innuendo
Display at work of sexually suggestive pictures or objects including those distributed through or available on email, blogs, internet sites, or social media applications like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter
Commentary about a person’s body
Other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature
Harassing conduct will not be permitted. Examples include slurs or negative stereotyping as well as threatening or intimidating acts.
The Council takes discrimination and harassment very seriously, and if you either observe any of these behaviors or are otherwise impacted by them, you should report them either to the Council’s Executive Director or Chair, or both, as circumstances warrant.
All reporting will remain confidential and a proper investigation will be made. Retaliation of any type for reporting the above behavior is forbidden and will itself be subject to investigation and/or disciplinary action.
Violation of the above policy shall result in appropriate repercussions, including, but not limited to, a verbal warning; suspension without pay; written warning; mandatory referral to a counseling professional; an apology to the individual; and/or separation from the Council. The consequences of a violation of this policy shall be determined by the Council’s executive director or board of trustees based on the results of an independent investigation.
The Vermont Arts Council (Council) is committed to maintaining users’ privacy.
Information we collect:
The Council does not collect personal information other than that which users provide to us. This includes, but is not limited to, names, email addresses and phone numbers.
How user information is handled:
All personal information the Council gathers through its website is kept confidential. The Vermont Arts Council will not sell or otherwise distribute this information to third parties except in instances where user info is collected as part of a conference or event registration. In these circumstances, the Council may create a contact list for distribution among attendees and/or facilitators. In such circumstances, users may be given the opportunity to opt out of having their information shared.
Use of third-party sites:
The Vermont Arts Council makes use of a number of third party sites to assist us in fulfilling our mission. The functions fulfilled by third-party websites on behalf of VAC include, but are not necessarily limited to, credit card processing, grant processing and artist directory services. The Council is committed to partnering with sites that have high standards for user privacy and security. However, it is incumbent on the user to understand the privacy policies of any third-party sites. The Vermont Arts Council is not responsible for data submitted to third-party sites.