The Arts & Culture Accessibility Cooperative (ACAC) seeks to create a resource for the community that will allow us to continually move forward through discussions and committed work to create a more inclusive arts and culture scene for our region. We believe that Saint Louis’s arts and culture community is for everyone and that everyone deserves access to Saint Louis’s vibrant cultural landscape. Our mission is to empower our community to become more accessible to people with disabilities as visitors, patrons, artists, employees, and volunteers.

The ACAC is a volunteer-based group that brings together cultural practitioners, people with disabilities, and disability advocates to share experiences and learn from each other to create a more inclusive community. We are dedicated to increasing arts accessibility in the Saint Louis area and to facilitate a dynamic cooperative that strives to advance accessibility and inclusion across the Greater Saint Louis Area.

Join us for our 2nd Forum of the ACAC on Wednesday, March 21st at the Missouri History Museum for Beyond the Entrance: Implementing accessibility features into exhibit design and more.


Rhonda Schier, Chief of Museum Services and Interpretation at Gateway Arch National Park. As the National Park Service and its private partner, City Arch River, now known as Gateway Arch Park Foundation, planned a full park revitalization and the construction of a new Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, universal design principles were paramount to the function of the new building and the vision for the new exhibits in order to create an inclusive museum environment. A citizen group made up of accessibility experts and park neighbors who were generous with their accessibility insight were vital to the exchange of information and inspiration to create a museum experience that is welcoming to all people, and exhibits that are empowered to share the stories that are significant to the meaning of the park in ways that are fully available both physically and programmatically. Schier will focus on the challenges, the solutions, and the extraordinary group process in preparation for the Grand Opening July 3, 2018. 

Nicole Smith is the Membership Coordinator at the Missouri Historical Society. Her daily job is to transform visitors love for the Society into membership, but her efforts don’t stop there. In her eight years at the Society she had served on exhibit teams, written for the Society blog and member magazine, worked with numerous community partners, hosted over 100 events and probably been on every committee imaginable. One of the most important aspect of her work is making the Society more welcoming to all visitors. In her accessibility work, she has helped push the focus to not just meeting physical accessibility standards but creating avenues for intellectual accessibility.

Jason Roberts, Video Producer, Deaf Empowerment Awareness Foundation, Inc. (DEAF Inc.). With more than 10 years in video production, he specializes in creating videos that provide access for the deaf community by incorporating American Sign Language and adding subtitles/captions. This specialization led to DEAF, Inc.’s new service, Visdio (fusing the words "visual" and "audio"). His previous projects include a partnership with the Missouri History Museum on “Route 66: Main Street through St. Louis” and “#1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle”. Those projects were a factor in the museum being awarded the American Alliance of Museums’ Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) award. He currently works with several museums and vendors using Visdio’s services to make their museums/exhibits accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Moderated by Sena Dawes. 

A light breakfast will be provided for attendees.
ASL Interpretation sponsored by DEAF, Inc and Audio Description sponsored by MindsEye will be available to guests. 


How can we create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities within our community's arts and cultural spaces?

Wednesday, December 6th 2017
Paraquad, 5240 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
A panel of local cultural administrators and advocates open a dialogue on accessibility.
Moderator: November Champion
Panel: Christy Herzing, Community Access Coordinator at Paraquad; Sean Smith, Director of Operations at The Muny; and Dr. Stephen Kissel, blind patron and accessibility consultant.