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A Tool for Cultural Organizations

Buildings and Grounds Guide

You can use these resources to improve your own understanding, as discussion starters, and for training your staff. We encourage you to be curious and find other resources that you think might work well for your organization. The resource guides are not intended to be complete, but to make it easier for you to get started.

Table of Contents

Time Savers

Toolkits and Training

Historic Buildings and Landscapes

Time Savers


  • ADA at 30, An Oral History of the Capitol Crawl, 8 minutes. This article shares firstperson memories of the 1990 Capitol Crawl by members of ADAPT (American Disabled for Accessible Public Transitwho participated in the event that was one of the catalysts leading to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • U.S. Department of Justice: Maintaining Accessibility in Museums, 10 minutes. 
    “Regardless of size or income, most museums have legal obligations to provide and maintain accessibility for visitors with disabilities.” This is a short explanation of some very simple ways to provide better access in museums written by the U.S. Department of Justice for the ADA website.
  • Accessible Events: Planning and Preparation are Key, 7 minutes. Accessible event planning, for both public and private events, from the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center.  Includes tips for communications and marketing for the event, temporary facilities fixes, and how to choose an accessible site for an event.
  • Accessibility, 11 minutes from the Inclusive Historian’s Handbook

Toolkits and Training


Online Toolkits:

Resource for All Museums:

These resources offer specific advice on planning and implementing public events or programs: 

Resources for Historic Buildings and Landscapes:

The ADA defines “qualified historic properties” as those eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, or designated as historic under a state or local law. 

There is no “grandfather clause” to the ADA, but there is the “Safe Harbor” provision.  The ADA does recognize the unique needs of historic places.

If your organization has a historic building or landscape that meets the ADA’s definition and you believe removing a barrier to accessibility might “threaten or destroy a historically significant part of a building or landscape, it is required to contact your local State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  These offices have at least one staff member who is specially trained to help with achieving ADA compliance for historic places and they can help you find solutions that balance accessibility and historic accuracy. 

These resources offer a specific focus on historic places: 

Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution unless otherwise noted.