Regional Assets are for Everyone

RAD's initiative highlights the efforts assets are making to include everyone in their activities; funds accessibility projects; and requires funded organizations to have an accessibility coordinator and to publicize their accessibility information.

Digi Wave Assistive Listening system © Julie Goetz/RAD

RAD's initiative Regional Assets Are for Everyone highlights the efforts assets are making to include everyone in their activities and encourages the assets to make additional accommodations.

For many years, RAD has provided capital grants to fund accessibility projects to improve physical access at the regional assets, such as elevators, ramps, automated entrance doors, restrooms, and playgrounds.

As part of its grant application, the District requires that assets have a designated accessibility coordinator; requires that assets publicize their accessibility information; and requires assets with non-accessible venues to develop plans for improvement. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council  (a RAD-funded asset) has extensive resources on accessibility and inclusion, including workshops, funding, local disability service providers and community organizations.

In addition, RAD also has created a Special Projects category of funding, incorporating both Connections Grants and Accessibility and Inclusion Grants. Information about eligibility and other requirements is available on our Grants Applications and Management page.  Since 2009, RAD has provided $1.84 million in Special Project grants. A total of $625,000 is available for 2017; applications are accepted on an on-going basis.

Since the initiative's inception, many assets have made improvements to physical spaces to enhance accessibility, and launched efforts to make programming accessible and inclusive (ticketing, web site, audio or video description, assistive listening, devices, programming for people with cognitive disabilities, etc.).

Projects in 2015 included:

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Main) installed a new ADA compliant platform lift at the main exterior entrance to the Lecture Hall, a new graded concrete pathway, automatic door openers, as well as adding new ramps to the stage.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust purchased a portable wheelchair lift that provides stage access to artists with disabilities and mobility issues during performances that occur in non-traditional spaces and outdoor venues. The life is available for rental by other arts and culture organizations.

Projects in 2016 included:

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council - to purchase two portable assistive audio technology systems for shared use by any cultural organization in the County. One will be kept at GPAC's office and the other at City Theatre. Training will be provided at no cost.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium - for interactive components and tactile signs along with sensory items for the new exhibit, Jungle Trails, scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.

Audubon Society of Western PA - to create a new road to, and a handicapped parking area in, the lower level of Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve main campus.

Grants approved so far in 2017 are:

A Connections Grant of $500,000 to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for its work with the African American Cultural Center to continue their collaborative effort to manage and to enhance programming at the August Wilson Center. The Trust, with its theater management expertise, is able to provide building management setvices, scheduling and booking of events, financial services, marketing, ticket sales and event support.

A Connection grant in the amount of $15,000 to the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras for a joint chamber music project with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra toward the 4102,000 costs for salaries of the coaches, and a program manager and assistant.

An Accessibility grant of $6,300 to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to purchase and install two automated openers at the Byham Theater's main and box office doors.

Please visit this page again for updates on the work assets are doing to accommodate and to increase participation by people with physical and cognitive disabilities, because Regional Assets Are for Everyone.  

The RAD offices and board meeting locations are fully accessible and open to the public. The Accessibility Coordinator for RAD is Julie Goetz, Communications Manager, who can be reached at (412) 227-1900 ext. 14, or jg@radworkshere.org.