Careers in the Arts

The Arts Endowment seeks to address barriers and advance training and career opportunities in the arts for individuals with disabilities-- in the strong belief that inclusion must be ever present in our vision and that all Americans have the opportunity to create and participate fully in the arts.

National Summit on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities:  NEA-Career-Summit.pdf

On July 22-24, 2009, more than 130 decision makers in the arts, education, government, disability, and research fields convened to address training, education, and employment for people with disabilities who are pursuing arts careers. The National Summit on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities was organized and presented by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with nine other public and private groups. Summit participants developed recommendations by arts discipline which should provide a framework for planning and further action by the partnership and the field at large.

National Forum on Careers in the Arts for People With Disabilities

On June 14-16, 1998, the first-ever National Forum on Careers in the Arts for People with Disabilities was convened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to formulate strategies for addressing barriers faced by people with disabilities pursuing arts careers. The National Endowment for the Arts initiated and developed a series of agreements with four other agencies to sponsor and participate in this working forum, whose guidance continues to promote alliances between the arts and disability communities for advancing access to the full spectrum of arts careers.


National Arts and Disability Center

A resource, information and training center dedicated to promoting the full inclusion of persons with disabilities into the visual-, performing-, literary-, and media-arts communities.

The National Disability Arts Forum

Established in 1990 to foster equality of opportunity for disabled people in all aspects of the arts.

VSA art

Formerly Very Special Arts, VSA arts is a private, non-profit, international organization that provides programs in creative writing, dance, drama, literature, music and visual arts for individuals with physical or mental disabilities. The Kennedy Center maintains a list of accessiblity resources.


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Ticket to Work

The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in employment. The Ticket Program is part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 – legislation designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation, and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.