Federal Funding Resources
Department of Housing and Urban Development
For more information contact the HUD Field Office that serves your area.
Community Development Block Grant Program
Provides funds each year to state, county, and city governments for projects by public and private organizations involved with barrier removal in cultural facilities and programs. Community Development Block Grants are divided into two categories:
Museums might find it particularly helpful to review the report on the HUD Community Development Block Grants developed by the Office of AccessAbility at the National Endowment for the Arts. It outlines the grant program and lists past museum recipients. To receive a free copy of this report, call the NEA Office of Communications at 202/682-5570 or TTY 202/682-5496.
National Science Foundation
Education and Human Resources
Funds programs that increase public understanding of science and mathematics.
Institute of Museum and Library Services
General Operating Support Program
Encourages best museum practice by supporting ongoing institutional activities.
The links below are a sampling of foundations that provide funding for accessibility projects.
Foundation of America focuses
on science and technology education and the application of technology
to assist people with disabilities. This site outlines past recipients
including museums and links to other
Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation funds projects and organizations that advance the independence, productivity, and community inclusion of young people with disabilties.
Foundations interested in underserved audiences that have funded museums in the past are:
W. K. Kellogg Foundation and William Randolph Hearst Foundation
General Funding Resources
The Foundation Center provides links to private and corporate foundations, performs funding searches for geographic and subject areas, and posts updates on funding trends.
Contests and Awards
Each year the American Association of Museums and the National Organization on Disability honor one museum for its work in the accessibility field with the AAM Accessibility Award. A cash prize of $1,000 from the J.C. Penney Company, Inc accompanies the award. For more information about the program, contact the American Association of Museums at 202/289-1818.
Tips on Grant Writing
In describing the need for an accessibility project, include target audience statistics. For example, about 20 percent of the United States population (some 54 million people in 1995) are classified as having a disability, with nearly half of them considered to have a severe disability (McNeil, J.M., Americans with Disabilities: 1994-95. Bureau of the Census . Current Population Reports, P70-61, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997).
Using demographics of the museum's surrounding community may be even more persuasive. To find census data for a particular area, use the Bureau of the Census online searchable database.
Use input from focus groups, audience surveys, and/or advisory committees in writing the grant proposal. This will not only make the project better suited to its target audience, but also give valuable quotes that can be included in the "need" section of a grant proposal. See Access Advisors for suggestions on building community relationships.
This web site is not intended to offer legal, architectural, engineering, or similar professional advice. Refer specific questions to an attorney or an ADA authority.