Arts & Access Always

Arts & Access Always

The Lehigh Valley has a rich and diverse arts culture, but too often those experiences are closed to people with disabilities, the fastest-growing minority in the region. The Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Arts & Access Always program seeks to benefit the more than 86,000 people with disabilities by providing them greater access to a wider array of cultural experiences. The program is also designed to strengthen the capacity of cultural nonprofits to serve this community by providing marketing support, training and specialized equipment, and incentive grants that actively engage persons with disabilities in the arts.

From left to right; a young woman, seated in a wheelchair, smiling. In the center, comedian Josh Blue with an excited expression on his face. On the right, a young man smiles and leans in toward Josh. The young man is also seated in a wheelchair.


to engage all citizens in the Lehigh Valley, intentionally securing the participation of all abilities, regardless of physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation, both as audience members and/or providers in the dance, theatrical, musical, visual, literary or media arts.




Professional Development: AD Trainings

a group of students watches a video clip. at the front of the room the instructor speaks to the students

Audio Description (AD) assists patrons who are blind/low-vision to access the visual elements of museum exhibits and stage productions through narration provided by trained describers.

Two workshops are available through the Lehigh Valley Arts Council: AD for the Performing Arts and AD for the Visual Arts. Professional development training in audio description can be beneficial to college students, educators, and arts administrators.

Audio Description Training and Information

Incentive Grants for Greater inclusion

a group of young adults with autism sit at a long table covered in a plastic tablecloth. Each student focuses on painting a piece of paper on the table in front of them.

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is offering three types of Incentive Grants for Greater Inclusion to arts nonprofits to encourage them to adopt cultural access as a core value.

View the 2020 Grant Opportunities 


On July 12, 2018 the Arts Council produced Champions of Inclusion, the Lehigh Valley’s first-ever cultural accessibility trade fair. Held at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, the event highlighted six cultural organizations and six human service organizations as the regions leaders of cultural accessibility. A panel discussion and presentation featuring local experts in the field broke up the trade fair, and a performance by celebrated comedian Josh Blue capped off the event.

Look back at Champions of Inclusion

Promote Your Disability-Friendly Event

Unite with us to expand your reach and increase access for all

Now is the time to embrace the value of the arts as a catalyst for change. By becoming more accessible, the cultural community reaps the benefits of new partnerships, new audiences, and a new relevance to the community we serve.

To have your accessible event included in our online Arts & Access Always calendar, please complete one of these forms:

Online Submission Form

The Arts Council reserves the right to only include event submissions that are in line with the mission of Arts & Access Always.

Disability-Friendly events

Browse this calendar for accessible performances, film screenings, exhibitions, lectures, and public meetings scheduled in the Lehigh Valley. You will also find events that feature the stories of individuals living with a disability. The accommodations you require or the topic of interest are represented by the icons.

February 2020
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  • Tartuffe
  • Screening of “Swim Team”
24 25 26 27 28
  • Mary Ann Dunwoodie Exhibition

Events in February 2020

3 event dates found
    Feb 22
    DeSales University
    Presented by Act 1
    610.282.3654 x1

    Vice becomes virtue in Molière’s hilarious exploration of power and hypocrisy. By taking the homeless and holy-seeming Tartuffe under his roof, the wealthy bourgeois Orgon thinks he is harboring a pillar of piety. But in fact, Orgon is the one who has been taken in – by the ruthless scoundrel. With Orgon determined to marry his daughter to Tartuffe – and blind to the latter’s lecherous design on his wife – it’s up to the rest of the household to expose Tartuffe as the masterful con artist he is. Ages 13+

    More Info
    Audio Description
    Open Captioning
    Feb 23
    Screening of "Swim Team"
    Film Screening
    1:30pm – 3:30pm
    Muhlenberg College Seegers Union
    Presented by Jewish Family Services of the Lehigh Valley

    As assisted listening devices and ASL interpreting are available upon request, please contact Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper: RSVP to Jewish Family Service at 610-821-8722, or

    A Screening of “Swim Team” followed by questions and conversation with a Global Messenger from Special Olympics PA-Bethlehem. The documentary “Swim Team,” tells the story of the Jersey Hammerheads, a competitive swim team made up of a diverse group of teens on the autism spectrum.

    $5/person, $18/family. Popcorn and snacks included. Appropriate for ages 13 & up.

    Presented by the Jewish Family Service of the Lehigh Valley; in partnership with Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Reel Abilities Film Festival.

    More Info Buy Online
    American Sign Language
    Open Captioning
    Feb 28
    Mary Ann Dunwoodie Exhibition
    Visual Arts
    10:00am – 8:00pm
    Blick Art Materials, South Mall
    (610) 807-9201

    Paintings on display by local artist, Mary Ann Dunwoodie. Dunwoodie is a legally blind artist and is Blick Art Materials’ Featured Artist of the Month. This exhibition is now available for viewing at Blick Art Materials, during regular business hours, until February 28, 2020.

    More Info
    Blind & Low Vision