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A man playing a saxophone on stage. Painting of a hand cupped around a tiny infant. Vibrantly colored painting of geometric renderings of faces. A woman sculpting a bust out of clay. Close-up of a painting of a human eye in shades of black, red and orange. A woman performing in a play on stage. A young boy smiling at a hand puppet. An exuberant group of participants in the Actual Lives program. A young boy participating in the Arts Alive program. Painting with white and blue hair-like strokes on a background of deep turquoise. Man in a wheelchair viewing artwork in a gallery. Blind artist standing in front of his work. Group of women performing with colored scarves. Man speaking into a microphone with open captioning on a large screen behind him. Group of young students playing a musical game with the teacher.

ADA Toolkit - Accessibility Resources - Assisting Patrons with Mobility Impairments

A wheelchair may be the most visible sign of a disability but it is important to remember that the wheelchair is a tool. The patron using a wheelchair may be able to walk with the assistance of crutches, canes, braces and other aids, and may be using the wheelchair because it is faster, to conserve energy, or to increase mobility and greater access.

Types of Wheelchairs

There are several forms of mobility aids that have wheels. The main three are motorized power (battery operated) wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, and three-wheeled scooters.

Remember these basic tips:

Use of Service Animals

The most common service animal is a guide dog, used by people who are blind. However, animals are more and more frequently used by a number of people with a wide variety of disabilities. Service animals are usually highly trained dogs, but don't be surprised to see other animals such as miniature ponies or birds. These animals are defined by their function, not their species. They can fetch dropped items, alert owners of sounds, calm a person experiencing anxiety, warn of an impending seizure, and pull wheelchairs. Never call or distract service animals away from their owners and do not pet them without asking first. Remember, they are working animals.

Providing Mobility Assistance for a Patron Who Uses a Walker, Cane or Crutches

VSA Texas is always looking for people to join us in our goal of assisting arts organizations to achieve maximum accessibility.

Contact us for more information on how you can help.

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