MEDIA CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

- Mercer County will host a workshop designed to help the arts community comply with guidelines in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA Technical Assistance Workshop, which is open to all arts groups in Mercer County, and is required for arts groups that receive funding from Mercer County, will be Wednesday, May 18, 2011 from 5 to 7 p.m., Room 211, McDade Administration Building, 640 South Broad Street, Trenton.

“People of all abilities deserve access to the arts, and workshops such as this go a long way toward helping our friends in the arts meet ADA standards,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. Oftentimes, non-compliance is a result of simply not understanding what is required under the law, and we want to make sure that our arts community’s programming is accessible to all.”

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has made it mandatory for its re-grantees -- Cultural & Heritage Commissions and anyone who applies for and receives funding through the State Council -- to provide their programming in as accessible a manner as possible. Funding could be at risk if grant recipients are not in compliance, so organizations are urged to attend this workshop. The workshop also is open to any non-profit (501c3) organization geared toward the arts.

The Keynote Speaker for the workshop is Tom Shaw, who serves as director of the Mercer County Office of the Disabled, and the program will include an overview of ADA; the New Jersey Cultural Access Network Self-Evaluation Survey and Planning Tool; Disability Definitions/Discussion; Title I – Employment; Title II – State & Local Government; Title III – Public Accommodations; Title IV – Telecommunication.

Attendees will also receive helpful advice and tips of steps that should be taken if they have been targeted for ADA non-compliance. RSVP by May 6. For more information, call (609) 278-2712; NJ Relay Users 711; Email:

Persons who require any special assistance or accommodations are asked to call two weeks in advance.  If you have any questions or would like directions, please call (609) 278-2712.