Creating Accessible Cultural Spaces

Guide to Getting Started

A Black man using a wheelchair looks at photos in a modern art gallery. A white woman stands behind him, hands resting on the chair's push handles. Both wear masks.

We all want our programs, our spaces, and our online events to be accessible to as many folks as possible, but if you are just getting started, you might feel out of your depth! This session will provide a basic introduction to the world of accessibility in cultural spaces. We’ll talk about where to begin, what are some affordable next steps we can take to welcome our visitors, and how to implement services such as captioning, sign language interpretation, and audio description.

This event has ended. Please enjoy the archived video recording!

Archived Event Videos

Creating Accessible Cultural Spaces

Archived Event Speakers

Bill Green (he/him/his) is the Hart Prins Fund Accessibility & Inclusion Manager at Lincoln Park Zoo. He uses his experience from working in the disability community to foster accessibility and inclusion in all environments where people engage with the zoo. Personal experience also informs Bill’s work. Since birth, he has been low vision. He has also been a lifelong enthusiast of zoos and museums and the diverse ways people interact with these spaces. Bill has consulted with many cultural institutions in Chicago, including serving as an inaugural member on The Second City’s Accessibility Board.

Josh Garrett (he/him/his) CI and CT, NIC, is currently the GM of Operations for Ai-Media, a global captioning and interpreting company. He was Founder/CEO of JG Interpreting and Training Services for 21 years followed by Access Consulting and Interpreting for three years. He worked as the Staff Interpreter/Interpreter Coordinator for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He taught interpreting for Goshen College and Purdue University, in addition to workshops, conferences, and trainings across the U.S., Jamaica, Canada, and Bulgaria. He has extensive experience in adult continuing education, along with curriculum and training development surrounding the field of interpreting. He has served as a mentor for interpreters for Columbia College Chicago and the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University and performed volunteer committee work or board service for Indiana Chapter of RID and Illinois Chapter of RID, where he also won the Distinguished Service Award. He holds three national interpreter certifications. He has decades of proven experience coordinating people, schedules, processes, policy and procedural development, business management, operations experience, and Deaf child advocacy within a variety of settings. He has happily devoted his life to access for 26+ years, his entire professional career. (Member of the LGBTQIA+ community.)

Karen Tekverk (any/all) is the manager of the Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) program with the Society for Ecological Restoration, where she started in June 2023. Prior to joining SER, Karen was the Manager of Community Partnerships and Impact at Shedd Aquarium, working with partner organizations around the Chicagoland area and beyond. As part of Shedd Aquarium’s Access & Inclusion Team, she championed work to train guides and volunteers in audio description and tactile tour facilitation. Karen has a BA in Geology from Haverford College and a MS in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern University. Previously, Karen worked in Guest Engagement at Shedd Aquarium, interpretation at Chicago Botanic Garden, researched climate change with Respiratory Health Association, and taught geology.