Inclusivity Policy

Date Implemented/Revised: October 13, 2021



Hamilton’s Arts Council (HAC) is committed to continuous improvement through an ongoing process of evaluation and adaptation. This includes integrating equity, diversity, and accessibility into the ongoing strategic direction, planning, programming and relationships of the organization.


This policy outlines the process of identifying, removing and preventing barriers that impede the inclusion of people accessing our employment, services, and programs.


  • Accessible formats may include but are not limited to, large print, recorded audio, closed captioning and electronic formats, braille, and other formats usable by persons with disabilities.
  • Accessibility is ensuring all persons are able to access our services and programs.
  • BIPOC refers to persons who are, or organizations that represent, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.
  • Accommodation means the special arrangement made or assistance provided so that persons with disabilities can participate in the experiences available to persons without disabilities. Accommodation will vary depending on the individual’s unique needs.
  • Barrier is anything that prevents a person from fully participating in all aspects of our organization’s offerings, including a physical barrier, architectural barrier, information or communications barrier, attitudinal barrier, technology barrier or a policy or practice.
  • Communication means the interaction between two or more persons or entities or any combination of them, where information is provided, sent or received.
  • Communication Supports may include but are not limited to captioning, alternative and augmentative communication supports, plain language, sign language, and other supports that facilitate effective communications.
  • Disability means:
    • any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness, and
    • a condition of mental illness, impairment or developmental disability, learning disability, or dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language.
  • Dignity means service is provided in a way that allows the individual to maintain self-respect and the respect of other persons.
  • Diversity is the presence of a wide range of human qualities and attributes within an individual, group or organization including, but not limited to, such factors as age, sex, race, ethnicity, physical and intellectual ability, religion, sexual orientation, educational background and expertise, and income level.
  • Equal opportunity means that there is opportunity to access services and programs in a way that  is equal to all.
  • Equity is the fair and respectful treatment of all persons.
  • Inclusion is the creation of an environment where everyone feels welcome, is treated with respect, and is able to fully participate from the perspective of their unique differences.
  • Independence refers to a person being able to do things on their own without unnecessary help or interference from others.
  • Information includes data, facts and knowledge that exist in any format including test, audio, digital or images and that convey meaning.
  • Integration means service is provided in a way that allows the individual to benefit from equivalent services, in the same place, and in the same or similar way as other individuals unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable the individual to access services or programs.
  • LGBTQ2+ includes, but is not limited to, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, queer/questioning, and two-spirited.
  • Reasonable efforts means taking approaches that meet the required needs of individuals.


It is the responsibility of HAC employees and volunteers to treat all persons who are in relationship to the organization with dignity and equitable opportunity.

HAC will make every effort to make its employees, volunteers, artists and art organizations, curators and consultants, and audiences inclusive of the communities we serve, including BIPOC members, by:

  • training staff and volunteers about our Inclusion Policy;
  • expanding our sourcing for employees and volunteers;
  • expanding the sourcing of our talent base, thereby enhancing creative diversity and innovation;
  • expanding community outreach to enhance community engagement; and
  • establishing accessible processes for individuals to provide feedback on the inclusiveness of our services and programs, and responding to any feedback including what action will be taken.

 Procedure for Elimination of Barriers to Access for Persons with Disabilities

HAC will make every effort to ensure the identification and removal of barriers to access for persons with disabilities by:

  • communicating with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account their disability;
  • encouraging persons with disabilities to use their own personal assistive devices to improve access to our services;
  • welcoming persons with disabilities to bring their guide dog or service animal with them to areas of premises used by HAC that are open to the public;
  • welcoming persons with disabilities who use a support person to accompany them, and ensuring that they have access to their support person while on premises used by HAC; and
  • providing notice to persons with disabilities when facilities or services they rely on for access are temporarily disrupted. 

Requests for Accommodation

Requests for accommodation may include, but are not limited to: accessible formats, communication supports, independence, and information.

When an accommodation request is received, the Executive Director will determine the feasibility of the request considering various factors, including, but not limited to the: 

  • nature and cost of the accommodation, 
  • company’s overall financial resources and organization, and 
  • accommodation’s impact on the operation, including its impact on the ability of employees to perform their duties.

Reasonable efforts will be made to meet each accommodation request. HAC is not required to reallocate essential job functions, or to provide personal use items (e.g. eyeglasses, hearing aids, and wheelchairs).

The ED, or designated staff member, may communicate further with the requestor to ensure that the accommodation being considered will assist them in overcoming limitations resulting from their disability. 

A final follow-up communication with the requestor will be made in order to confirm any arrangements that will or cannot be made.

Anyone who believes that they have been discriminated against based on a disability, should notify the ED at All such inquiries or complaints will be treated confidentially.


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) used as a reference guide.

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