South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Accessibility (ACA) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline

At least six weeks before the project begins

To help South Carolina organizations make arts programs and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities

Who's Eligible
Non-profit organizations, units of government, and designated S.C. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs boards

Up to $2,500

Grant Period

Matching Requirement
1:1 (applicant:SCAC)

About This Grant


Accessibility (ACA) Grants are designed to help South Carolina organizations make arts programs and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.

  1. The applicant must be either:
    • a designated South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs board,
    • a S.C. organization that
      • has a primary mission focused on the arts, or
      • serves as the primary arts provider in its community, or
      • will commit to a project that connects the arts to persons who have disabilities.

      Note: A S.C. organization is one that reflects S.C. as its primary address on all current official organizational documents.

  1. The applicant must also be either:
    • a unit of government,
    • a charitable organization currently registered with the Office of the Secretary of State that either
      • has its own federal tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, or
      • is applying through a tax exempt Fiscal Agent/Receiver organization.
  2. In accordance with federal government policy, all organizations – including (but not limited to) private schools, government entities, public school districts, and nonprofit organizations – must provide a valid DUNS number to receive an S.C. Arts Commission grant award.


    If a grantee is using a fiscal agent/receiver, separate DUNS numbers must be provided for both the applicant organization and the fiscal agent/receiver.

  • Applicants are limited to one grant award per fiscal year.
  • Funds for capital improvements (“bricks and mortar”) are limited to renovations to existing facilities.
    • Capital improvement projects must meet all local and state building codes.
    • If the existing facility is on The National Register of Historic Places or deemed eligible, all work must conform with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Grants awards may reimburse the applicant for any combination of qualifying expenses incurred during the grant period. Projects may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Usage of large print interpretative and program materials
  • Artist/consultant fees
  • Transportation of constituents or performers with disabilities
  • Preparation for special exhibitions
  • Audio description
  • Sign language interpretation
  • Website accessibility
  • Docent training for visual or audio enhancement
  • Consultant fee to develop an overall accessibility plan for your organization
  • Inclusive programming
  • Staff training (i.e. travel to a workshop and/or training)
  • Other accommodations that make programs accessible
  • Curb cuts
  • Construction of accessibility ramp(s)
  • Accessibility signage for exterior and/or interior space
  • Modification of restroom(s)
  • Modification to drinking fountain(s)
  • Installation of elevator
  • Installation of electronic door opener
  • Installation of Braille plaques
  • Hearing assistance/enhancement
  • Architectural or engineering study to address accessibility of existing facility
  • Capital improvements (“bricks and mortar”) of existing facilities (see Restrictions section)
  • Design development and construction documents that address the proposed accessibility project
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Other accommodations that make facilities accessible
Funds may not be used for
  • New construction (new buildings must comply with current ADA requirements)
  • Cosmetic work such as interior painting and furnishings
  • Actual building construction costs other than costs associated with accessibility
  • Consultant fees for facilities fundraising

At least six weeks before the project begins

Grant Period

All projects must be implemented between July 1 and June 1.
If you are considering project activity in June, please contact your coordinator before applying.


Up to $2,500

Matching Requirements

1:1 (applicant:SCAC)

At least 50% of the applicant’s match must be cash.

How to Apply

Applications for this grant category may be mailed (postmarked by the deadline) or hand-delivered to our office (before 5pm on the deadline).

Required Application Materials
  • Forms are fillable PDFs.
  • Each page/item of materials must be labeled with the applicant’s name.
  • Text must be legible and no less than 12 point.
  • Paper items must be submitted on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, in a format suitable for scanning.
    • Do not use staples, 3-ring binders, folders, or bind the application materials in any way other than with binder clips or paper clips.
  • Submit only one set of application materials.

The application package must include one complete collated set of items as follows:

Download the Grant Application for Organizations (fillable PDF form).

For application category (Section III), check “Other” and write in “Accessibility.”

Download the Detailed Budget form.

Itemize all expenses and sources of income that pertain to the project.

Helpful Hints

What is “Applicant Cash?”

  • Applicant Cash is money from your own bank account, used to balance your project budget.

What’s the difference between In-kind Expenses and Cash Expenses?

  • Cash expenses are items that you pay for; funds are transferred. Salaries are an example of a cash expense.
  • Think of in-kind items as contributions or donations. These are goods and services that gave you benefit, but for which you did not have to pay cash (or you paid a reduced amount). Examples of in-kind expenses are free printing, free copy paper, donated art supplies, free advertising, discounted space rental, etc.
    • In the space(s) provided, describe your in-kind item(s) and the formula you used to calculate their monetary value.

Project Description/Scope of Work

In two pages or less, describe your project/scope of work. Address the following specific items:

For Capital Improvements

Describe your project and the scope of work to be done. Include:

  • a project timeline
  • information on the professionals involved
  • the proposed use of SCAC funds, and
  • the estimated number of persons with disabilities in your service area.
For Project Grants

Describe your project and the scope of work to be done. Include:

  • a description of the current accessibility issues you plan to address with this project
  • the proposed use SCAC funds, and
  • the estimated number of persons with disabilities in your service area.

If applying for capital improvements, include all of the following:

  • a copy of deed or letter from the property owner, acknowledging approval of project
  • photographs, drawings or plans of existing facilities, identifying project areas
    • All construction documents must be stamped by the architect and/or engineer and must meet all local and state building codes.

Mail or hand-deliver your application materials to:

Accessibility Grants Program
South Carolina Arts Commission
1026 Sumter Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201

After You Apply

The initial staff review of applications focuses on eligibility, accuracy and detail of budget, inclusion of a well-written narrative, completeness of submission, compliance with grant requirements, and confirmation of required support materials. Final funding decisions are approved by the Executive Director.

If your application is approved, you will receive notification and information about the next steps. You will be issued a contract, which must be signed and submitted by the date indicated. You must also complete a Final Report by the date stated. You will be expected to contact your S.C. Arts Commission coordinator if for any reason your project will undergo significant revisions.

Grant Payments

Payment will be on a reimbursement basis only and will be released upon receipt and approval of a Final Report.

Final Report

ALL GRANTEES are required to file a Final Report at the end of the grant period. The Final Report Due Date is printed on your contract. Failure to submit an accurate and complete Final Report by the due date will result in cancellation of the award and repayment of funds received. The S.C. Arts Commission will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports.

Please contact your coordinator for assistance.