SAS’s Accessibility Top 5 Tips:
- Give people information about what to expect from the event in terms of sensory environment; physical and location factors; media or texts to be used; timeline and structure of events.
- Have a contact person for individual accommodation requests listed clearly in marketing materials and in your EmConnect page, and invite people to reach out to make requests and/or to ask for more specific information.
- Consider alternate modalities for participation. Perhaps the event can be hybrid (livestreamed or pre-recorded), or the event can have options to branch into alternative spaces or activities that meet the needs of diverse participants.
- Be open to feedback on further accessibility considerations for future planning. Make accessibility considerations part of the planning group’s event-debrief conversation.
- Even if not all of these things can be provided, be transparent with what you have/don’t have so that folks can determine for themselves if they can attend rather than be surprised. Strive for equity!
Tips in Practice for Accessibility
- RSVP list (ask for accommodation needs)
- Send written materials to CART or other transcription purposes!
- Provide actual street addresses, name of building, and room number(s)
- If the event’s off-campus, do an accessibility walk-through
- Provide transit directions and parking info i.e. The Ride, valet, street, or garage parking
- Signage is always helpful!
- Inform participants if there is NO elevator, ramp, or escalator (ideally the space should have them)
- Share a floor plan/room description if possible!
- Create a quiet area for overstimulation
- List physical set-up of food (pizza eaten in chairs on paper plate and balanced on lap? Sit down meal? Standing up with apps served?)
- Provide a menu for what is being served and ensure that a basic diversity of needs is met: gluten-free, vegetarian
- Individual specialized dietary needs can be requested in the RSVP.
- Assess food provided for any potential allergens and cross-contamination risks.
- Have food ingredients/category labeled clearly in large font (20 pt.)
Health, Safety, & Sensory
- Mask use: make the request for use clear (requested, recommended, required?)
- Offer masks and hand sanitizer
- Marketing materials can state that potential participants should not attend if feeling unwell
- Requesting a fragrance-free environment is ideal
- Vocalize the sensory details in your event description (i.e. loud music, smells, etc.)
- Ensure there is space for people with mobility devices to navigate easily (ramps, elevators, etc.)
- Describe yourself verbally during introductions for participants who have low vision
- Consider sharing: What you look like, factors related to your identity that are visible to seeing members of the audience, what you’re wearing, etc.
- Inform people of location of restrooms, including accessible and gender-neutral
- Consider hybrid options: Virtual and in-person, livestreamed or pre-recorded
- Captions or CART should be a must-have for anything digital! Send materials in advance (i.e. slides, party program, etc.) in HMTL or Google Drive format for screen readers
- Manage an RSVP list including specific additional accommodation requests
(have a point person)
- Request any speeches to be written and sent in advance for CART/captioning
- Provide a timed agenda that includes breaks, and reference it
For questions, please contact:
“Inclusion is an attitude, belonging is its verb”