Guide for Creating Accessible Meetings & Events

Creating an accessible event ensures all participants and attendees including individuals with disabilities are able to fully engage in the program. Below is a guide that should be used to support your efforts. As an event planner, you have a role to play in reducing barriers and establishing a more inclusive and welcoming environment to all audiences.

1. Ask in Advance

When sending out the invitation or notice, include a message about how individuals can request accommodations for the event.

Sample message: “To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact (name, email/phone).

2. Choose an Accessible Venue

Consider the following features when choosing an event space:

Mobility – Ramp and/or elevator access; wide, barrier-free pathways; accessible bathrooms; accessible parking nearby; proximity to bus stop; automatic door openers; accessible/movable seating

Space requirements for Wheelchairs

  • Path of travel – 36 inches wide
  • Minimum clear floor space – 30 inches wide by 48 inches long
  • Turning – diameter of 60 inches
  • Counter height – 28-36 inches high
  • For events on the Green, be sure tables are lined along the walkway and not in the middle of the grass

Visibility – Projection screen visible from all seating; well-lit spaces; clear signage

Audio – Microphone system; limit unnecessary background noise; seating/space for interpreters when needed

3. Plan for the Event

  • Create materials using large font and high contrast between letter/background color. Work with DSS if alternate formats are needed (e.g., Braille)
  • Schedule ASL interpreters/captioning services through DSS at least 2 weeks in advance
  • Have food options for those with dietary restrictions and ensure they are clearly marked

4. At the Event

  • Designate someone to be responsible for accessibility
  • Ensure captioning and/or other technology is working
  • Ensure speakers, including those asking questions, always use a microphone
  • Verbally describe visual materials when presenting
  • Encourage hourly breaks
  • If changing locations/rooms, allow adequate time to do so