Tips for Planning an Accessible Event
While planning your event, please be mindful that individuals with disabilities may attend; and if requested, accommodations or event modifications may be needed. Below you will find some things to consider during the planning and implementation of your event:
Location: Make certain that your event is located in an accessible room and/or building and ensure that there are signs indicating the location of accessible entrances. In addition, check to make sure the room your event is being held in is located near accessible restrooms.
Room set-up: Ensure your set-up allows appropriate room for wheelchair seating and also gives individuals in wheelchairs the ability to move through the room. Arrange the room accordingly to make certain that wheelchair users have a clear view of your event and that those with hearing impairments are seated near interpreters. Make sure pathways are free of hazards (i.e., small boxes, power cords, elevated ropes, etc.) for individuals with visual impairments.
Publicity/Notice of Need for Accommodations: In your publicity materials and/or registration forms, make sure that your intended audience is aware that accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities. You can request advanced notice from anyone in need of special services such as materials printed in Braille or in enlarged font, or the need of an American Sign Language interpreter. An example of a statement that may be printed on invitations, flyers, and/or registration forms is as follows:
"If you have a disability and need assistance or accommodations such as wheelchair access, sign language interpreter, menu modification, or alternative formats of program materials to fully participate in this program, please contact (name, phone #, TTY #, or e-mail address) by (a specified date). Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs."
On the day of the Event:
Provide a designated person to handle any last minute accessibility issues as well as to ensure the ease of persons with disabilities getting to the event location.
- Be sure to inform all staff and people working the event of any disability parking and seating locations. If adequate parking for individuals with disabilities needs to be reserved, coordinate with the Georgia College Auxiliary Services in advance of your event at 478-445-1976.
When having a movie night, be sure to test the subtitles/closed captioning option prior to your event to make sure it works in case students with hearing impairments attend. A student with a visual impairment may request that some scenes be described. This is also true if you are utilizing Internet videos, such as YouTube.
If a Power Point is used, make sure that the presenter describes any images that appear on slides. If copies are made of the Power Point, be mindful that you may need to convert some of the copies to an accessible format (enlarged print/one slide per page, electronic text, etc.).
If requested, know who to contact to secure assistive listening devices for your event.
It is always recommended that microphones are utilized during presentations, whenever possible. If not available, instruct the presenter to speak loudly or use voice projection.
- If your event involves food, be mindful that there are individuals with dietary restrictions and food allergies. Provide a platform for an alternative menu option.
Be sure to contact Disability Services at 478-445-5931 if you have questions or concerns during the planning or your event.