Accessibility Resource Center

Planning an Accessible Event

Making an event accessible is easier if you keep access in mind throughout the planning of your event. The following information will help you plan for and provide accommodations that will make your event accessible to people with disabilities.

When Planning an Event

  • Consult with Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) staff
  • Make all accessibility arrangements well in advance of the event

Advertising

Accessibility Announcement: To inform guests and participants about how to request a disability accommodation, it is critical that information be included in flyers, advertisements, or other materials distributed before an event.

The announcement should include:

  1. Who the request should be made to (person or office)
  2. How a person can request an accommodation (phone, fax, TTY or e-mail)
  3. By when the request should be made (date, usually at least one week in advance of the event)

NOTE: Any digital advertising (PDF, Word, etc.) should be sent to the Office of Accessible Technology and Services (OATS) for content remediation. Once your document is complete, you may submit a support ticket(opens in new window) for accessible content remediation.

Sample:
"Disability Accommodations and Services: If you need disability-related accommodation or wheelchair access information, please contact [insert name or office], at [insert phone, fax, or email]. Requests should be made by [insert date, at least one week in advance of the event].
If you have any questions about requests or resources for accommodations in response to your announcement, please contact the Accessibility Resource Center."

NOTE: Advertise events early: Interpreters and real-time captioners may take at least two weeks to arrange.

Event Materials

Materials for distribution at the event or on the website should include an accessibility statement. Encourage participants to plan ahead for access. For example, “To request this publication in an alternate format such as large print, e-text, or Braille, contact (insert host office phone & email).” Help is available at Accessibility Resource Center or visit the TLP website(opens in new window) to learn how to create accessible documents in PowerPoint, MS Word, PDF, etc.
If you are using multimedia, be sure that you are using captioned versions of online audio, films, videos, etc.

Event Location

Ensure the event is scheduled in a building and room that are accessible to those who use wheelchairs. Confirm that the accessible parking, entrance, path of travel, emergency exit, and restrooms are unlocked and unblocked during the hours of your event. Is the primary entrance wheelchair accessible? If not, see "Signage," below.

  • Signage: If the wheelchair-accessible entrance is not the primary entrance, put a sign on the primary entrance saying where the accessible entrance is.

If the event is outside (on grass), are the activities accessible from pavement allowing people with mobility issues to have equal access?

  • Restrooms: Be familiar with where the nearest wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located.
  • Path of Travel: Is there a step-free route from the parking lot (accessible parking spaces) to the building entrance? Is this pathway clear of obstructions and barriers and suitable in all weather conditions (i.e., rainy or slippery)?
  • Rooms and Auditoriums: Are all meeting rooms wheelchair accessible (i.e., elevators to upper levels)?
  • Aisles: At least 36" wide for maneuverability, and up to 44" wide if goods and services are available on both sides of an aisle.
  • Cables: Covers should be used over electrical cables or cords that must cross over aisles or pathways. Cable covers should be no more than 1/2" thick for wheelchairs to traverse across them.
  • Chair Setup: When a room does not have fixed seats, keep in mind two principles for setting up.

Wheelchair Seating Locations:

  1. The number of chairs removed depends on the total seating (see table below); and
  2. Wheelchair locations should be integrated with other seating areas. (thus, chairs removed should be interspersed -- front, middle, back, sides of the room, etc.).
Seating capacity at an event and the required number of wheelchair locations needed
Total Seating CapacityRequired Number of Wheelchair Locations
4-251
26-502
51-3004
301-5006
Over 5006, plus 1 additional space for each total seating capacity increase of 100

Tables:
Tables used for registration, interviewing, information display or other services or goods should be between 28"-34" from the floor to the top of the table. If guests will be seated at the tables, knee space should be at least 27" from the floor to the bottom of the table.

Other Issues

Parking:
Event staff should know that each Chico State lot has designated accessible parking spaces, but also should understand which parking lot is the closest to the event.
Legal Requirements:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that Chico State ensure that its programs, services, goods, and facilities are accessible to individuals with disabilities.