The key to making events accessible is communication. Providing important details about an event can help participants determine what accommodations may be needed, if any. Information that may be helpful to know includes location, availability of assistive listening devices and wheelchairs and what the food options are for persons with food allergies and sensitivities.
Reasonable Accommodation Statement
We recommend using an accommodation statement to let individuals know that they may request accommodations for your event or program, if needed. The standard statement we use is:
Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact [insert email and telephone number of the program/event sponsor] in advance of your participation or visit. Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance, if possible. Please note that the university will make every effort to secure services, but that services are subject to availability.
Abbreviated Reasonable Accommodation Statement
To be used when space is limited: Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access may contact [insert email and telephone number of the program/event sponsor] in advance of the program or visit.
Making Digital and Print documents accessible
When designing publicity materials, such as email flyers, word documents, or PDFs, we encourage making them accessible from the start. Resources on ensuring your web and print content is accessible are available on the HUIT Online Accessibility Website: https://accessibility.huit.harvard.edu/training.
Responding to Requests for Accommodations
An accommodation is a change, alteration or modification to the way things are customarily done that provides an equal opportunity. Examples of accommodations include but are not limited to:
- Sign Language Interpreter
- Materials in alternative formats, such as providing a digital version of a hand-out, braille material or changing fronts sizes.
- Preferential Seating
- Assistive Listening Devices
At larger events or events offering accommodations, designate someone to be responsible for exploring accommodations as well as help with seating, ensuring captioning and other technology is working, maintaining clear pathways or responding to other needs.
Requests should be responded to in a timely manner and any cost associated is covered by the sponsoring entity. The accommodation preferred by the participant should be given primary consideration, however, in some circumstances, several accommodation options may be available.
In addition, UDS offers contact information for several effective communication service providers and vendors.
For further questions or consultation during this process, UDS may be reached at email@example.com.