When planning events, be mindful of the physical accessibility of the building and specific rooms in which events are held, as well as the accessibility and route to nearby restrooms. Make sure that the space you reserve is easily accessible using the following guidelines:
- Wheelchair Accessibility - Wheelchair access must be available in all portions of the venue that participants will be using, including the speaker’s area. Consider also the possibility of extra-wide wheelchairs or scooters and ensure absence of protruding objects. Note the presence/absence and locations of functioning elevators and unobstructed ramps. Also observe entrances and exits to the event, reception, and refreshment areas
- Elevator Access - Check that the elevators are in working order the day before and the day of the event. Take into consideration the dimensions of elevators in older buildings.
- Restrooms - An accessible restroom should be within 200 feet of the event location. Assure nearest accessible restrooms are unlocked and located on an accessible route.
- Audio-Visual - Choose well-lit meeting rooms with good acoustics and an auxiliary sound system, if possible. Select rooms without background noise to the greatest extent possible.
- The Podium - Provide a level pathway to the podium or lectern. Accessible podiums are designed to be height adjustable.
- Signage – Signage should clearly mark the location of accessible restrooms, entrances, exits, etc.
- Access to Water- Choose a space with accessible access to drinking water and/or drinking fountains.
- Transportation -Note the availability of parking, shuttle and public transportation in relation to the event, if available.
Once an accessible site is selected, meeting room furniture and seating must be arranged so that pathways are free of obstructions and:
- People who use mobility devices (e.g., wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, crutches, canes) can maneuver throughout and use the amenities independently.
- People who are blind or have low vision can navigate easily and safely.
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use assistive listening systems and see speakers, interpreters, and captioning;