Event planners should be prepared for the possibility that presenters and attendees at your event may also require accommodations. Both should be asked about their access needs in advance of the program.
Presenters should be asked to design their program for an audience with diverse access needs.
If a presentation includes visual content (e.g., PowerPoint presentation, video, or printed charts and graphics), it will be necessary to have the visual content prepared in an alternate format (electronic format, Braille, large print) for people who are blind or have low vision. If presentation materials are provided to participants in print, the handouts must also be accessible in alternate formats, if requested.
It is also necessary to have captions for films or videos used in a program. If the video is not captioned, sign language interpreters or real-time captionists may be needed for access to video content of the meeting.
Addressing Communication Access Needs
Attendees who require communication access often cannot use the telephone and are able to convey their needs more effectively by email. Attendees should be asked for their preference of communication access and every effort should be made to meet this request.
The primary types of communication access includes the use of an Assistive Listening System (ALS), sign language interpreting or Communication Access in Real Time (CART). ALS devices are available at many large lecture halls on campus and information of their availability should be on display at the event.
If using the services of a sign language interpreter:
- Provide reserved seating in the front of the event for the attendee and companions.
- Sign language interpreters should be situated in the front of the room proximate to the speaker and within the sight line of the Deaf attendee so that both the interpreter and speaker can be viewed simultaneously.
- A spotlight should be on the interpreter if the lighting in the room is dimmed.
- Provide an advance copy of presentation so that the interpreter will be well prepared to sign any specialized vocabulary and names
If using the services of a CART reporter:
- CART reporters will require some space for equipment set-up.
- Reporters using projection equipment should be situated in close proximity to the projection unit.
- Provide an advance copy of presentation to CART reporter to prepare him/her for any specialized vocabulary and names used in presentation.
If using the Assistive Listening System:
- Cornell has Assistive Listening Systems in over 200 classrooms and lecture spaces. The speaker must use the transmitter and the listener uses the receiver. This amplifies sound for the listener. Some ALS systems work with the amplification system in the room.
- Before every program. event planners should test the ALS in advance. The Building Coordinator can assist with helping you learn how to use the ALS or troubleshoot if the system is not working.