The key to making events accessible and meeting compliance obligations is communication. Include a disability accommodation statement in all publicity and pre-registration materials that invites participants with disabilities to request accommodations. This will enable the event planner to arrange most of the accommodations and services in advance.
The disability accommodation statement should provide an event contact email and phone number.
Sample Accommodation Statements:
For disability accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, alternative formats) please contact [name, email, phone] as soon as possible.
Cornell University is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact [name, email, phone] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.
Sample Registration Statements:
If you have a disability and may require accommodations in order to fully participate, please indicate here___________.
How would you like to be contacted to discuss your needs?____________________.
I will need the following accommodations in order to participate:
__ ASL Interpreter
__ Communication Access in Real Time (CART services)
__ Large print
__ Wheelchair access
__ Assistive Listening Device
__ An Assistant will accompany me
__ Closed captioned videos
Pre-registration for an event provides an opportunity for event planners to provide important details about the event. A comprehensive description of the event, including location, environmental conditions, services available, etc. will help participants determine what types of accommodations may be needed. Information that is helpful to know includes the distance to parking areas, the availability of transportation services, whether the venue is air-conditioned, if assistive listening devices are available, scooter or wheelchair availability, and the availability of food options for persons with food allergies.
If an event includes overnight lodging, the event planner should investigate the accessibility features of the lodging.
Responding to Requests for Accommodations
Focus on the access issue and needed accommodation, not the disability of the participant. When a participant requests an accommodation, respond as quickly as possible. It may take several communications to work through the details of a particular request. In some circumstances, several options may be available to address an access need. The option preferred by the participant should be given primary consideration. If that option proves difficult to provide or you have a question about whether it is a reasonable accommodation, consult with a member of the ADA Coordinator Team.
Websites are commonly used to convey information about events and as a means to register to attend an event. Creating accessible websites and registration forms is critical to ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal access to information about events. Following the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines will guarantee that your web content is accessible to the broadest range of users.
Essential elements of accessible web design include:
- Providing alternate text for visual content;
- Providing text alternatives to audio content (including captioning with multimedia);
- Cascading style sheets rather than HTML tables;
- Avoiding the use of color to convey important information;
- Using high-contrast foreground/background colors;
- Specifying the language of the content (English, Spanish, or some other language);
- Avoiding flashing animation;
- Using relative units rather than absolutes (e.g., percentages instead of pixels); and
- Making all functionality available from a keyboard.