Accessibility Guidelines for Planning and Promoting Events

All University of Washington entities are responsible for ensuring that their programs, services, and activities are accessible. These resources attempt to guide entities through the event planning, implementing and promoting processes.

Why is Accessibility Important?

  • Aligns to UW values of access and diversity and demonstrates our commitment to creating an inclusive community.
  • Under state, federal and UW policy the University of Washington is required to provide access to programs and services to all qualified participants regardless of disability.
  • The Department of Education reports that 19% of college students have a disability, a 1 in 5 ratio of students on campus.

Location Access  & Accessible Route Considerations

  • Parking
    • Nearby ADA designated parking
  • Route & Entrance
    • Route from ADA parking to entrance is flat and paved
    • A ramp is available where exterior steps lead to entrance
    • Clear signage to an accessible entrance (if main entrance is inaccessible) is present
    • The door has a lever style handle (not a knob) and is relatively light, if the door is not automatic or held open
  • Event Location
    • The furniture is movable, or in fixed seating areas, accessible seating options are available for participants with mobility disabilities
    • Interior walkways are wide (at least 36”)
    • There is plenty of space to maneuver around tables
    • The lighting is good
    • The acoustics are good, and in rooms where audio will be amplified (microphones), assistive listening devices are available for participants who are hard of hearing
    • Reserved seating near front for participants who are Deaf or hard of hearing is available
    • Stage and projector screen is easily visible (if in use)
    • Restrooms with accessible stalls are located near event location(s)
    • Clear signage indicates location of accessible restrooms and elevators
    • Electric cords crossing walkways are covered

Conferences or Program Registration Forms

Registration materials should include a statement describing procedures for requesting accommodation(s) along with a contact person. See statement below.

To help with advanced planning consider including the following on registration materials:

I will need the following accommodations in order to participate:
__ ASL Interpreter
__ Communication Access in Real Time (CART services)
__ Large print
__ Braille
__ Wheelchair access
__ Assistive Listening Device
__ An Assistant will accompany me
__ Closed captioned videos

__ Other (specify)

If lodging and/or meals are coordinated through the event, an opportunity must be provided to request accommodations related to diet and lodging.

When talking to hotels:

  • Check with hotels to ensure they understand the level of their accessibility and have procedures for providing access to their facilities
  • Determine an alternative plan for meeting rooms or facilities that are not accessible.

Event Promotions and Publications

Promotions and publications include brochures, flyers, announcements, web flyers, email blasts, social media postings, UW Today event ads, etc. All should include the following statement to ensure accommodations can be requested:

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by [INSERT specific date] to [INSERT sponsoring department contact, phone number, and email address].

If an accessible feature is already built into the event, such as a sign language interpreter or specific equipment, note that as well. For example:

FM amplification systems are available.

Sign language interpreting will be provided at the April 15th performance.

Accommodation Requests

Individuals attending campus events must be given the opportunity to request accommodations within a specific time period. Timelines are allowed to be set but ensure your event promotions and publications timelines have the request period built into it.

Types of common accommodations include:

  • Preferential seating
  • Portable amplification system
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Captioned media
  • Alternative formats for printed materials

When Accommodation Requests Are Made

As accommodation requests are made for your conference, program, services, or event, if you are able to provide the request go ahead and implement it. If you have questions or concerns about implementing a request consult with the Disability Services Office (DSO) on necessary next steps. DSO needs to be consulted first if an entities is considering saying no to a request.

Disability Services Office

Bothell and Tacoma may also consult with their DRS Students office as well:

Bothell: Disability Resources for Students

Tacoma: Disability Resources for Students

Additional Resources

For questions regarding policies or accessibility in general please contact the Office of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.