Picking an accessible venue and location
One of the most important steps in the planning process is the selection of an appropriate venue. Below we have listed important aspects to consider in picking a venue, specific layouts, and activities.
Overall features for location accessibility
General venue access:
- Accessible parking and drop-off areas (indicated with signage containing the updated Disability Access Symbol).
- A paved and flat route to and from the main entrance, as well as any outdoor spaces (no gravel, uneven surfaces, curbs, stairs).
- An accessible path and door, preferably automatic door opener, for primary entrance.
- Accessible check-in/registration process (tables, kiosks, vendors, etc.)
- Accessible restrooms (indicated with signage). If none are in close proximity, provide a portable accessible option.
- Adequate space for service animals and/or wheelchair maneuverability, approximately 3-5 ft. wide aisles/routes.
- Appropriate lighting. For example, is the room dark enough to see video and bright enough to see a speaker?
- For amplified sound, ensure an assistive listening system with enough devices available. Contact Classroom Technology Services (CTS) at (520) 621-3852 for more information.
Event activities and set up:
- Arrange space so that all guests can use common routes. Routes are wide, flat/paved and clear of debris.
- Accessible cord covers are used to cover exposed cords or hoses on ground
- An accessible room layout, including wheelchair accessible seating which allows an inclusive, shoulder to shoulder experience. (i.e. wheelchair seating is not on the “sidelines” and is integrated within the seating footprint of the room.) It is best to have 2 distinct options.
- A space with movable tables and chairs, that offer a choice of seating throughout the room, for Interactive or collaborative activities.
- Accessible path of travel from seating area to presentation space (clear, wide, no steps). Information about access in each centrally scheduled classroom is available on the Classroom Technology Services (CTS) website.
- Space for 1-2 American Sign Language Interpreters (ASL) and/or CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) Captioners in proximity to the presentation area.
Venue specific accessibility features to consider
- Auditorium/Lecture Hall - “Tiered” = steps, “Slope” = ramp
- Use where there is one or more speakers and not much group work or collaboration among the audience
- Classroom - “Flat” = no ramps or steps
- Use for events where there is group collaboration and/or a speaker who would like to move through the audience. *Optimal for increased inclusion and access.
- Tables at Events/Fairs (career, job, club, vendor)
- Consider access to registration and vendor tables. Keep path of travel free of obstacles, such as A-frames, and provide materials on or behind table.
- Outside Events
- Utilize existing accessible routes. For example, facing your table up to the edge of the concrete instead of a middle of a grass patch.
- Inspect the condition of any transitions from hard pack to turf. For example, going from a sidewalk to a grass area or other change in surface material. It is recommended to consult with DRC or Facility Management Grounds.
- Use accessible cord covers for any hose and/or cords going through path of travel or circulation routes
- When using amplified sound (a microphone/speakers), consider the following for communication access to all participants
- American Sign Language
- Assistive listening devices
- Captioning (note, screens and lighting will need to be considered)