Planning Universal Access for All Events

Fundamental Guidelines 

The guidelines below will help ensure an event experience that is as universally designed as possible. 

Select an accessible location/event venue 
One of the most important steps in the planning process is the selection of an appropriate venue. Taking into consideration the architectural features that may impact access ahead of time will be must more productive and can provide solutions to unforeseen access issues before they arise.  

Marketing, Communication and Registration Processes  
Follow our guidance on event marketing, in addition to including a disability access statement, to reach more participants. 

Plan for accessible event signage  
Information regarding event signage, including downloadable graphics for access.  

Communication Access for events 
Information regarding communication access such as ASL interpreting, real-time captioning, assistive listening devices.   

Accessible Transportation and wheelchair rentals  
If you provide transportation to and/or from the event, ensure that it is wheelchair accessible (has a lift), unless it is an RSVP-only event and no one has requested accessible transportation.  

Train Your Event Staff

Prepare Presenters with Universal Design Techniques for Presentations  

Event planners should share this information with presenters before the event so they can ensure their presentation and materials are accessible.   

Consider the accessibility of activities. Would someone with low vision, limited mobility or hearing loss be able to participate?  

  • Use Inclusive language and ice breakers.  
  • Is the room set to facilitate everyone's participation in your activities?   
  • If your audience is unknown, plan ahead with contingencies.  

Offer accessible materials/handouts   

  • Provide ASL interpreters or CART captioners with any event materials at least two business days in advance.  

When presenting, use accessible presentation techniques