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Accessibility Services

Planning an Accessible Event

As an institution, we strive to be inclusive to all members of our community. Taking care to create an accessible event benefits not only individuals with visible or known disabilities, but also helps to ensure that all participants/attendees, including individuals with non-apparent disabilities and/or chronic health conditions, are able to fully engage in the program. All Rollins College offices and organizations are responsible for ensuring that their programs, services, and activities are accessible. Here are some things to consider when planning your next event:

Choosing a Location for Your Event

Accessible Route and Location Access 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)
    • 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
    • Consider access and space for service dogs
    • Transportation and navigation. Provide transportation information that includes exact street addresses, distances and obstacles, directions for walking, car, or public transport, and information on accessible parking and entrances. Provide signage that includes graphics as well as text.
    • Off-campus Event Participation. If an event is being held off-campus, discuss accessibility issues with the off-campus location, including emergency planning. 

Planning the Event

Event Advertisements

Advertisements include brochures, flyers, web flyers, email blasts, Facebook event pages, etc. All advertisements should include the following statement to ensure accessibility accommodations can be requested:

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

Informational Publications

Informational publications are considered any educational or informative materials and include brochures, pamphlets, reports, catalogs, etc.

All informational publications should include the following statement:

  • This publication will be made available in an accessible alternative format upon request. Please contact [sponsoring department contact name, phone number, and email address].­

Accommodation Requests

Types of common accommodations include:

  • Preferential seating
  • Portable amplification systems
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Captioned media
  • Alternative formats for printed materials
  • Reserved front row seat
  • Advanced copy of slides (possibly in large print)
  • Program relocation to a more accessible space

Another approach is to include an accommodations checklist in your meeting RSVP. 

As accommodation requests are made for your conference, program, services, or event, your next step is to provide the requested services. If it appears you will be unable to meet a specific request, follow up with the individual who made the request to determine whether an alternative arrangement can be made.

During the Event

Designate

At larger events or events with scheduled accommodations, designate someone to be responsible for accommodations as well as help with seating, ensuring captioning and other technology is working, maintaining clear pathways, or other needs. Designate staff who can offer individual assistance (with navigation, food, etc.). Identify them with nametags and encourage them to verbally offer help. Ensure that emergency plans cover safety issues for people with disabilities

Presentations

Ensure that presenters are aware of Rollins' commitment to inclusive events, and ask them to prepare and deliver their presentations with accessibility in mind.

Provide presenters with a checklist requesting that they: verbally describe visual materials (e.g., slides, charts, etc.); have printed copies available (in larger font); avoid using small print on presentations that can’t be seen from a distance; ensure speakers (including those asking questions) always use a microphone; activate captions on any video used in the presentation.

Q&A

Make sure to repeat questions posted by audience before responding, especially if there is not a microphone available. Presenters or audience members may express confidence that they are loud enough and do not need a microphone. Regardless, ask them to speak into one.

Food

Provide a range of food that includes vegan/vegetarian, gluten free, healthy, and Kosher/Halal options, and ensure that these options and ingredients are clearly labeled in large print and either individually packaged or offered in a way that avoids cross-contamination. Clearly indicate allergens and gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or other options.

For questions regarding accommodations for college-sponsored events, please contact Accessibility Services at access@rollins.edu or (407)975-6463.