The following checklist is not exhaustive but offers examples of how to help make an event more accessible. Refer to the interactive process to support the planning of an accessible event.

Physical location

Is there accessible parking and/or public transportation close to the venue?

If transportation is provided, is that transportation accessible?

Are there barrier- and step-free/level paths of travel between parking and the event location?

  • Consider anything that would prevent a wheelchair user from navigating a path
  • Consider protrusions higher than waist level that might impact someone using a cane or walking with a guide dog.
  • Handrails are available on all stairs, steps, and ramps.

Are the entrances to the building, event rooms, and common spaces accessible?

  • Level access or ramp provided at main entrance
  • Functional accessibility buttons and easily operable doors (no more than 5 pounds)
  • Doors wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users (32 inches with door open at 90 degrees)

Are there accessible bathrooms within a reasonable distance and on an accessible path from the event location?

Are elevators working properly, within a reasonable distance of the event spaces, and large enough for a mobility assistance device to enter and maneuver to reach controls and change direction?

Is all furniture spaced to allow adequate maneuverability of mobility assistance devices?

  • Pathways must be at least 3 feet wide (including spaces around booths, between tables, past signage)
  • Turnaround spaces must be at least 4 feet wide

Is there adequate accessible seating?

  • Barrier free seating to accommodate a mobility device
  • Preferential seating is needed to maintain a clear line of sight to a service provider
  • Provide alternatives to high-top seating as necessary

Are there rest areas or quiet rooms nearby attendees can use as needed?

Are there available outlets or charging stations?

Companion Considerations

Participants may arrive with a service dog or personal care attendant to the event.

  • Ensure staff are adequately trained around service animal etiquette (link)
  • Provide spaces for service dogs to lay comfortably next to or under their handlers during the event.
  • Provide seating for personal care attendants upon request
  • Identify areas for service dogs to be walked, watered, and relieve themselves


Consider what other events are happening in the space at the time you plan to host the event.

  • Are any potential conflicts?
  • Is there a possibility of sharing resources if a similar type of event is happening at the same time?

Whenever possible:

  • Plan events at least two weeks in advance to maximize the ability to meet accommodation requests
  • Plan breaks during the event to give people the chance to tend to personal needs (ideally, 5-10 minutes per hour)
  • Provide schedules in advance of events to allow for planning

Event Promotion and Marketing

  • All promotional materials must be accessible (link to PDF: “Accessibility Guide for Promotional Materials”)
  • Promote the event online to create a searchable record of event details (e.g., Intercom, social media platforms)
  • Invitations must include an accessibility statement with contact information
  • Provide alternative registration options (e.g., a form and email address)
  • Provide an email address and phone number for people to contact if they have questions (about accessibility specifically and the event in general)
  • Let people know what accommodations will be available at the event (i.e., ASL interpreter, CART, etc.)
  • If there are known accessibility barriers or possible issues, make that known to attendees (i.e. planned two-mile nature hike during conference break)

Signage and Navigation

Provide accessible navigation signs (if not already present in the event space). Signage should be free-standing without obstructing pathways and must comply with the IC signage policy.

Signage should make it clear where to find:

  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible entrances/exits
  • Accessible bathrooms and quiet spaces
  • Elevators and alternative paths for access

Information should be available in multiple formats (i.e., physical signs and an accessible digital version) and staff should also be aware of the location of these amenities.

Communication Access

Communication access covers a wide range of possible accommodations. Consult with the ADA coordinator, Linda Koenig, if you have questions.

  • All pre-recorded media is captioned (and captions must be turned on when the video is shown)
  • Provide a functioning and adequate amplified sound system
  • Ensure functioning Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available and usable in the event space.
  • Ensure a clear line of sight to interpreters or transcription services for those who have requested an accommodation.
  • Locate interpreters in areas that are properly lit and adjacent to other content (i.e. interpreters in same sight lines as speaker)

If a request is made for an accommodation:

  • Provide live transcription (CART) or ASL interpreting (link).
    Note: live transcription provided by automatic services such as those available through Zoom, Teams, or PowerPoint DO NOT meet the requirements of an accommodation.

For Presenters

  • Accessible path/mechanism to access a stage (for presenters)
  • Adjustable podium/microphone

Make presenters aware of the following guidelines:

  • Use a microphone when provided. It is not enough to “have a loud voice”.
  • Repeat any question that is asked without the use of a microphone (and read any question that comes in through a chat or Q&A feature)
  • Do not assume that all participants can see what is going on. Describe actions and visuals like charts and graphs.
  • Introduce interpretation or CART services when available
  • Adjust presentation to allow time/space for interpreters
  • Presenter should stay near interpreter, to maintain line of sight.
  • Face audience or camera at all times while speaking
  • If presentation materials are made available to participants, those materials should be in an accessible format (link to PDF: “Accessible Presentation Materials”)
  • Avoid the use of flashing lights, or sudden/loud sounds

Food and Beverage Service

  • Position tables to allow effective moving paths and proper height that allows usage in a wheelchair.
  • Provide multiple food/beverage areas
  • Provide accessible seating areas (e.g., wheelchair access, room for service animals, avoid fixed seating, etc.)

Whenever possible:

  • Label food ingredients or have staff available to answer questions
  • Share information about food options ahead of the event
  • Avoid common allergens and provide choice of gluten free, dairy free, etc.
  • Avoid self-serve when possible. If not ensure people can assist with serving.


Ensuring that individuals facilitating the event ("event staff") are reasonably prepared to handle accessibility issues is an essential part of any event.

  • Event staff should be aware of the accessibility measures and accommodations made in advance and should be instructed on how to respond to requests for assistance.
  • Appoint one staff person to be the main contact for any accessibility questions.

Event staff should know where to find:

  • Accessible bathrooms
  • Quiet rooms
  • Elevators
  • Assistive listening devices
  • How to view captions
  • Where to sit to access ASL interpretation
  • Dedicated areas for service animals

Put together a day-of checklist for staff that includes:

  • Paths of travel are clear
  • Check all AV equipment
  • Check table and seating arrangements
  • Check signage