Accessibility - Meeting and Conference Access

Meeting and Conference Access

Meetings and conferences should consider the needs of all of their participants. Checklists such as this may make it easier to identify specific needs:

Mobility access
  • Wheelchair accessible transportation
  • Reserved parking
  • Barrier-free meeting rooms / restrooms / podium/speaker's platform
  • ADA Compliant Ramp Access to businesses and public places
  • Accessible lodging
Hearing access
  • Advance copies of papers
  • An assistive listening system
  • Sign language interpreters
  • A quiet place to gather for social conversation (a quieter space that is still visible to others should be reserved at social events or dinners so that people who are hard of hearing may go there to talk with their colleagues.)
  • TTY access or Internet-based TRS
Sight access
  • Large print/braille copies of the program and papers
  • A student volunteer to guide and describe the artwork, computer work, etc.
  • A tech to help with assistive devices and screen readers (e.g., JAWS)
  • Gloves to touch three dimensional work (where permissible)
Other issues
  • Notification if social events include flashing lights and noises (these can cause seizures, so either avoid them or announce them ahead of time).
  • Notices asking participants to refrain from allergy-producing problems (e.g., perfumes)
  • Inform food providers of food allergies (e.g., peanuts, shellfish, etc.)
  • Referral information for local personal care attendant agencies
  • Referral information for veterinarian care for service animals
  • Access to a place to rest during the day (if the conference venue is far from the lodgings)

For a complete checklist, consult Equal Access: Universal Design of Conference Exhibits and Presentations.

Read more about this topic:  Accessibility

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