From the desk of Beth Loy, Ph.D., Principal Consultant
Many of us are required to give and/or participate in live training events. It is important for the sponsoring agency to consider making these events accessible. Although the term accessible is very individual, there are certain elements that should always be considered when producing a live event. At a minimum, your checklist should include those elements related to the following.
- Accessible online registration;
- Notice to ask participants if they need accommodations;
- Notice of fragrance free policy; and
- Access for personal assistants and service animals.
- Appropriate signage;
- Well marked emergency egress procedures;
- Accessible restrooms;
- Accessible parking;
- Curb cuts;
- Relief area for service animals;
- Accessible registration area;
- Adjustable lighting;
- Adjustable temperature; and
- Accessible speaking platform;
- Lavaliere microphones;
- Adjustable lectern;
- Seating arranged for mobility aid access; and
- Multiple power outlets (e.g., to charge portable oxygen concentrator).
- Accessible videos and media;
- Interpreter service (including deaf-blind);
- Computer Access Realtime Translation (CART); and
- Alternate format (Braille, large print, electronic file, audio).
Food and Beverage:
- Alternatives for special diets;
- Serving area arranged for mobility aid access;
- Consideration of allergy restrictions; and
- Assistance with getting the food and beverages.
Presenters should always be aware that any visuals used during a presentation should be described and care should be taken so that interpreter and CART services are not blocked from view. Presenters should also always use a microphone so that individuals who are wearing a sound receiver (hearing aid, headphone, neck loop) can hear.
Planners should also make any field trips or activities accessible to participants. This may include arranging accessible transportation, providing a guide, or allowing a personal assistant to join. Consider making a visit prior to the event to conduct a facility audit.
Remember that this list is not all inclusive. Some accommodations may need to be customized to make an event accessible. If you are planning a training event and you would like to discuss ways to make it accessible, contact JAN for more information.