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Guidelines for Site Accessibility at In-Person Events

Category: Accessibility

Download a PDF copy of this guide.

Physical access to and around your facility

If you are hosting the public at an event, it is important to understand potential barriers for people with physical disabilities in getting into and around your building. The best way to assess these barriers is to have people with such disabilities survey the site themselves. Keep in mind that mobility needs and devices are varied, but all will benefit from an accessible facility and path of travel. Also, keep in mind that many physical disabilities can be invisible, but still rely on accessible features to navigate.

Some key points to consider, from the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design:

  • Are accessible parking and drop-off areas available?
  • Is there an accessible route with curb cuts, ramps, and unobstructed access from parking into and around the building?
  • Are registration tables no higher than thirty-six inches?
  • Do doors from entry to event space meet or exceed code?
  • Is accessible seating in the event space interspersed with non-accessible seating?
  • Are accessible restrooms available and clearly marked? Is there at least one restroom that can accommodate a participant who needs assistance (for example, who travels with a personal care assistant (PCA)?)
  • Is there a charging station available in or near the event space for someone who may travel with equipment, such as an oxygen tank?
  • Are there accessible water fountains available along the way?
  • Does auditorium seating include companion seating with wheelchair-accessible spaces?
  • Is there space for service dogs with some of the seating, not limited to one section?
  • Are there any protruding objects on the path of travel, and does it meet cane detectability guidelines?
  • Are coat checks accessible? Coat check staff should be trained in communicating with people with disabilities, i.e., using descriptive language with people who are blind and writing information down for people who are Deaf.
  • If ASL interpreters or a Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) reporter will be present, is there reserved seating with good sightlines to the interpreters or screen?

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