All of a department’s programs, services, benefits, and activities must be available on an equal basis and accessible to eligible persons with disabilities. This not only means that venues must be accessible to wheelchair users, but information must be accessible to persons who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, blind or have visual impairments, and persons with various information processing difficulties (e.g. some persons with “learning disabilities”).
A key is to assure adequate notice so that people with disabilities can know how to request accommodations in a timely manner. Any information/publicity about an event should include information about the accessibility of an event and how to request accommodations.
Most accommodation requests will be about communication (e.g. for attendees who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing, or blind), food (e.g. allergies), and physical access (e.g. arranging aisle seating or wheelchair-accessible seating).
Following is suggested wording for situations where you wouldn't want to just arrange sign language interpreters or real-time captioning without requests.
Sample Boilerplate Wording for Events at which Food Will Not Be Served:
"Wheelchair accessible. Persons who wish to request disability-related accommodations including sign-language interpreters should contact [name, office, or position] at (603) 646-#### or [full e-mail address]. Requests can be made at any time, but some types of accommodations take several weeks to arrange. Therefore, please request accommodations as soon as possible. The College can usually provide accommodations requested two weeks prior to the event."
OPTIONAL, additional sentence for your consideration: “Some attendees may be sensitive to various scents from perfumes, shampoos, soaps, etc. Although optional, please consider refraining from wearing scented products to this event.”
Sample Boilerplate Wording for Written Materials:
"This [brochure, sylabus, etc.] is available in alternative media. Contact [name, office, or position] at (603) 646-#### or [full e-mail address] for more information.”
Sample Boilerplate Wording for Many Events at which Food is to be Served According to Pre-Set Menus:
“Please notify [name, office, or position] at (603) 646-#### or [full e-mail address] if you have special dietary needs that we may be able to accommodate.”
[Note: Similar, adapted wording might be used for refreshments, etc.]
For a large, major event (such as a famous person doing a public lecture for which there are no tickets or reservations), one should assume a need for sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, or both, and just arrange them. However, the Effective Notice wording should still be used on all information/publicity about the event.
For more information: Blitz Student Accessibility Services or call 646-9900.
Last Updated: 10/23/09