• Make Sure Your Next Meeting is Welcoming and Accessible With This Checklist

    POSTED April 11, 2017

    The following checklist is an abridged version of one created by the University of British Columbia’s Equity and Inclusion Office.

Promotion and Advertising

» Websites, emails, social media, flyers, hard-copy mail-outs, posters and all other promotional and advertising materials for the event should include a statement that anyone requiring an accommodation may contact the event planner and request same. Information should be provided that includes the name of the event planner, and both telephone and email contacts.

» Include on promotional and advertising materials a request that attendees refrain from wearing perfumes and scented soaps to prevent causing allergic reactions for other attendees.

» In preparing any websites, emails, hard-copy mail-outs, posters and all other promotional materials, the following basic accessibility principles should be observed: Recommended text size is 14 point or larger. The recommended font is a sans serif font such as Arial. Fancy, small or italic scripts are not accessible. Use highcontrast colors. Simple use of dark text on light background is preferred. Do not embed essential information, including the name, date, time and location of the event, in a graphic. Graphics often cannot be “read” by a screen reader being used by a person with a visual disability.

» If film or video materials are being used on the website to advertise the event, ideally they should be captioned.

Event Site

» Ensure the entrance doors’ automatic openers are activated. Frequently, access is limited by automatic door openers that are available, but not activated.

» Ensure that all products, displays and information are arranged at a height that can be accessed by everyone comfortably, including those using wheelchairs or scooters.

» Ensure a level, smooth, accessible surface throughout the venue.

» Ensure that any emergency evacuation procedures take into account the needs of people with mobility and sensory disabilities.

» Ensure there is sufficient space between tables for navigation by wheelchairs, scooters, assistance animals and other mobility devices.

» Ensure there are sufficient spaces available without chairs, for use by wheelchairs and scooters, but avoid designating a single area as “for wheelchair use” as this segregates individuals using wheelchairs from being seated with friends and colleagues. Instead, disperse wheelchair accessible spaces throughout the event.

» Ensure the pathways to displays, stages, speakers’ podium, etc., are wide enough for wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aids, and are free from trip hazards.

» Ensure the stage or speakers’ podium itself is accessible, including for persons using wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility aids.

» Provide seats near the front of the room so individuals who have a hearing or vision disability have clear access to sign language interpreters, and so people can more easily lip-read or better hear speakers/ sound-enhancing devices, etc.

» If the event is being held at an outdoor site, ensure that trails or paths are marked at their entrances with information about accessibility throughout the trail (e.g., identify the presence of steps, interruptions of the accessible surface, steep slopes, etc.).


» Provide captioning upon request.

» Provide American Sign Language translation information upon request. Provide the interpreters with as much info as possible about the event in advance, including its length and program content. Provide copies of speakers’ notes, PowerPoints, etc., in advance. Discuss technical language, persons’ titles, or any other unique information with the interpreter in advance. 

» If you are providing video, ideally it should be captioned, or ASL provided for the video as well.

» If felt markers will be used (e.g., with flip chart paper), ensure they are nontoxic (the odor from many felt markers can trigger reactions for people with chemical sensitivities). Ensure that any invitees and speakers/presenters are aware of this requirement in advance of the event.

Final Check

Shortly prior to the event, following the event setup, walk through the event site and review the food and program with this checklist. Consider the experience from the perspective of someone:

» using a variety of mobility-assistance devices

   » accompanied by an assistance dog
   » with low vision » with an auditory disability
   » with a chemical sensitivity, etc.

For the full checklist, visit equity.ubc.ca

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