Planning an Accessible Meeting

More to Consider
• Set up food and drink tables less than 34 inches high.

• Provide captions on video content.

• Create an evacuation plan that includes persons with disabilities.

• Arrange accessible transportation for off-site events. 

• Arrange transportation options if participants are moving among buildings.

The following was adapted from a checklist created by Cornell University Student Disability Services ( in Ithaca, N.Y.

Event Planning
• Make the event information, including that on the website, accessible to a broad range of participants (e.g., use a text format, rather than an image, that can be easily read by a screen reader).

• Allow participants to request that reasonable accommodations be made to meet their needs, by registration form or other means.

• Allocate funds to cover such requirements.

•  Ask all presenters whether they have any equal-access needs.

• Tell presenters how to make presentations accessible to everyone in the audience. Consider the space layout, and the potential need for captioning or a sign language interpreter.

•  Offer food options for participants with dietary restrictions or allergies.

• Educate staff about communicating with people with various disabilities.

Parking and Pathways
• Provide accessible parking spaces near the accessible entrance. Are the spaces clearly marked with the international symbol of accessibility? Are the spaces and access aisles 8 feet wide? Are the access aisles marked with "No Parking" signs?

• Provide an accessible route from parking/drop-off to the entrance. The recommended distance is 200 feet or less. Is the sidewalk a minimum of 36 inches wide?

• Create a paved, level travel path.

Entrance and Doors
• Make at least one primary entrance accessible. Stairs require an optional ramp or lift.

• Be sure the accessible entrance door has an opening that is at least 32 inches wide.

• Post signs at non-accessible entrances with directions to accessible entrances.

• Ensure the door is automatic or has a pull force of no more than five pounds.

Public areas
• Provide a 36-inch-high counter in the registration area.

• Remove protruding objects from accessible routes.

• Be sure there is an elevator if the event is on an upper floor.

• Use signs with raised or Braille characters.

Public Restrooms
• Ensure restrooms are on an accessible route.

• Post signs at inaccessible restrooms that direct people to accessible restrooms.

• Be sure that the restroom door is at least 32 inches wide.

• Use a restroom door with levered handles.

• Check that the restroom has an accessible toilet stall. It should have a 5-by-5-foot clear floor space. Is the toilet seat 17 to 19 inches above the floor? Are there grab bars at the side and back of the toilet at 33 to 36 inches above the floor?

• Ensure the door to the accessible stall is at least 32 inches wide and swings outward.

• Provide a knee clearance of 29 inches under the sink. Are soap, paper towel dispenser and amenities located at or below 48 inches?

Meeting Rooms

• Use meeting rooms on an accessible route.

• Ensure doors are at least 32 inches wide.

•  Incorporate a path at least 36 inches wide into the room design.

• Make the stage wheelchair accessible.

•  Offer an assistive-listening system.

• Provide moveable seating to accommodate wheelchairs.

• Provide adequate lighting for low vision and/or a sign-language interpreter as needed.