Accessible Event Planning FAQ

Special Events Accessibility Checklist and FAQ

Have you determined if your special event and site meet the potential needs of persons with disabilities? If no, review the accessibility checklist below.

Duke Disability Management System is here to help. In addition to the suggestions and responses to Frequently Asked Questions outlined below, you can contact us for assistance or additional information.

Accessible Entrance – is there a path of travel than does not require use of stairs or navigating uneven terrain?

Is there adequate ADA parking available close to the entrance? Are there curb cuts or a flat drop-off area?

If there are stairs at the main entrance is there an alternate route (lift, elevator, ramp) close by?

Are there accessible restrooms (Male and Female or Unisex) close to the event room?

What should we do if we are not sure about the accessibility of our location? Contact DMS. We can direct you to campus accessibility maps, building directories and building compliance files with information about many of the buildings around Duke. Our facility director can also go to the location to do an on the spot assessment.

Publicity and Invitations – Does your publicity and invitations contain information about reasonable accommodations?

Note: We recommend including this statement in event notes: “Please contact us in advance if you have accessibility needs.

It is important to allow enough lead time to work with vendors, especially when requesting interpreters or to allow for materials to be prepared.

Accommodation Requests from Participants

What do we do if we receive accommodation requests from those planning to attend out event? DMS can provide support and guidance for these requests.

What do we do if some asks: Does your event have an Assistive Listening System? Some sites have a permanent system in place. The facility manager on site should be able to advise on this. If the site does not, DMS can assist with portable units.

Should we get a Sign Language interpreter? If a guest requests these, DMS can provide Duke approved vendors for this service.

What do we do if some asks: Can we provide Handout Materials in an alternate format? If a guest requests these, DMS can discuss options and suggest means of providing this.

Audio-visual Materials – are these videos captioned for participants with hearing impairments?

What do we do if someone with an ADA need wants to bring a companion to the event? ADA requirements provide for seating for one companion with anyone in a wheelchair. We recommend extending that accommodation to anyone with an ADA concern. (However, the companion would be expected to pay the appropriate entrance fee.)