Selecting an Accessible Venue

The University is committed to creating an inclusive environment for the entire university community and visitors. Part of this commitment is taking into account the accessibility needs in our event planning and execution. Accessible event planning helps all participants fully engage in programs.

This guide and checklist are intended to assist with planning meetings and events that are accessible to persons with disabilities. It provides recommendations and checklists for all phases of a meeting or an event, from choosing the venue to promotion, registration, presentations, materials, social events, meals, and staff and volunteer training. Note, however, that it is impossible to anticipate every barrier that might limit or preclude participation by attendees. Moreover, because new ideas for improving accessibility and new technologies continue to emerge, this toolkit should be viewed as a living document that is meant to evolve.

Areas of Accessibility for Consideration

Physical Accessibility

Considerations for the physical location and access to the event. Efforts should be made to make sure that there are accessible entrances, that would not cause a barrier to entry for individuals using wheelchairs, crutches, people with vision disabilities, etc. The University has an online interactive map that highlights Accessible Building Entrances.

  • Doors/Entrances
    • Entrances have accessible ramps or entrances.
    • Entrances have accessible entryways/doors.
    • Clear entry and access paths to the venue.
    • Accessible, working elevators.
    • Accessible signage such as braille or large print signs.
  • Surrounding Area
    • Limit the effects of being at a location with steep hills or other strenuous locations or locations that could be affected by weather, such as snow/ice, steep water, etc.
    • If food is not provided, consider a location in walking distance of restaurants or other food locations.
    • Accessible bathrooms should be next to or near the presentation area.
  • Seating
    • Venues have wheelchair accessible seating, that should not be separated or give the appearance of exclusion from other seating.
    • Seating is set up in a way that allows for all participants to clearly view the presenting area and have enough space to access the seating area without issue.
  • Transportation
    • Accessible transportation and parking should be available near and at the location.
    • Provide a list of accessible transportation options, as appropriate. This can include buses, paratransit, taxis, or local non-emergency cabulance companies (businesses that offer wheelchair accessible transportation).
  • Lodging
    • Provide a list of lodging that has accessible access options.
    • If hosted at a hotel, select one that provides accessibility assistance to guests.

Sensory Accessibility

Considerations for the sensory impact of the location and presentation. Efforts should be made to ensure that individuals with allergies or other sensory conditions such as sensitivity to lights or flashing lights are not affected. Other examples include accommodations for people who are Blind, Deaf, or hard of hearing.

  • Hearing, Visual, and Tactical (touch)
    • Having hearing or visual aids available.
    • Images have alt-text or image descriptions.
    • Videos are captioned.
    • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) or ASL interpretation is provided, upon request.
    • Alternative formats of materials such as braille, digital, easily read (plain language with pictures), or large print.
  • Chemical and Light Sensitives
    • Fragrance free location and notices.
    • Notices regarding no flash photography or lighting.
    • Working heat or air conditioning
    • Providing noise cancelling headphones, upon request

Cognitive Accessibility

Considerations for the information provided for and presented at the event. Efforts should be made to ensure that all materials and information are provided in alternative formats and clear, plain language. This also includes letting people know what to expect in advance.

  • As appropriate, provide pre-printed nametags in an accessible font with consideration to the font size.
  • Presentations should be presented in various methods, i.e., written and verbal instructions, visual aids, drawings, charts, pictorials, etc.
  • Presentation lengths, as appropriate, should be around an hour and a half for multi session events.
  • Appropriate break times should be scheduled between presentations.
  • A provided location or enough space for individuals to move around to stretch or do other stimulating activities in between sessions or at breaks.

Conflicting Access Needs

An access need is a support or accommodation a person needs to communicate, learn, and participate fully in an activity. People need different things to participate. Sometimes the needs of two different individuals may conflict.

If these situations arise, work with both parties (individually) to find ways to address both concerns. If the issue persists, the Office of Accommodations and Accessible Services may be reached for additional guidance.

Phone: (479) 575-6208
Fax: (479) 575-7637

Physical Address:

346 N. West Avenue
Fayetteville, AR 72701