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Accessible Event Planning

Making your event accessible to all participants supports UC San Diego's mission of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

For individuals with disabilities, accessibility means an event that is free from physical, electronic, and attitudinal barriers. Events may include a guest speaker series, film screenings, or theatrical and musical performances, to name a few.

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with basic information as you plan your event, using Universal Design principles for learning and instruction.

Before the Event

Event Registration

  • How can attendees request reasonable accommodations to fully participate via the registration process?
  • Have presenters been asked if they need reasonable accommodation for delivery of their content?
  • Have presenters been informed of ways to make presentations accessible and inclusive for all audience members?

Reasonable Accommodation Expenses

  • The hosting group and/or department is responsible for any expense related to reasonable accommodations or accessible solutions.
  • Have funds been allocated in the budget to cover the cost of accessibility features? If not, should the registration fee be increased to cover the expense of reasonable accommodation?
  • Funding for reasonable accommodations or accessible solutions may be requested from your VC area.

Inclusive Registration Process

  • Include information about accessibility, American Sign Language (ASL) & Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART).
  • Flyers, if distributed electronically, should be screen-reader compatible, with an accompanying text-only version.
  • Include the following text prominently in event announcements:
For general information or to request reasonable accommodations, contact Insert Name by Date, via: (XXX) XXX-XXXX or email:

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Service animals specifically trained to assist a person with a disability are welcome. No other animals, including pets, therapy animals, or emotional support animals, are allowed.

Presentation Access

During the Presentation

  • Time your presentation carefully to avoid rushing.
  • Face the audience and speak slowly and clearly.
  • Use the microphone and repeat all questions before answering.
  • During event screenings and for any online purposes, use captioned films and videos.
  • Preview any videos before the presentation to assure accuracy of captioning.
  • Describe images or photographs verbally.

Accessible Presentation Materials

  • Have you considered making a small supply of enlarged print copies of publications, event program, handouts, etc. for those who may request it?
  • Have you arranged for handouts, surveys, programs, etc. to be put in alternative formats? (Accessible PDF/Word)
  • If materials/forms are to be filled out at the event, are there readers and/or scribes available?
  • If presenters will be sharing PowerPoint slides or videos with the audience electronically, confirm that the information provided is in a fully accessible format.

Physical Access

Note: If you answer no to any of the following questions, consider changing the venue.


  • Is accessible parking available and is directional signage in place?
  • Is there an accessible route from parking/drop-off to the entrance? (Recommended distance not to exceed 200 feet)

Pathway Doors/Entrance

  • Is at least one of the primary entrances accessible? If not, is the route to the accessible entrance well marked?
  • If there are stairs to the venue or stage, there must also be a ramp or lift.
  • Is there an automatic door?
  • Is there an evacuation plan for persons with disabilities?
  • Are all accessible routes free of protruding objects?


  • Are accessible restrooms available and well marked with directional signage?

Meeting Rooms

  • If the meeting/event venue is on an upper floor, is there an elevator or lift?
  • Is the stage accessible with a ramp or wheelchair lift?

Interpreting and Captioning

  • Have you arranged for an interpreter or real time captionist to be present at your event?


Service Providers

Need a captioning or American Sign Language (ASL) provider? Check out the vendors list.

Need Help?

DisAbility Counseling and Consulting (DCC) staff are available for consultation. Contact (858) 534-6743 or