All Oregon State University entities are responsible for ensuring that their programs, services, and activities are accessible. This webpage attempts to help guide you through the process.

Why is Accessibility Important?

As a university we strive to be inclusive to all members of our community, including the 1:31 students who have a registered disability and many other members of our community with disabilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act Oregon State University is required to provide access to programs and services to all qualified participants regardless of disability. Considering accessibility when planning events can benefit the experience of all participants by creating a more inclusive event. Also, many accessibility checks, such as good lighting and sound, wide walkways, captioning, etc., can benefit everyone.

Advertisements and Print Material Access

Event Advertisement Requirements

All event advertisements must include a statement describing how to request accessibility accommodations. This includes brochures, flyers, position announcements, web flyers, email blasts, Facebook event pages, OSU Today event ads, etc.

  • Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by [specific date] to [sponsoring department contact person, phone number, and email address]. More than one contact method is useful, or at least an email address, since not everyone uses telephone lines.

Please note that a general statement is included in print templates consistent with brand identity guidelines.

A specific date section is included because it is reasonable for you as the program organizer to know in a timely manner if folks need an accommodation. Determining how much time to require is case by case, as events that are advertised months in advance, or events that have registration deadlines, have more lead time to require a response. Events that are advertised a week or two before the event may need to allow for accommodation requests up to a few days before the event to give folks a reasonable amount of time to see the advertisement and respond.

If an accommodation has already been secured, such as a sign language interpreter or specific equipment, note that in the advertisements as well. For example:

  • FM amplification systems are available.
  • Sign language interpreting will be provided at the April 15th performance.

Additional considerations for event advertising include

  • Follow OSU Brand Guidelines, the downloadable templates have been designed to be accessible as much as possible
  • Printed advertisements should be legible and sized so they can be read from a distance
  • Contrast should be provided between text and background colors
  • If only considering printed advertisements, consider how those who are blind or low-vision can access the advertisements
  • How accessible are your social media advertisements, videos, images, etc.

Print Material Access

  • Informational publications are considered any educational or informative materials and include brochures, pamphlets, reports, catalogs, etc. All informational publications should include the following statement:

    • This publication will be made available in an accessible alternative format upon request. Please contact [sponsoring department contact name, phone number, and email address].­

  • Consider designing handouts in a way that allows for large-print, so copies can be provided at the event for low-vision folks
  • If using visual materials like PowerPoint, learn more about how to use accessible PowerPoint techniques. Consider posting these materials on a website so participants can follow along or read ahead of time

General Facility access Considerations

  • Transit and Parking

    • How would someone get to the building?

    • Nearby ADA designated parking
    • Closest transit stops
  • Route and Entrance
    • Route from ADA parking and transit to entrance is flat and paved, or
    • A ramp is available where exterior steps lead to entrance
    • Clear signage to an accessible entrance (if main entrance is inaccessible) is present
    • The door has a lever style handle (not a knob) and is relatively light, if the door is not automatic or held open
  • Interior Event Location
    • An elevator exists where programs are not on the main floor
    • The furniture is movable, or in fixed seating areas, accessible seating options are available for participants with mobility disabilities
    • Interior walkways are at least 36” wide, doors are at least 32" wide
    • There is plenty of space to maneuver around tables
    • The lighting is good
    • The acoustics are good, and in rooms where audio will be amplified (microphones), assistive listening devices are available for participants who are hard of hearing
    • Stage and projector screen is easily visible (if in use)
    • Restrooms with accessible stalls are located near event location(s)
    • Clear signage indicates location of accessible restrooms and elevators
    • Electric cords crossing walkways are covered

Event Set-Up

  • How does a disabled visitor know how to get to accessible seating, the stage, etc.?

  • Ensure temporary structures used by the public allow for access (tents, booths, stages, tables, food, displays, activities, etc.)

  • One route connecting accessible features is at least 36" wide
  • If no accessible seating exists, or you are arranging for seating, how will you ensure accessible locations?
  • Accessible paths are safe (no wires, cables, plants, or other protruding objects). Cable tray locations need to be considered carefully.

Communication Access

  • How will people with disabilities be included in all communications at the event?

  • Orient all to the event site, layout, and navigation.

  • Provide accessible communication systems (FM systems, captioning, interpreters) as needed
  • Consider providing captioning on all videos proactively versus waiting for an accommodation request
  • Reserve seating near front for participants who are Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Know how to request interpreters or transcribers in advance, budget for these potential needs
  • Determine where interpreters or transcribers will be located (near presenter(s)/stage, with appropriate lighting, seating close by)
  • Can advance copies of information be available for participants and interpreters

Conferences or Program Registration Forms

Registration materials should include a statement describing procedures for requesting accommodations as described in Event Advertising Requirements.

To help with advanced planning consider including the following on registration materials:

___Wheelchair accessible lodging

___Dietary restrictions

___Electrical power source for recharging batteries (specify voltage)

___Assistive devices (specify types)

___Sign language interpreter

___Real-time captioning

___Assistive listening devices (specify types)

___Audio-taped materials

___Sighted guides for assistance to and from specific sessions

___Large print


___Other (specify)

  • Please indicate the accommodation(s) that you need for your conference stay:

If lodging and/or meals are coordinated through the event, an opportunity must be provided to request accommodations related to diet and lodging.

When talking to hotels:

  • Check with hotels to ensure they understand the level of their accessibility and have procedures for providing access to their facilities
  • Determine an alternative plan for meeting rooms or facilities that are not accessible.

Responding to Accommodation Requests

As accommodation requests are made for your conference, program, services, or event, your next step is to communicate with the requestor, and provide the requested services.

Typical accommodations include:

  • Preferential seating
  • Portable amplification systems
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Captioned media
  • Alternative formats (large print, braille, electronic copies) of printed materials
  • Program location to a more accessible space

For questions regarding event accommodation requests, policies, or accessibility in general please contact Equal Opportunity and Access. Where you are unsure what to do, or feel like an accommodation is not possible, you should contact EOA to help you determine next steps before you communicate with the requestor. Disability Access Services may also help with some accommodations for students, student events, and for interpreting and transcribing. These two offices often collaborate on who is best positioned to help with questions.

Additional Resources