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Event Accessibility

Student organizations on campus shall strive to be as accessible as possible to everyone no matter their ability. In an effort to aid you in keeping your club functions and events as accessible as possible this page will provide a number of accessibility tips and resources. Please consult these tips and resources whenever planning an event to ensure that everything you have planned is accessible and truly benefits all of the campus community. If you have any questions or are looking for additional information, please email the Office of Student Activities at

  • Space Reservation/Planning
    • Site Visits: Conduct an early site visit to evaluate and determine access related to: entrances and elevators, restrooms (accessible, all-gender), parking, and wheelchair accessible seating/paths. Make sure the site you choose to hold an event is as accessible in all areas as possible. If the site you are visiting is lacking access related to anything, maybe consider choosing a different site.
    • Make sure to review a building's emergency protocol and understand the resources/protocol available for individuals with disabilities in case of an emergency.
  • Publicity
    • Accessibility Statement: Use the University Access Statement on all promotional materials: “If you require disability accommodation for this event, contact [include name and email of event planner/club leader/advisor here]” Indicate how access will be provided via interpreting captioning, listening devices, audio description, golf cart transportation around campus, various dietary options, etc. This statement is required on all posters that go up on campus.
    • Online Text Descriptions: Make sure all online publicity and media is accompanied by a text description of the graphic/poster/photo. This will allow students with screen readers to understand what's going on. Ex.) Instagram Posts
    • Avoid ableist language in all promotional materials, have a diverse group of project planners review all publicity before publishing.
    • Use appropriately sized fonts and backgrounds that may obscure text and make it harder for individuals to read and get your message.
  • Technology
    • Microphone/Volume: Always use a microphone, even if you only have a few attendees.
    • Text Description and Captions: Include text description of all images in PowerPoints; describe images and explain slide content when presenting the material. If playing a video, make sure the captions are turned on.
    • Accommodate technology: laptops, tablets, and assistive technologies are basic accessibility features and should not be limited.
    • If an event is being filmed, give individuals an option to opt out of being on camera. This can be done with different colored name tags or lanyards to distinguish who is comfortable being filmed/photographed and who is not during an event.
  • Food
    • Consider signage and event marketing that indicates your event aims to be as allergy and scent free as possible. If serving food, work to accommodate guests’ dietary restrictions.
    • If buffet-style food is served: Place a menu at the beginning of the line with what food items are available and any dietary restrictions for each item, clearly mark common allergens on dishes and keep specialized options separate, and consider having multiple lines for better flow and accessibility.
  • General Planning
    • Event Timing: Consider the date and time of your event to minimize access barriers related to length of event, number of breaks available throughout the day, availability of transportation, and religious observances.
    • “Emergency” Preparedness: Identify specific people who can help with immediate access needs that arise during an event: for example, space navigation, microphone runner, contact with WITS.
    • Consider bodily movement: can people make bathroom visits, sit on the floor or stand in alternative locations? When you begin an event, tell attendees to make themselves as comfortable in the room as they can and provide examples such as “stand up, stretch, sit on the floor.”
    • Repeat names and questions during any Q&A: state your name, repeat questions into the microphone, face your fellow participants, and avoid covering/gesturing super close to your face.
    • Assign an accessibility coordinator to ensure an accessible event. A coordinator should take care of all accessibility events, request/reserve any interpreters, captioning, or audio-visual equipment, and coordinate any other accessibility needs for an event.
    • Consider including a checklist of accessibility accommodations that students can select if your event involves a reservation or interest form. This can help you ensure all accommodations for an event are met.
Willamette University

Student Engagement and Leadership

Putnam University Center, Second Floor
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6463 voice
503-370-6407 fax