[nfbmi-talk] was this followed last mcb meeting or anyfor that matter?

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Sat Apr 2 22:28:33 UTC 2011

DLEG Procedures for Planning Accessible Meetings and Events


These procedures and resources are for use with the Accessible Meetings and Events Policy effective March 31, 2005, and pertain to meetings and events sponsored and planned in whole or in part by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth.  These procedures will be revised and updated as approved by the DLEG ADA coordinator. 


Meeting/Event Planning Procedures


1. Know your audience.  Do you know all the persons (and their abilities) coming to the event?  Is it an event only for those invited or registered, or is it an event open to the public without pre-registration?  If you know the audience, this will help with planning, but remember that (for example) anyone could suddenly need to use crutches on a temporary basis.  If people register for your event, you have the opportunity for them to alert you to their accommodation needs and you can provide precisely what is requested.  Otherwise, you need to prepare for the unknown by having an accessible site, materials on hand in alternative formats and a sign language interpreter in case one is needed.  


2. Site selection.  If possible, the bureau planning the meeting or event should conduct an onsite visit of the location or proposed location to determine accessibility, including factors such as parking, meeting rooms, elevators, restrooms, and others which may have an effect on participation in the event.  If it is not possible for bureau staff to do an on-site visit, staff from a partner organization (such as one of Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living, for example) may be able to provide information about the proposed location based on a visit or past experience.


3. Transportation, parking and getting into and around the facility.  Think about approaching your event or meeting from private automobiles, taxis, or public transportation.  Any barriers in the event location?  Are there enough accessible parking spaces for the event?  Any security issues that require advance arrangements for guest parking?  Are there accessible paths of travel (with ramps, curb cuts and elevators where needed) from the parking area to meeting rooms to restrooms to other sites for the event, including a minimum 36 inches of clearance through doorways for the path of travel. 


4.             Access statement.  In press releases, advertisements, publications and other information about the event, include a statement such as this:  The meeting site is accessible, including handicapped parking.  Individuals attending the meeting are requested to refrain from using heavily scented personal care products, in order to enhance accessibility for everyone.  People with disabilities requiring additional accommodations such as information in alternative formats in order to participate in the meeting should contact (name) at (contact information) at least (number) workdays before the event.


Before sending this out, it is important to verify that the site actually is accessible and that there is adequate handicapped parking as estimated for your event.  


The deadline for requesting additional accommodations or alternative formats must allow time for participants to find out about the event and for you to respond to requests.  If there isn’t time to receive and respond to specific requests for accommodations, staff need to prepare for any accommodation need.


Have a generous timeline.  Publicize the meeting early enough (10 days in advance recommended) for people needing accommodations to request them, and for you to provide them.  Know when people will actually receive the meeting announcement. 


5. Seating.  Designate barrier-free seating locations for people with disabilities dispersed throughout the seating area.  Have adequate open spaces for individuals using wheelchairs, seats with a clear view of sign language interpreters for people who are deaf, and seating close to the podium or stage for individuals with limited vision.  Room layout should allow full participation in planned activities.  For example, if activities require moving from table to table, allow enough space between tables for people using a wheelchair or mobility aids.


6. Accessible information throughout the event.  This includes speeches, PowerPoint and other presentations, flip charts, hand-outs, films, videos and other information.  For example, accommodations may include sign language interpreters, assistive listening systems, and/or real-time captioning for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.  People who are blind or visually impaired may need materials in alternative formats such as large print, Braille, audiotape, and/or a computer disc.  The information should be available during the event, and not sent after the fact.



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