Choosing the location

  • Did you do a site visit before booking a location? (You'll want to check the location's accessible features for yourself.)
  • Is any renovation or construction work scheduled during the time of your event? (This may affect accessibility.)
  • Is the staff of the facility trained in providing disability positive/neutral accessible customer service?

Exterior Access


  • Are the signs for the street address or building name:
    • clearly visible from the street?
    • well lit at night (for evening events)?


  • Are there a reasonable number of accessible parking spots available for the estimated number of attendees with disabilities? If not, can you arrange for more designated parking spaces close to the building during the event? Is there accessible metered parking or public parking lots with accessible spaces close by?
  • Are designated parking spots for people with disabilities on a firm, slip-resistant surface and located close to the entrance of the building?
  • Is there a curb cut or level access from the parking area to the main entrance?

Sidewalks/Path of Travel

  • Is there a barrier-free path of travel from the parking lot or drop off area to the meeting entrance? Stairs, sudden changes in level, slippery or unstable ground can impede accessibility.
  • Are ramps gradual in slope and have handrails on both sides?
  • For safety reasons, are sidewalks separate from roads and driveways?

Accessible Transit

  • Can attendees get to the event using accessible transit?
  • Is there are drop-off area in front to the building? Is the drop-off area protected (i.e. under an awning)?


Interior Access

Entrances and lobbies

  • Are entrances (especially the main entrance) wide enough for people using a wheelchair or scooter?
  • If the main entrance is not accessible, is there a sign, clearly visible at the front of the building indicating the location of an accessible entrance?
  • Are entrances well lit? Are they away from isolated areas?
  • Is entry only through locked doors with buzzers or bells that must be pushed?
  • Are door handles easy to open? Ideally doors should have lever handles and be equipped with an automatic door opened. Having to turn a door knob can be difficult for people with physical disabilities, such as arthritis.
  • Are there signs in the lobby that clearly indicate where in the building the meeting is being held?
  • Are signs large enough and clear enough so that people with low vision can read them?
  • Are signs mounted at a comfortable height so that people who use wheelchairs can read them?
  • Can you arrange for staff or volunteers to be at entrances and throughout the facility to help people with disabilities to the meeting room?
  • Are emergency exits accessible and easily found?


  • Are elevators located close to the meeting room? Are the elevators large enough to accommodate people who use wheelchairs and scooters?
  • Are there enough elevators to safely and conveniently transport the number of attendees who use mobility devices?
  • Do elevators have Braille buttons and raised numerals for people who are blind or have low vision?
  • Are the elevator controls mounted at a comfortable height for a person using a wheelchair or scooter?
  • Does the elevator have an auditory signal to alert people who are blind or have low vision?
  • Does the elevator have a visual cue system in each elevator lobby to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing?

Accessible Restrooms

  • Do restroom doors have a raised (tactile) male or female sign or Braille lettering?
  • Are restroom doors equipped with an automatic or push button door opener?
  • Are restrooms large enough to accommodate people who use scooters and power wheelchairs? Do restrooms have at least one accessible stall?
  • Is there at least one accessible unisex/companion/family restroom on the same floor as the event? Remember: A minimum of a five-foot turning radius is needed for wheelchair users to maneuver without restriction.
  • Can someone using a wheelchair or a scooter reach the faucets and turn the water on using one hand?
  • Are restroom accessories and dispensers also within easy reach of a person using a wheelchair or scooter?
  • Are the accessible restrooms located near the meeting rooms?

Hallways and corridors

  • Are major hallways and all essential doorways throughout the facility wide enough to accommodate people using wheelchairs and scooters?
  • Are the interior doors easy to open with one hand without having to twist the wrist?
  • Do floor coverings (such as low pile carpeting, hardwood flooring or tile) allow people using mobility aids (such as wheelchairs and scooters) to easily move through the facility?

 Meeting and conference rooms

  • Is the meeting room located on the building entry floor?
  • Is the meeting room large enough to provide circulation and seating for an adequate or anticipated number of participants who use wheelchairs, scooters, guide dogs or other mobility aids?
  • Is accessible seating available throughout the meeting space?
  • Are the reception/refreshment areas located in an area large enough to easily accommodate people who use wheelchairs, scooters, guide dogs or other mobility aids?
  • Are the stages and speaking areas, including lectern or podium, accessible to people using wheelchairs and scooters?
  • Is there a well-lit space for the sign language interpreters?
  • Are there any background noises (ventilation systems, noise from adjacent rooms etc.) which may be distracting?
  • If the meeting room has windows, are there drapes or blinds that can be used to reduce light or glare?
  • Are cables, wires and microphones are well secured and away from aisles and other traffic areas?
  • Have you reminded guest speakers and exhibitors to provide printed handout materials in alternative formats should they be requested ahead of time?

Refreshment and dietary arrangements

  • Are you giving participants an opportunity to indicate any dietary needs ahead of time (i.e. when registering for the event)?
  • Where beverages are being served, are bendable straws, lightweight dinnerware and lightweight cups available within easy reach of people using wheelchairs or scooters?
  • Are sugar-free beverages, juices and water available for people with dietary concerns such as diabetes?
  • If food is provided buffet style, will someone be on hand to help serve people who have visual and physical disabilities?
  • If pastries and cookies are on the menu, will you also have fresh fruits and vegetables available for people with dietary concerns?

Invitations and promotional materials

  • Are your invitations, registration and promotional materials for your event accessible, acronym free/defined and include Universal Design (UD) principles?
  • Are you providing invitations and event information in alternate formats for people or organizations that require or request them (i.e. Braille, electronically, large print, on accessible website)?
  • Do the invitation and promotional materials include a note that lets participants request any additional accommodations they may need?
  • Are you using person first language?

Accessible communications

Making sure information is accessible involves more than just providing alternate formats to print. You'll have to consider how you will make oral presentations available to people with auditory disabilities.

  • Have you arrange for a sign language interpreter and/or real-time cautioner?
  • On your print materials, have you included information that your materials are available in alternative formats, as well as information on how to obtain them?
  • Have you produced the appropriate quantities of accessible format documents you will need according to the anticipated audience? For example, if your audience is geared towards seniors, you may want to produce a greater number of printed materials in large print.

For a trade show or exhibit with an anticipated general public event size of 500 attendees, here is a guide to help you figure out quantities:.

  • fOne Braille copy for display
  • Two Braille copies for distribution
  • One large print copy for display
  • Five large print copies for distribution
  • Five electronic copies for distribution with large print/Braille labels. Consider thumb drive or CD format.
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Building Exterior

Off-Street Parking/Passenger Loading Zone


Number of accessible parking spaces,  (see Appendix A) # Required Spaces




*At least one van space, 96"space with 96"access aisle/132"space with 60", 114"vertical clearance)


Sign at parking space, International Access Symbol, white on blue, “Van Accessible” for van space


Built-up curb ramps do not project into access and parking spaces.


*Level Slope < 1:48, firm, and non-slip surface. Slope < 1:48


*Curb-cut, ramp or level area to walkway


*If surface unpaved, then size of gravel < 0.3 inches


Closest parking space to accessible entrance. Crosses vehicular traffic lane?







Directional signage to accessible entrance, at non-accessible entrance


Passenger drop off or loading zone with accessible route or travel to building



Proximity to Public Transportation


Bus stop within 1-2 blocks. Approximate Distance


Bus available evenings







* Level, firm, non-slip surface from bus stop to primary accessible building entrance, maximum slope of 1:12


*Curb cut, ramp, or level area to walkway (see Walkways). Note: handrails required if slope > 1:20 and the rise is >6"




44" minimum exterior width


*Max. slope of 1:12 (Up to 1:8 permissible for rises < 3"  Up to 1:10 for rises < 6")  preferably 1" to 20" (can carry a latte in your lap and go down ramp without spilling)


Level (slope >1:20) or ramped from parking to primary accessible entrance


Level, firm, non-slip surface with no drop-offs, grass or soil meet sidewalk


Walkways free of obstructions that protrude > 4" (higher than 27"or < 80")


Walkways free of grating openings larger than 1/2", openings perpendicular to path of travel.


Threshold 1/4" maximum, or 1/2" if beveled


*Essential for an accessible meeting



Building Exterior (Cont’d)


Ramps (exterior)


Maximum slope of 1':12' (no more than 30' between landings); slope 1':20' (40' between landings)


*Landings at top and bottom of run, Landings shall be level and be 60"in direction of travel


*Graspable handrails provided, 34"- 38" high (Slope 1:20, or rise < 6" no handrails required.)


Handrails 1-1/2" diameter and 1-1/2" from wall


Firm, non-slip surface


44" minimum exterior width




*Graspable handrails provided on both sides, 34" - 38" high, properly secured


Handrails 1-1/2" diameter and 1-1/2" from wall


Uniform riser height and tread width


5' x 5' level landings on top and bottom


Contrast on stairs and landings


Adequate lighting on stairs


*No open risers (steps).  No hanging stairwells, unless cane detectable barriers are provided underneath.


Entrances (exterior)


*At least one primary entrance accessible, door 32"clear opening


Threshold height 1/4" maximum, 1/2" if beveled.  If not, actual height is




An 18" clear maneuvering space at the pull side of the door


Level and unobstructed area 5' x 5' both sides of door


Lever or loop-type door handles


Door opening pressure 8.5 lbs. maximum, or Automatic door openers


*Alternate accessible entrance for a revolving door


Sign indicating accessible entrance


Directional signage at inaccessible entrances designating the accessible entrance


*Essential for an accessible meeting


Building Interior


Interior Doors and Corridors


*Firm, non-slip surface (no loose or deep pile carpet, maximum pile thickness < 1/2")


*Doors have a minimum clear opening width of 32"          


*An 18" clear maneuvering space at the pull side of the door


*Lever or loop-type handles, path to meeting room


*Door pressure 5 lbs. Maximum, or Automatic door


*Corridors have a clear width of 36"


Wall-mounted objects protruding 4" or greater (located within 27" - 80" from the floor) have barriers detectable by individuals using a white cane.  Wall mounted objects protruding less than 4" or higher than 80"from the floor, no detectable barrier required


Adequate lighting in corridors, provide uniform illumination


Ramps (interior)


*Maximum slope of 1':12' (no more than 30' of rise between level landings)


*5' x 5' level landings on top and bottom


*Graspable handrails provided, 34" - 38" high


*Handrails 1-1/2" diameter and 1-1/2" from wall


*Firm, non-slip surface


*36" minimum interior width




*Door has 36" minimum clear opening


*Size of elevator floor at least 54" x 68"


*Serves all floors and public meeting areas


*Highest control buttons 48" maximum (54" built before 2002), emergency controls 35"


*Audible and visible signals, hallway and elevator interior


Controls have raised Arabic numerals and Braille identification


Exterior call buttons 35"max


Floor levels indicated on door jambs by raised numerals placed no more than 60" high


Elevator doors remain fully open for 5 seconds minimum


*Reopening device that will reopen a car door automatically if the door becomes obstructed


*Visible and audible signal provided at each entrance to indicate which car is answering a call


*Essential for an accessible meeting

Building Interior (Cont’d)


Public Telephones (where provided)


*At least one telephone/floor usable wheelchair accessible open space in front at least 30" by 48"


*Highest operable part 48" maximum side or forward approach


27" high clear knee space


Handset cord length at least 29"


All public telephones are required to have volume control


TTY in bank of 4 or more


Water Fountains (where provided)


*At least one fountain on accessible route of travel


Maximum spout no higher than 36" from floor


Spout located at front of unit with water projecting parallel


Hand operated control (push or lever) within 5" of the front of the fountain


27" clear knee space


If no knee space, then at least 30" x 48" clear floor space provided for parallel approach *Essential for an accessible meeting


*Essential for an accessible meeting





Public Restrooms



Women          Men       (One restroom may be accessible while another is not, check both)





*On accessible route of travel from or to meeting room





*At least one accessible stall in each restroom. Or unisex restroom available





Ambulatory accessible toilet stalls (required when six or more water closets are available in a restroom)





*High contrast, non-glare sign, raised and Braille between 48" - 60" from floor, located on latch side of door





Signs at inaccessible restrooms giving directions to accessible restrooms





*Entry 32" minimum clear width





*Accessible stall doors 32" minimum clear width





*Door pressure 5 lbs. maximum





*Stall width 60" wide x 56" wall mounted, 60" x 59"floor mounted toilet 





Minimum 48" width next to toilet on one side





*Grab bars side and back, 33" - 36" above and parallel to floor





Grab bars 1-1/2" diameter and 1-1/2" from wall





*Toilet seat 17" - 19" high





5' x 5' diameter clear floor space to turn around (by mirrors or sink area)





Bottom of mirror, top of shelf, towel and all other types of dispensers at 40" maximum from floor





Soap and towel dispensers and hand dryer adjacent to the sink





27" clear knee space under basin





Insulation of exposed pipes under sinks





*Lever-type faucets (or automatic)





* Lever-type door hardware, entry door and on accessible stall and urinal





Elongated urinal within 17" of floor


*Essential for an accessible meeting



Meeting Rooms and Common Use Areas


Meeting Rooms – Room # / Name of room: __________________________________

(please complete for each meeting room to be used)




High contrast signage with non-glare finish, Raised and Braille at 48"- 60", latch side of door


*Ramps for raised platforms, speaking areas


Top of table 28" - 34" from floor


Clear knee space for tables (minimum 27" high x 30" wide x 19" deep)


Public Address System with Assistive Listening equipment


Assistive Listening Equipment (identified by signage)


Low noise level (inside and outside)


Uniform lighting


*Meeting and other functions provided in nonsmoking areas


*Firm, non-slip surface (no loose or deep pile carpet)


*If Audible, then visible alarm system


Fixed Seating Only (auditorium)


For auditoriums, integrated wheelchair seating, a minimum of one, for 4-25 seats


Number of wheelchair spaces required _________

(See Appendix A Wheelchair Spaces Required in Assembly Areas)


Minimum space 33" x 48" for rear or forward access, 33" x 60" for side access


*Unobstructed viewing position from wheelchair seating


Aisles at least 36" having seating on one side of aisle, 42" with seating on both sides


Integrated seating, people using wheelchairs can sit next others, accessible seating dispersed through out auditorium.


*Essential for an accessible meeting



Meeting Rooms and Common Use Areas (Cont’d)


Common Use Areas


*Restaurant /coffee shops, gift shops, ATM, lobby, vending machines, copy machines and other common use areas accessible to persons with disabilities. (entrance, seating, counter height, reach range, 48" )


  Problem Areas:








Audible alarm system


Visible alarm system


Smoking policy or restrictions in common use areas


Maintenance/remodeling at time of meeting


Swimming Pool Access


*Essential for an accessible meeting


Hotel/Motel Guest Rooms


Hotel/Motel Guest Rooms


Number of standard guest rooms


*Number of accessible guest rooms (Accessible hotel or motel guest rooms should be provided at the rate of one for every 25 guest rooms or fraction thereof.  Rooms should be dispersed in single, double and suite rooms.)


*Number of accessible rooms with roll-in showers


Number of accessible guest rooms located near the elevators


Number of nonsmoking guest rooms


*Raised and Braille signage 48" to 60" above floor on latch side of door


*High contrast signage with non-glare finish


Wheelchair Accessible Rooms


*Entry 32" minimum clear opening width


*Lever-type hardware on doors


* Telephone and other controls easily reached from bed and accessible route of travel


Closet rods, switches, heat and air conditioning controls within reach ranges


Drapery controls easily operable and on accessible route of travel


*Door lock opens with a key easily operable by one hand without tight gripping or twisting


* Interior security lock easily operable with a closed fist and located within reach ranges


Windows operable with a closed fist


Rooms for Persons with Hearing Impairments


Number of rooms for persons with hearing impairments


Visible alarm system, portable or permanent


Telephone has volume controls and hearing aid compatible


Electrical outlet within 48" of the telephone


Visual notification of incoming calls and door bell


Closed caption decoders on TV preferred


Number of portable systems (include visible alarm system, TDDs, visual notification of incoming calls, door bell, and alarm clock)


*Essential for an accessible meeting

Hotel/Motel Guest Rooms (Cont’d)




*Doorway 32" minimum clear opening width


*Lever or loop-type door handles


5' diameter clear floor space in toilet room


*Grab bars side and back, 33" - 36" above and parallel to floor


*Grab bars 1-1/2" diameter and 1-1/2" from wall


*Toilet seat 17" -19" high


Bottom of mirror, top of shelf, towel, and other dispensers 40" maximum from floor


29" clear knee space under basin


Insulated water pipes under lavatory


*Lever-type faucets at 17" from front of counter


Accessible Tubs and Showers


*Grab bars for tubs _____ showers ______


*Portable or in tub seat 12" in width, extending width of tub and mounted securely


*Tub controls operable with a closed fist


5' minimum long flexible shower hose with a lower hook or hanger


Roll in shower 30" x 60" (may include a fold down seat)


Shower stall 36" x 36" with seat


Seat mounted 17-19" above the floor, extending depth of stall, located on wall opposite controls, mounted 1-1/2" from shower wall, and no more than 16" in width


*Shower control operable with a closed fist


*Essential for an accessible meeting



Hotel/Motel Guest Rooms (Cont’d)



Please note any problems with access that you observed, or additional comments that will assist you in your selection of the most accessible facility in the area you are considering holding a meeting:

















Summary of changes needed prior to the meeting: