At the Student Disability Commission, we recognize the importance of an inclusive environment, which involves making sure that on-campus events are as accessible as possible. Most event planners are unaware of the process in order to provide closed-captioning or ASL interpreters, and end up leaving out these important details that make the UW experience more accessible to all. We’re looking to provide a solution to this by making all the relevant information easy to access, right here!
Please see our guide on how to request captioning and interpreters, as well as how to apply for an SDC grant if they are not in your event budget.
Sometimes the best way to make change is to take direct action and provide solutions where they were hard to access before! Now everything you need to know in order to make a completely accessible event will be right here, easily searchable on the ASUW Website.
Some Tips on Making Spaces Accessible:
- Fragrance free — fragrances can make spaces inaccessible for those who are fragrant sensitive. Certain smells can trigger headaches, allergic reactions, or even asthma attacks among others. It is important to keep fragrances at a minimum when possible.
- Spaced out tables — wheelchair users need a bit more space in order to maneuver without running over anyone’s toes, so be sure you make paths between tables and chairs when planning an event! This is also a good tip to make sure that in case of an emergency, everyone can get out safely within a room.
- Food labels — this might not seem disability related, but many people with disabilities have dietary restrictions. If you’re going to serve food, please make sure that everything is labeled! Anyone can have a life-threatening allergy or dietary restriction, and it’s also nice to know what that mystery meat is.
- Avoid flashing lights — quick flashing lights are known to cause seizures, and can also bring on headaches. If your planning something that involves lights, like a dance, try to make sure that they are not blinking to fast!
- Loud noises — in large groups of people, it is hard to avoid a noisy environment, but many people with disabilities have the sensitivity to loud noises. If your event includes speakers with microphones or playing videos, try not to get everyone’s attention with a startling loud noise!
These are some tips to keep in mind when planning an accessible event that anyone can easily follow, and if we missed any, please visit our “Contact Us” page to let us know how we can improve!