Event Planner Responsibilities

Event organizers are responsible for coordinating and funding accessibility requests for all attendees of any University-affiliated event held on or off campus. Events should be planned with accessibility in mind in order to minimize the potential for last-minute event changes or additional costs.

Accommodation Budget

Accessibility and accommodation costs should be included as a budget item for all meetings, conferences, and events on campus. The accommodation funding source(s) should be determined during the planning stages of the event. Event organizers should also set up their own accounts with interpreting and captioning agencies.

If you are unsure how to estimate the cost of specific accommodations (Sign Language interpreters, real-time captioning, assistive listening devices, copies of PowerPoint presentations, large print or braille), AccessibleNU can help you estimate the cost to your budget and proactively identify resources. However, AccessibleNU is not budgeted to cover the costs associated with event accommodations.

Designating a Point of Contact for Accommodations

The Northwestern department(s) or organization(s) sponsoring the event should identify a contact person who is knowledgeable about the event details and will coordinate all accommodation requests. This is especially important for events sponsored by multiple departments or organizations, where diffusion of responsibility can easily occur. The name, phone, and email address for the contact person should be included in the Accessible Events Statement for each event.

On-Site Registration/Day of Event

Registration staff should be informed about how to provide accommodations and where to obtain services.

Event staff should understand the general obligation to provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Staff should be prepared to offer assistance and answer common questions such as:
“Where is the accessible restroom and water fountain?”
“Where is the accessible entrance?”
“Where is the nearest accessible parking location?”
“Where is the seating for individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing?”

Next: Programmatic & Venue Accessibility