Programmatic & Venue Accessibility

Venue Accessibility

The building location and event space or meeting room should be accessible to all attendees:

  • Choose a location with accessible entrances, ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms.

  • The room, seating, and aisle spacing should be arranged so that attendees who are blind or have low vision, use a wheelchair or other mobility devices can move about safely and independently.

  • Attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing may need reserved seating near the speaker, interpreters, or captioning.

  • If tables or desks are used, ensure that adjustable-height options are available.

  • Event organizers should be available during the event to inform attendees about the location of accessible restrooms, elevators, building location, and room set up.

The number of chairs removed for wheelchairs depends on the total seating (see table below); Wheelchair locations should be integrated with the general seating areas. Companion seating should be available next to wheelchair locations

Wheelchair Seating Locations

Assembly areas with fixed seating, e.g. theaters, stadiums, etc., must provide a range of built-in seating locations so people using wheelchairs can choose where to position themselves to view activities or performances. The number of wheelchair locations required is related to seating capacity and, with some exceptions, must be dispersed within conventional seating areas so patrons have a choice of ticket price. These goals also should be met or exceeded in assembly areas where moveable chairs are used for the temporary event.

Capacity of Seating in Assembly Areas Number of Required Wheelchar Seating Locations
4 to 25 1
26 to 51 2
51 to 150 4
151 to 300 5
301 to 501 6
501 to 5000 6, plus 1 for each 150, or fraction thereof
5001 and over 36, plus 1 for each 200, or fraction thereof

Service Animals

Service animals should generally be permitted at events, however, emotional support animals generally are not. For more information, please refer to Northwestern's Service, Assistance, and Other Animals Policy

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