In-Person Event Accessibility
*Inclusive practices that are listed on this page with an asterisk are not legally required.
All event materials that are posted in advance should include parking and entrance locations as well as accessible paths between the two. Consider including a hyperlink to the Purchase College Interactive Campus Map, which shows locations of all accessible parking lots and entrances on campus.
Inspect the Event Venue in Advance
Look for these features when inspecting your meeting/event space:
Visibility – Consider those with Impaired Sight
- Clear signage (identifying location and directions)
- Well-lit space and adjacent areas
- Projection screen visible from all seating (if using projection)
Acoustics – Consider those with Hearing Impairments
- Presenter(s) must use a microphone
- Caption audio/video
- Background sound/music that may interfere with event
- Seating available near presenter for lip reading
- Availability of assistive listening devices
- Well-lit space for an interpreter if needed
Mobility – Consider those using Wheelchairs or Other Assistive Devices
- Accessible parking near venue
- Ramp and/or elevator access
- Accessible bathrooms
- Barrier-free pathways (In addition, avoid loose cables or any other tripping hazards in walkways.)
- Wide doorways and aisles to accommodate wheelchairs/scooters
- If using a stage, check for ramp access for presenters with mobility issues.
Note: Not all Purchase College facilities are accessible to those with mobility impairments.
Please use accessible facilities whenever possible.
Technology – Consider those who may need to use Adaptive Devices
- Electrical outlets in accessible seating areas to accommodate devices, laptops, etc.
- Extra space or work surface
Service Animals – Consider Access and Space for Service Animals
- Comfortable space for service animals to rest during event
- Accessible toileting and watering facilities nearby
Consider those with Neurological Impairments
- Strobe lighting may cause seizures for those with neurological impairments. Avoid strobe lighting whenever possible. If strobe lighting is essential to your event, warn attendees prior to its use.
At the Event
At larger events or events with scheduled accommodations, you must designate someone to be responsible for follow-through on accommodation requests, assist with seating, ensure captioning and other technology is working, maintain clear pathways, etc.
Please provide presenters with the following checklist when planning an event:
- Submit materials in advance so that they can be forwarded to individuals who may not be able to view screens or handouts.
- Verbally describe visual materials (e.g., slides, charts, etc.).
- Have printed copies available (in larger font size 15-20; some may even need larger).
- Avoid using small print on presentations. It may be hard to view.
- Ensure speakers (including those asking questions) always use a microphone.
- Activate captions on any video used in the presentation.
- Encourage hourly breaks.
Make sure to repeat questions posed by attendees before responding, especially if attendee is not using a microphone. Although presenters or attendees may express confidence that they are loud enough and do not need a microphone, please advise them to use a microphone.
Clearly indicate allergens and avoid nuts. Provide and label vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. If you receive a request for a food accommodation, you must respond and accommodate the request.
To access captions on videos that contain them, toggle the ‘CC’ button in the video player. This will enable the captions and display them over the video content.
If captions are needed, a request can be made to the Accessibility Committee at least 7 business days prior to the event. Alternatively, for a low cost, you can get short videos or presentations captioned at rev.com. Please note that your department is responsible for all costs related to captioning.
If a participant makes a request for an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, you are legally required to provide one or two, depending on the duration of the event. Also note that if the service is to be provided through a SUNY contract, the vendor must be on the approved list of externally hired vendors.
Before the start of any event, the event coordinator must communicate accessible exits and areas of refuge to all attendees. Note that fire and emergency alarms have both audible and visible signals.
Traveling and Off-Campus Events
In addition to the above, if you are traveling to an event:
- Ensure that off-campus events are accessible.
- Arrange accommodations in advance for attendees who request them.
- Use vehicles that are wheelchair accessible.
Have questions about accommodations or accessibility for your event? Please contact the Accessibility Committee.