Accessible Event Planning


Disability Support Services ensures the civil rights of students with disabilities at CSUF by providing accommodations and services that remove barriers for equal and meaningful access to all classrooms, course materials, structures, and activities. Identifying and removing barriers to access throughout our event planning process results in inclusive and welcoming experiences for our diverse campus community.


An event is any University experience – class, activity, workshop, program, training or field-trip – for any university audience, large or small.


Planning an event provides an opportunity to create experiences that are not just accessible, but welcoming to your diverse audiences. Considering access and inclusion throughout your planning process will help ensure participants have a good experience.

  • Consider accessibility early in your planning. Good planning may not only save you money, but may eliminate the need for retrofitting or individual accommodations.
  • Create a positive experience. When there are barriers to participation, attendees may feel unwelcome and less likely to return or recommend this event to a peer or colleague.
  • Commit to similar, if not identical experiences for disabled and non- disabled participants. Progress toward inclusion  is a success!
  • Be informed about all aspects of your event!  Be prepared to field all event-related inquiries, including questions about access.

Before the Event

Select an accessible location that features:

  • Accessible parking and drop-off areas (indicated with signage containing the updated Disability Access Symbol).
  • A paved and flat route to and from the main entrance, as well as any outdoor spaces (if possible avoid gravel, uneven surfaces, curbs, and buildings with no functioning elevators).
  • An accessible primary entrance:
    • Is it flat/level or ramped?
    • Does it have either an accessible door or automatic door opener?
  • An accessible room layout, including wheelchair accessible seating so wheelchair-users can sit with friends and participate in event activities. If the presentation area will be used for activities, the route from the seating area should be accessible (clear, wide, no steps).
  • Accessible restrooms (indicated with signage).
  • Adequate space for service animals and/or wheelchair maneuverability, approximately 3–5 ft. wide aisles/routes.
  • Appropriate lighting for the space. Is it Dark enough to see video and bright enough to see a speaker?
  • For amplified sound, with a sufficient amount of devices is available, contact Information Technology (IT) at (657) 278-8888 (student) (657)278 -7777 (staff) for more information.

Training your event staff

 Marketing, Communication and Registration Processes

This statement should be included on all marketing materials, online or printed:

 For questions about access or to request any disability-related accommodations that will facilitate your full participation in our event, please contact: {Event Planner’s name and contact information including an email or phone number} .

 If you need assistance with a disability-related accommodation, you can call the Disability Support Services Office at (657) 278-3112.

Communication Access

  • Captioning is encouraged for videos shown at events and required if requested as a disability accommodation or if there is no registration process for the event.
  • Space for 1–2 American Sign Language Interpreters (ASL) and/or CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) Interpreters should be in front near speaker so deaf individuals can have an unobstructed view of speaker and visuals.


  • If you provide transportation to and/or from the event, ensure that it is wheelchair accessible (has a lift), unless it is an RSVP-only event and no one has requested accessible transportation.

Day of the Event

Mark the following with clear and intuitive signage containing the updated Disability Access Symbol:

  • Entrance/exit
  • Flow of traffic
  • Elevators
  • Parking
  • Restrooms

Physical Layout

  • Arrange space so that all guests can use common routes. Routes are wide, flat/paved and clear of debris.
  • Distribute accessible seating options.
  • Accessible cord covers are used to cover exposed cords or hoses on ground.

Communication Access

  • Try to eliminate any background noise during the event.
  • Captions should be enabled.


  • If providing handouts, have a few large-print copies in at least 18+ font.
  • Use clear fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  • Encourage electronic materials to be distributed in advance.
  • If the event will have ASL Interpreters, provide them with  any handouts, PowerPoints, and other materials at least two business days in advance so they have ample opportunity to prepare.

Service Animals

  • Service dogs are welcome on campus and they do not have to  be  identified by a  vest, nor does the individual have to show any certification.
  • You may only ask two questions about service animals:
    • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
  • Review additonal information about service anmials

Information for Presenters

Event planners should share this information with presenters before the event so they can ensure their presentation and materials are accessible.

  • Consider the accessibility of activities.
    • Is the room set to facilitate everyone’s participation in your activities?
    • Would someone with low vision, limited mobility or hearing loss be able to participate?
    • If your audience is unknown, plan ahead with contingencies.
  • Offer accessible materials/handouts (see Day of Your Event section).
  • When presenting, don’t assume individuals can read what is presented on the slide. Describe all charts, graphs and images, and read all content aloud.
  • Make sure your font is easy to read from the back of a room.  Ensure you are using good color contrast.
  • Videos should have captions enabled or captions should be created.

After the Event

Include questions about access on any event evaluations or assessments. For example:

  • Were you able to request disability-related accommodations?
  • Were you able to fully participate in this event?
  • Do you have feedback on how to make this event more accessible next time?

Reflect on any accessibility-related issues and how to design differently in the future. Consider sharing any feedback with the venue.

Event Planner Checklist

Dowload a PDF of our Accessible Event Planner's ChecklistPDF File to help guide you in making sure your event is accessible.