Event Planning

Georgetown routinely hosts speakers, symposia, conferences, presentations, performances and other events that educate and enlighten the university community and the public. These events bring us together and create ongoing dialogue that furthers our academic and societal missions. Ensuring that all individuals, including those with disabilities, can participate in and benefit from Georgetown events is fundamental.

Essential Tips:

  1. Plan for Accessibility From the Start: Planning an event should involve careful consideration of the needs of those who have a disability. “Access Intimacy” and inclusion should be the goal. Remember that a significant number of attendees may have a disability. All events should have a designated person who is responsible for accommodations, as well as providing assistance with seating and maintaining clear pathways and making sure captioning and other technology is working. Reach out to the Event Management Office for advice, particularly when planning a large event.
  2. Identify Particular Accessibility Needs: Creating accessible events takes time. Talk to speakers and invited guests about their access needs at the beginning of your planning process. Use an access needs Google form to ensure all speakers, invited guests and community members can participate fully in the event.
  3. Shape Your Spaces: If the event is in-person, create a space with broad aisles, reserved seating options and clear sight-lines to the interpreter and/or captions, filtered or natural light and good signage to exits and accessible restrooms. If the event is online, create a space with captions, ASL interpreters and visual descriptions.
  4. Multiply Modalities: Create as many different types of presentation material as possible: think spoken English, ASL, captioning, printed or digital access copies, plain language and large print versions. 
  5. Publicize Access: Publicize accessibility for your event following the accessible communications reference guide. Be proactive with sharing an accessibility statement ahead of time to include our disabled community members.