Group of people gathering for an event

How to Host an ADA-Compliant Public Event

Hosting a public event that is accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not only the right thing to do but also the law. Enacted in 1990, the ADA ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to public accommodations, including events. In this blog, we’ll discuss some tips for hosting an ADA-compliant public event that remains accessible to all attendees!

Choose an Accessible Venue

The first step in hosting an ADA-compliant event is to choose an accessible venue. It’s essential to scope out a venue that is wheelchair, parking, restroom, and entrance accessible.  Also, check for ramps, elevators, and other accommodations that can make the venue accessible to people with disabilities. On top of being physically accessible, you can ensure that the site is equipped with appropriate lighting and sound systems to assist attendees with hearing or vision impairments.

Plan for Accommodations

Since there is no single way to provide accessibility, you may want to prepare for any and all the accommodations each attendee may need. This could include providing assistive listening devices, on-site sign language interpreters, or closed captioning for events with speakers or presentations to make your event more impactful. 

You may need to provide braille or large-print materials for attendees with vision impairments. According to the Ohio State University ADA Coordinator’s Office, “ All events should have someone designated to be responsible for accommodations as well as help with seating, ensuring captioning and other technologies are working, maintaining clear pathways, or other needs.” This ensures that your event will be inclusive and create a good experience for everyone.

Promote Your Event’s Accessibility

Promoting the accessibility of your event lets attendees know ahead of time that accommodations are available to them. The Ohio State University ADA Coordinator’s Office asserts that including an accommodation statement on all communications (registration forms, flyers, e-mails, advertisements, etc.) will help you effectively communicate your event's inclusivity efforts to interested participants. Keying attendees in on the accessibility of the event allows them to request accommodations in advance and gives you, the event planner, the time to prepare and provide seamless access to guests.

Train Your Staff

All event staff members should know the accommodations available and how to offer them while being respectful to attendees with disabilities. On the event day, specific staff members should be assigned to assist attendees with disabilities. This could include providing wheelchair assistance or escorting attendees to their seats. Having a designated on-site point of contact for attendees with disabilities who need assistance or have questions will make the event run more smoothly. 

Solicit Feedback

Finally, after your event, request feedback from attendees with disabilities to ensure that they felt adequately provided for and that their needs were effectively met. Sending a short survey is a great way to solicit accurate feedback. 

Keep in mind that negative or positive feedback will only help you improve future events and make them more accessible. Putting on the best events possible starts with understanding the specific needs of attendees. The best way to know you were providing an inclusive event is by asking the people who experienced it firsthand. 

Overall, hosting an ADA-compliant public event requires careful planning and attention to detail. By choosing an accessible venue, planning for accommodations, promoting your event’s accessibility, training your staff, providing assistance, and soliciting feedback, you can ensure that your event is best experienced by all attendees. Not only will this help you comply with the law, but it will also make your guests feel inclined to attend another one of your events because you focused on inclusivity and created an environment that’s welcoming for everyone.

At StrongGo, we believe in developing a more accessible environment for the public to ensure equal opportunities for the disabled community, and we do this by engineering and designing various tactile warning surface indicators. Learn more by emailing or exploring the rest of our website!



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