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Marian Vessels Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Ensuring Inclusion: Accessible Conference and Meeting Planning.

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Presentation on theme: "Marian Vessels Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Ensuring Inclusion: Accessible Conference and Meeting Planning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marian Vessels Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Ensuring Inclusion: Accessible Conference and Meeting Planning

2 Accessible Conferences Maximize attendance and participation through assessment, planning, and preparation  Sites and facilities  Transportation  Communication 2

3 SITES AND FACILITIES 3

4 Location, location, location! Choosing accessible sites and facilities –Ask the venue staff (hotel, convention center, etc.) –Ask the locals (people with disabilities, disability organizations) –Check it out yourself –Get professional help (consultants) 4

5 Think globally … Assess the community, not just the facility –Navigating the surrounding area “Walkable”? –Sidewalks, street crossings, etc. –Restaurants, attractions, shops, etc. –Service animal relief areas –Local transportation options 5

6 Local transportation How will people get to the conference facility or around the community? –Public transit (city bus systems, streetcars, subway systems, etc.) –Private transportation (taxi companies, airport or hotel shuttles, etc.) Are these systems accessible?? 6

7 Accessible transportation Accessible communications –Stop announcements –Route/destination information Accessible practices –Non-discrimination (e.g. stowing mobility devices) –Reasonable modifications (e.g. service animals, boarding assistance) 7

8 Accessible vehicles Rail: one car per train “Street” systems (e.g. city bus, shuttle service van) – Most systems, public or private, must have accessible vehicles or ensure equivalent service –Private transportation provider running only automobiles (e.g. taxi company) does not have to acquire accessible vehicles Stations, terminals, stops! –If you can’t get to it, you can’t get on it 8

9 Equivalent transportation service Hours, days of operation Response time Service area Fares, etc. EXAMPLE: Hotel with inaccessible shuttle van contracts with local company to provide lift-equipped van when needed; service must be equivalent to what is available to other guests 9

10 Check it out! Use the right checklist Use the right tools –Invest in good quality, basic tools Tape measure, level Use them the right way –Follow the checklist instructions 10

11 Checklists: Hotels – Accessibility Checklist for Hotels (BluePath) – ADA Checklist for New Lodging Facilities (Department of Justice) – Readily Achievable Self-Evaluation Checklist (from Accommodating All Guests: the ADA and the Lodging Industry by John Salmen, AIA) 11

12 Checklist: Big Daddy ADAAG Checklist –Organized by sections which can be used in various combinations or as supplements to more basic checklists –Includes sections on spaces and elements not always found or addressed in detail in other checklists, for example … Assembly areas, including those with fixed seating Bus stops Transit terminals and stations 12

13 Checklist: Little Guy – Readily Achievable Checklist for Existing Business Facilities (Department of Justice) Short, easy Can be used at any type of facility Addresses only basic spaces and elements – Parking – Entrance – Public restrooms, etc. 13

14 2010 ADA Standards New 2010 ADA Design Standards will be required for use on March 15, 2012 ( can be used now ) 14

15 New facility standards 2010 Standards include many additions, for example … –Kitchens and kitchenettes –Laundry machines –Saunas and steam rooms –Exercise machines –Swimming pools and spas –Golf courses –Playgrounds –Boating and fishing facilities 15

16 Revised facility standards 2010 ADA Standards also include many revisions to current standards, for example … –Parking –Toilet facilities –Assembly areas –Transient lodging guest rooms 16

17 Accessible Guest Room: EXAMPLE 17

18 18

19 HOTELS: RESERVATION POLICIES AND PRACTICES 19

20 Hotel policies and procedures New ADA regulations, effective March 15, 2012, establish new requirements for places of lodging to facilitate people with disabilities making reservations for accessible rooms … 20

21 Hotel reservation practices: #1 Enable individuals with disabilities to make reservations during the same times and in the same manner as others –By telephone –In person –Through third parties 21

22 Hotel reservation practices: #2 Identify and describe accessible features of hotel and guest rooms in enough detail that an individual with a disability can independently assess whether the facility meets his/her needs 22

23 Hotel reservation practices: #3 Hold back accessible guest rooms until all other rooms of that type have been rented 23

24 Hotel reservation practices: #4 Reserve accessible guest rooms and remove them from the reservation system to eliminate double-booking 24

25 Hotel reservation practices: #5 Guarantee and hold specific rooms reserved by individuals with disabilities, regardless of whether specific rooms are held for others 25

26 COMMUNICATION 26

27 Be proactive Establish non-discrimination, equal opportunity policy and include in conference promotions and materials Establish and publish a reasonable deadline for participants to make requests that will require individualized response –Remember presenters, speakers, and guests 27

28 Be prepared To establish a reasonable deadline, and to respond effectively to requests, you will need to learn about the resources and procedures available to obtain various goods and services –Interpreters or CART providers –Assistive listening devices (if not already available at conference facility) –Braille or audio-recording services 28

29 What you can do Design and create materials to be as accessible and user-friendly as possible –Brochures and promotional materials –Registration materials –Conference programs, maps, handouts, etc. –Temporary signs –Web sites 29

30 Print communication Simple, easy-to-read fonts Good contrast between text and background Non-glare finish Uncluttered designs … will be more user-friendly for everyone 30

31 Electronic communication Electronic materials are not “automatically” accessible –Web sites, electronic files on CDs or flash drives, etc. must be designed to be accessible, especially for people using computer screen-readers (assistive technology that converts text to mechanized speech) 31

32 Accessible electronic communication Alt tags (simple text descriptions) on images and graphics Description for video Captions for audio Meaningful hyperlink text (Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, not click here or ADA Center click herewww.adainfo.org Consistent, meaningful styles (heading 1, heading 2, etc.) Simple tables 32

33 “Insist and assist” Insist that your sub-contractors, trainers, and speakers follow guidelines and meet deadlines to ensure accessibility Assist and support them –Presentation practices and tips –Designing, producing accessible materials 33

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35 PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER 35

36 Train the trainers Train event staff –Disability awareness –People-first language –Offering assistance –How to communicate effectively Working with interpreters, CART providers Accessible presentation practices –Not an option! 36

37 Set-up Accessible routes, accessible counter and table heights, reachable self-serve items –Displays and booths –Registration and information areas –Refreshment and food service stations –Tables and seating Integrated wheelchair seating options 37

38 Temporary fixes Temporary accessible parking spaces Temporary signage Portable ramps Prop open heavy doors Place detectable warning objects 38

39 Tax Incentives Tax credit for small businesses (30 or fewer employees OR $1 million or less revenue) –Up to $5,000 to offset costs of hiring interpreters, producing accessible materials (Braille, etc.), removing structural barriers in existing buildings Tax deduction for businesses of any size –Up to $15,000 for removing barriers in buildings or vehicles 39

40 Resources ADA National Network Hospitality Initiative –www.ADAhospitality.orgwww.ADAhospitality.org – V/TTY U.S. Department of Justice –www.ada.govwww.ada.gov – V – o383 TTY U.S. Access Board –http://access-board.govhttp://access-board.gov – V – TTY 40


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