Campus Event Accessibility Statement and Policy
All events that take place on campus must meet accessibility standards in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). All event organizers must be familiar with this policy, comply with its scheduling and notice requirements, and make every effort to accommodate attendees at events who have disabilities.
Responsibility for making events accessible
As an institution that is required to comply with the ADAAA and Section 504, the University must make every effort to make all of its programs and activities accessible to those who wish to attend. To the extent readily achievable, this includes physical and programmatic access/accessibility as defined below. Accomplishing this goal requires coordination across campus, as well as the participation of those seeking an accommodation. However, primary responsibility for accessibility rests with the event organizer. The organizer will make a good faith effort to accommodate all persons with disabilities. The ADA/504 Coordinator should be consulted whenever accessibility questions arise.
The University will make every effort to schedule all events open to the public in an accessible space. For events open only to students, faculty and/or staff (i.e. the University community), event organizers shall make every effort to schedule such events in accessible spaces. If for any reason a University community event is scheduled in a space that is not accessible, and the event organizer receives a request for an accommodation from an individual with a disability, the event organizer must work to find an alternate location that is accessible and/or assess alternative accommodations.
Publicizing Events - Campus Event Accessibility Statement
Event organizers must place an accessibility notice statement in all materials announcing the event. This includes electronic communications such as e-mail, as well as print materials (e.g., banners, posters, flyers, brochures, "clings," postcards, etc.). The text must include the name and contact information for the individual, school, department, or other unit or group to contact for accommodations. Suggested text is set forth below.
Suggested accessibility notice statement (long version) for websites and calendars or flyers without an identified event contact person
"Please contact (event organizer) at _________________(phone and e-mail) at least one week prior to the event to request alternative formats or accessible seating due to a disability. In all situations, a good faith effort will be made to provide accommodations. "
Suggested accessibility notice statement (short version) for flyers and handouts that identify an event contact person
"To request alternative formats or accessible seating due to a disability, please contact the event organizer at least 7 days prior to the event date."
Please be sure to provide both an email address and a phone number for the event organizer/contact.
NOTE: It is not necessary to include an accessibility notice in communications regarding routine or standing meetings for small groups of individuals when none of the individuals is in need of an accommodation.
Events that include a meal, should include an option for "medical dietary needs", who to contact with the request and any deadline for the request in the RSVP.
Making Events Accessible
Event organizers requesting technical assistance from the ACCESS Coordinator are responsible for contacting the ACCESS Coordinator for their campus or the Director of ACCESS and Accommodation via email at email@example.com with the following information:
-the event planner's name and contact information
-the date the request was received
-the person who requires the accommodations and their contact information
-the nature of the accommodation requested
-the date, name, description and location of the event
-the start time and duration of the event
Print materials requiring conversion to large print or audio should be emailed to the ACCESS Office as Word files as early as possible after a request for alternative format has been made. An effort should be made to ensure that videos and audio materials used are captioned whenever possible. Alternatively, FM amplification, a transcript or interpreter may be provided when captioning is not available or the event is live.
Student Requests for Accessible Events and Activities
Current students or participants in academic programs such as scholarship competitions or summer camps who require alternative formats materials, amplification, captioning or interpreters or physical accessibility to participate in a campus event should contact both the event planner and ACCESS and Accommodation as early as possible. A good faith effort will be made to provide accommodations and to ensure equal access once the student is registered with the ACCESS Office. See "How to Register and Request Accommodations" and "Student Responsibilities".
Resources and Tips for Making Events Accessible
Public areas, Auditoriums, stadiums, athletic facilities and athletic fields must be accessible. The number or accessible seating spaces and the number of marked handicapped parking spaces required are dictated by the ADAAA according to the size of the auditorium, stadium or parking lot. Accessible parking should be nearest the accessible entrance, near a curb cut in the side walk and clearly marked with appropriate signage and paint. Provisions should be made to permit persons with mobility disabilities to be dropped off and picked up at the accessible entrance or as near as possible to the accessible entrance and near a curb cut in the sidewalk.
Entrances should have directional signage to assist in locating the accessible entrance. If an automatic door opener is not installed in the entrance to the building, someone should be at the door to open the building entrance door for disabled guests. Interior doors should be held open or kept open as guests are entering and leaving an event. The path of travel to the accessible seating and to accessible restrooms should be clear, fairly level and paved or otherwise suitable for persons in wheelchairs or scooters.
Newer buildings will have ramped entrances, elevators and wheelchair accessible restrooms and should be fully accessible and permit most persons with mobility disabilities to function independently. For events in older buildings without an ADA compliant restroom, the nearest ADA compliant restroom should be identified before the event. Access to stages in older buildings can be provided by use of a portable ramp or portable lift.
Access Ramps for entrances and thresholds and lifts may be purchased to improve physical accessiblity at http://www.activeforever.com/access-ramps
Seating for persons in wheelchairs or other mobility devices may require moving seats, desks or tables to clear a path or travel wide enough for a wheelchair or to provide a place for the wheelchair at a table or in seating areas. For each wheelchair accessible seating space, one attendant seat must be provided immediately adjacent. It is advised that these attendant seats be labeled with a "Reserved" sign until all persons in wheelchairs or other mobility devices are seated.
The ACCESS Office may provide full or partial funding to provide communication access to currently enrolled students. Contact ACCESS and Accommodation for more information on how to request alternative format print materials or technology or services for hearing impaired persons.
ACCESS and Accommodation does not provide wheelchairs, scooters, golf carts or personal assistants. Manual and power wheelchairs may be rented locally from medical supply companies. Campus event organizers may be able to borrow a manual chair from the Student Health Center.
Complaints about accessibility features needing maintenance or a lack of accessibility with respect to University events should be directed to Carole Burrowbridge, Director of ACCESS and Accommodation and ADA/504 Coordinator at (478) 301-2778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical and Programmatic Access/Accessibility refers to any means of physical access to, and communication prior to and during the event. For example, for those with disabilities affecting mobility, this would include scheduling the event in a space accessible to wheelchairs or other devices for mobility assistance; for the deaf and hard of hearing this might include interpreters, transcribers or captioning; for the blind and those with low vision this might include Braille or electronic format delivery of text; for other disabilities this may include providing event-related materials in an alternative format, including announcements about the event.
Event means, but is not limited to, academic lectures, receptions, religious services, student organization meetings, sporting events, and any other type of meeting or activity open to the University community and/or to the public (e.g. commencement). Events may be curricular or co-curricular.
Event Organizer means the member of the University community, or the school, department, or other unit or campus group sponsoring the event.
Readily Achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense within the context of the institutional resources.
Technology for personal, out of class, non- testing and homework use should be sought through Georgia Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). It is generally assumed that students will have have a private personal computer available to them for out of class assignments. The following technology and alternative format technology is available for use in Mercer's libraries, labs, lectures and exams. If you require assistive technology or assistive software for magnification or screen reading in a computer lab, contact the ACCESS and Accommodation Office or the IT Help Desk.
- CCTV magnification located in Disability Services in Connell Student Center
- Sara Reading Machine located in Tarver Library - ask at the circulation desk
- UbiDuo Text Communication Device
- FM Personal Amplification Unit
- Infrared Amplification Unit
- Dragon Dictation Software
- Handheld Powered Magnifier
- Audio Books ordered through Learning Ally (formerly RFB&D)
- Daisy software
- Word Processors and computers for exams
- Accessible Alternative Format Textbooks through AMAC (proof of purchase required)
- Audio recorders for recording lectures (short term loan of recorder)
- Alternative Format Print Materials - Conversion of handouts, publications and articles
- Sorenson Videophone
- Carbonless Copy Paper for notetaking
- Planning for Postsecondary Transition
- Student Weekly Planner (.doc)
- Transitioning from High School to College
- Test Anxiety/Stress Reduction
Local and National Disability Resources and Agencies
- Middle Georgia Center for Independent Living
- Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
- Georgia State ADA Laws 2011
- ADA Basics Web Course
- ADA Advocacy Game
- Office for Civil Rights (OCR)Students with Disabilities
- ADA Access Board - Guidelines and Standard for Accessibility
- ADA at U.S. Department of Justice