Accessible Meeting and Event Guide

Belonging for all.

Kalamazoo College strives to support a sense of belonging for all members of our community. Creating accessible events ensures that all participants/attendees can fully engage in the event. Here are some suggestions to ensure that your event is as inclusive as possible.

Checking the Space

Assess the following when checking your meeting/event space:

Additional Resource Workforce Access for All article on Planning an Event

Inviting Guests

Consider these two suggestion to understand potential accommodations for your participants/attendees:

Accommodation Follow Up

Be sure to follow up on all requests received. If it appears that a specific request can not be met, follow up with the individual who made the request to determine whether an alternative arrangement can be made.

Attentive to Needs

It is important to stay attentive to needs at the event. Review the list of suggested ways to be attentive to accessibility needs.

Checking the Space

Be sure to plan and check the venue in advance. Look for these features when inspecting your meeting/event space.


Consider those with impaired sight.

Look for:

  • clear signage (identifying location and directions)
  • well-lit meeting space and adjacent areas
  • projection screen visible from all seating (if using projection)


Consider those with hearing impairments and the following arrangements:

  • a roving microphone
  • limiting unnecessary background music
  • seating available near presenter for lip reading
  • availability of assistive listening devices
  • Is there well-lit space for an interpreter if needed?


Consider those who may use a wheelchair or have other mobility impairments along with the following:

  • accessible parking near venue
  • ramp and/or elevator access
  • accessible bathrooms
  • barrier-free pathways
  • wide doorways and aisles to accommodate wheelchairs/scooters
  • no loose cables across walking areas.

Helpful Mobility Resources


Consider those who may use adaptive devices and the following:

  • Electrical outlets in accessible seating areas to accommodate devices, laptops, etc.;
  • extra space or work surface.

Helpful Technology Resources

Service Animals

Consider access and space for service dog and the following:

  • Comfortable space for service animals to rest during event
  • accessible toileting and watering facilities nearby

Inviting Guests

Welcome Message/Invitation

When sending out an invitation or notice, include a welcome message that includes specific language about accommodation needs.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that attendees please refrain from wearing strong fragrances. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact (name, email, phone)

RSVP/Registration Accommodation Checklist

Another approach is to include a checklist in an RSVP/registration. Examples could include:

  • Assistive listening device
  • Captioning
  • Reserved seat (preferred seat location)
  • Large print
  • Advance copy of slides to be projected
  • Wheelchair access (to location and within the event)
  • Scent-free room
  • Lactation room
  • Gender neutral bathroom
  • Diet needs (provide an option for guests to list their diet needs)
  • Other (provide an option for guests to list their diet needs)

Helpful RSVP/Registration Resource

  • Web Services – Please reach out to Web Services if you and your department need assistance using WordPress and Gravity Forms for RSVPs and/or event registration

Event Needs

At the event stay attentive to needs. Also ensure that presenters are aware of Kalamazoo College’s commitment to inclusive meetings, and ask them to prepare and deliver their presentations with accessibility in mind.

Designate an Accessibility Lead

At larger events or events with scheduled accommodations, designate someone to be responsible for accommodations as well as:

  • help with seating
  • ensuring captioning and other technology is working
  • maintaining clear pathways
  • other needs

Presenter Accessibility Expectations

Provide presenters with a list of accommodations requested. Requesting that presenters:

  • Submit materials in advance so that they can be forwarded to individuals who may not be able to view screens or flip charts;
  • verbally describe visual materials (e.g., slides, charts, etc.);
  • have printed copies available (in larger font);
  • avoid using small print on presentations that can’t be seen from a distance;
  • ensure speakers (including those asking questions) always use a microphone;
  • activate captions on any video used in the presentation;
  • encourage hourly breaks; and
  • organize breakout group activities to maximize distance between groups (e.g. each group going to a corner of the room or side rooms).

Have someone onsite who helps to ensure follow-through on all of the above.

Q&As at the event

If questions are asked, please make sure to repeat questions posed by audience before responding, especially if there is not a roving microphone available.

Food Allergens

Indicate allergens and gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or other options.

Helpful Resources:

Additional Resources