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Getting Started: Meeting Accessibility Checklist

Use this checklist to help increase accessibility in any meetings you may be hosting.

Transportation

  • Is there a bus stop close to the meeting place?
  • If there is a bus stop, is the bus wheelchair accessible?
  • Does the bus schedule allow a person to get to the meeting on time, and get home afterward?
  • Is there an accessible route from the bus stop to the meeting place?

Parking and parking lot

  • Are there off-street parking spaces designated for people with disabilities?
  • Are the accessible parking spaces designated by clearly visible signs bearing the wheelchair symbol?
  • Is at least one of the accessible parking spaces 96 inches wide with a 60 inch aisle? (96”=8 feet) (60”=5 feet)
  • Are the accessible parking spaces on level ground and is the parking lot paved?
  • Are the accessible parking spaces within the shortest possible accessible route to the building?
  • Is there a curb-cut to connect these parking spaces to an accessible walk or to the building entrance?

Path of travel to the building

  • Is the path or walkway paved?
  • Is the walkway at least 44 inches wide? (44’=3 feet, 8 inches)
  • Is the walkway free of protrusions (such as fire hydrants or trees) which narrow it to less than 44 inches?
  • Is the walkway free of any abrupt edges or breaks in the surface where the difference is over ½ inch in height?
  • Is the walkway free of any overhanging objects (such as tree branches or signs) which hang lower than 79 inches? (79”= 6 feet, 7 inches)
  • Is the walkway free of any grating with openings over ½ inch wide?

Approach to the building and the front door

  • Are there signs which identify the accessible route of travel (if that route is different from the primary route)?
  • Are all the stairs or steps along the pathway to the building either ramped or else provided with a suitable alternative route?
  • Are all the walkways always well lit?
  • Are the walkways clear of such hazards as ice, snow, leaves, or other debris?

Entering the building

  • Do all the doors have an opening with at least 32 inches of clearance? (32”=2 feet, 8 inches)
  • Are all the door thresholds less than ½ inch high?
  • Are all the doors easy to open (not excessively heavy)?
  • Do all doors have lever-type handles, push plates, or automatic openers (so that grasping the doorknob is not required)?

About automatic doors

  • If there are automatic doors, does the mechanism work?
  • If there are automatic doors, does the door remain open for at least 3 seconds?
  • If there are automatic doors, is there at least 60 inches of level space on each side of the door? (60”=5 feet)

The path from the entrance to the meeting room

  • Is the corridor at least 44 inches wide? (44”=3 feet, 8 inches)
  • Is the corridor free of obstacles or protrusions (such as fire extinguishers or water fountains) that extend more than 4 inches from the wall that a person would not detect with a cane?
  • Is there sufficient lighting all along the route?
  • Are all rugs and mats securely fastened?
  • If there are barriers on the path to the meeting room or bathrooms, are there signs clearly indicating alternate routes?

About stairs

  • Are there stairs between the entrance to the building and the meeting rooms, the bathrooms, or other public areas?
  • If there are stairs, is there a way for a person in a wheelchair to get around the stairs without assistance (ramp, chair lift, or alternate route)?

About ramps

  • Do all ramps have a gentle slope? (gain 1” in height for every 12” on the ramp)
  • If ramps have a drop-off, is there at least a 2 inch curb at the side to prevent slipping off the ramp?
  • If there is a door at the top of the ramp, is there a level space of at least 5 feet by 5 feet where a wheelchair can rest?

About elevators

  • Is the elevator cab at least 54 inches by 68 inches wide? (54”=4 feet, 6 inches) (68”=5 feet, 8 inches)
  • Do elevator doors provide at least 32 inches clear width? (32”=2 feet 8 inches)
  • Are elevator controls less than 54 inches high so that a person in a wheelchair can operate the controls? (54”= 4 feet, 6 inches)
  • Are control panels marked with raised lettering?

The meeting room

  • Is there enough space for people in wheelchairs to navigate in the room?
  • Is the room well lit?
  • Do presenters have microphones so that everyone can hear the presentation?
  • Are there microphones for participants so their questions and comments can be heard by everyone?
  • Are the presenters or other staff prepared to get the microphone to participants for their questions or comments, or will they repeat all questions to the rest of the audience?
  • Were participants and presenters asked to refrain from wearing fragrances or perfumes?

Making the meeting accessible

  • When planning the meeting, did you consider the need for interpreters or other accommodations?
  • When publicizing the meeting, did you provide a method for participants to request accommodations?
  • Are presenters or staff available and prepared to respond to requests for accommodations?
  • Are the bathrooms nearest to the meeting room accessible, or are presenters prepared to give clear directions to the nearest accessible bathrooms?

About written and electronic materials

  • Are your materials written in simple language and free of jargon?
  • Are your materials written in a sans serif font?
  • Are your materials readily available in alternate formats? (large print, CD, audio, e-mail, Braille)

About breaks

  • Are your breaks at least 15 minutes long to allow people who need extra time to use the bathrooms and return to the meeting?
  • When adjustments to the meeting schedule become necessary, are presenters aware that breaks should not be shortened?