Accessible Event Planning

As an institution of higher learning, the University of Pittsburgh is committed to providing equal access to programs and services to all members of our learning community.

When planning university events, accessibility can benefit the experience for all participants by creating a more diverse group. In addition, many accessibility considerations, such as captioned videos, good lighting, sound, and accessible restrooms can benefit everyone.

Virtual Events

When planning virtual events, please refer to the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s Accessible Virtual Events webpage.

In-Person Events

Planning and Advertising

  • Select a venue that is accessible and visit the venue in advance for a clear evaluation of the space. Refer to the Campus Map and filter your search to find accessible entrances and more. 
  • Designate funds in the budget to cover the cost of accommodations. 
  • Include a disability accommodation statement on all event advertising.  Sample statement:
    • If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact (sponsoring department/organization contact name, telephone and email) by (specify a date relative to your event, at least 5 days in advance is recommended).
  • Ensure information about the event is accessible to a broad range of participants by using various forms of communication including print and electronic advertising.
  • Ask presenters if they require accommodations for equal access.
  • Arrange for a variety of food options for participants with dietary restrictions or allergies. The most common allergens include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.  Consult with Pitt Catering Co. event coordinators for assistance in selecting an inclusive menu 412-648.2302.  
  • Ensure videos are captioned.
  • Request ASL Interpreting and Live Captioning at least three business days in advance of the event.

Parking, Paths of Travel, and Public Restrooms

  • Refer to the Campus Map and filter your search to find accessible entrances and more. 
  • Ensure there is an accessible route from parking/drop off to the accessible building entrance.
  • Provide accessible transportation if the event takes place at multiple campus locations of any distance.
  • Post signage at accessible event entrances, bathrooms, and parking/drop-off locations etc.
  • Post signage at inaccessible restrooms directing participants to accessible restrooms.

Space Set-Up

  • Ensure all tables are reachable to participants in wheelchairs (registration desk, food/drink stations, stage, desks).
  • Allow adequate space around meeting tables and chairs for wheelchair access.
  • Provide preferred seating reservations for deaf and hard of hearing participants, and ASL interpreters.
  • Ensure there is adequate lighting for persons with low vision or if a sign language interpreter is present.
  • Identify nearby relief areas and watering facilities for service animals.
  • Allow sufficient time to rearrange floor plan, tables, chairs, equipment if needed.


  • Reflect on any accessibility-related issues and how to design differently in the future. Consider sharing any feedback with the venue.

Feel free to contact DRS with any questions when planning your event.