Accessibility-Related Considerations

All events open to the public or the Brown community at-large should be held in rooms that have wheelchair accessibility as well as access to accessible restrooms.

The Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) office has venue accessibility information on their website to assist event planners and it includes a link to an accessibility map available and updated regualary via Facilities.  

Groups can also contact the Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) office at 863-9588 to ask about the accessibility of a particular space.

If you are having a closed event, make sure you still address the needs of any attendees that have accessibility needs.

Accessibility Planning Requirements

Revised March 30, 2009

When planning events through the SAO, student groups are required to meet the following accessibility standards:

  1. All events open to the public or the Brown community at-large should include a statement in all advertising materials that directs people with disabilities who may need to request accommodations to a contact person for the event. (Please see the logo and additional info below to assist you with this aspect of your event plan.) 
  2. It is usually reasonable to ask people to request accommodations with some advance notice before an event, provided you have given them adequate time to provide that notice. You will need to make a reasonable attempt to meet all requests, regardless of when they come in; please consult with SEAS office if you are concerned that a request cannot be met.
  3. Designate your group's contact person for accommodations: Each group hosting an event will need to have a contact person for accommodations who can then contact Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) office at 863-9588; Be aware that requests for sign language interpreters in particular can take a week or longer and that the more lead time they can provide in advertising, the better.
  4. Notify your intended audience that reserved seating is available: Reserve 4 front row seats with a clear line of sight for attendees who need priority seating. The seat signs should simply say ‘Reserved.’ Attendees must present a picture ID along with a laminated card issued by SEAS that indicates that they are eligible for priority seating. One friend can sit with them. Seats should be held until 5 minutes before the start of the event at which time they can be released.
  5. Designate your group's on-site contact to be available in the general area of reserved seating: Designate someone from your group as the contact person that is available in the general area of reserved seating to monitor the process.

Request Support

Contact the Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) office to get support and information about providing accommodations; SEAS can help find interpreters, convert materials to Braille, secure lift keys, provide accessibility maps, coordinate services, etc.

If you are using a space that requires a lift or use of a door without an electronic opener, you may need to designate someone to meet anyone using a wheelchair to assist them in entering and exiting the event.

Make sure students and staff working at the event are aware of accessible features such as routes that wheelchairs can travel, TTYs, accessible parking, lifts or elevators and accessible restrooms (which sometimes may be in a nearby building).

Provide students and staff working the event any details surrounding accommodations you are providing for the event. Sometimes policies, practices or procedures may need to be altered to provide access. It will be important for this to be clear up front to avoid any confusion at the event.

If a sign language interpreter will be used for the event, please inform all speakers that it is appropriate for them to address the person using the interpreter, not the interpreter.

Recommended text for accessibility requests in promotional materials.

To request special services, accommodations or assistance for this event, please contact
(provide contact name, email address, and phone number here)
as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.

Instructions for adding accessibility request information to promotional materials:

  • Download the PDF and then open it with Adobe Acrobat Pro (full version available from Brown CIT software, NOT Acrobat Reader). 

To edit text and copy to a PDF:

  • In Acrobat, click Tools, Advanced Editing, Touch Up Text Tool.
  • Select the text to edit and input actual contact information, without parentheses, in place of the filler text.
  • Copy and paste the updated information to your editable PDF file.

To edit using a word processor or other text editing program:

  • Use the Acrobat Text Selecting Tool to select, copy and then paste the text and image from the box above into Word, Publisher, or another text editing or web page editing program.  
  • Replace the contact filler text above in parentheses with the correct contact information for your event - without the parentheses.


  • Depending on which version you use, Word may re-create the table cell containing the copied text, and if so you may just have to turn on the Table Border to make it appear as above, and then add a cell on the left for the icon image.
  • Other programs may just format it as text, so if you want it in a box as above, you will have to create the table in that program and then insert the text and then the image.

Please contact Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) office (formerly Disability Support Services) for additional advice and support.

20 Benevolent Street, Box P
Providence, RI 02912
401-863-9588 (phone)
401-863-9588 (TTY)
401-863-1444 (fax) (e-mail)

*Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) is a part of the Office of Student Life.