Accessibility Accommodations

The University of North Texas is committed to making every special event accessible to all students, staff, faculty and visitors. If you are coordinating a special event on campus, you are responsible for securing services and accommodations for people with disabilities.

Designate a member of your event planning team to serve as the principal contact person for the coordination of accommodation needs. Having someone specifically assigned will help streamline communications with other university officials, as well as event attendees. UNT policy, in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, says event planners must:

  • Not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disabled veteran status, veteran of the Vietnam era or qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act in their programs or activities.
  • Make reasonable adjustments in policies and practices to ensure equal opportunity and access for qualified students, employees and members of the public to applicable programs, services, activities and facilities.
  • Work with the appropriate university vice president and/or federal or state agency to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made.

Again, the responsibility for securing accessible services and accommodations rests with each area or department, as the event coordinator. Start by considering accommodations in your planning, such as how attendees will notify you of their needs. For additional support, consult with the university’s ADA coordinator in the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, at 940-369-6182. Students should direct questions to Ron Venable, director of the Office of Disability Accommodation, at 940-565-4323 or ronv@unt.edu. UNT’s Office of Disability Accommodation can serve as a resource for UNT student accommodations. ODA coordinates accommodations related to academic matters. While the office is an active partner in promoting an inclusive campus, its primary role is to support the retention, degree progress and graduation of students with disabilities.

What is a reasonable accommodation?

Generally, a “reasonable accommodation” is one that does not pose undue financial or administrative strain, does not significantly change the nature of the event and does not create a threat to the safety or health of others. UNT strives to make reasonable accommodations in academic and job-related situations for people with recognized disabilities. Special-events organizers should follow the same guidelines.

Things to consider when planning a special event on campus

Designate one person on your event team as the contact person for attendees requiring accommodations

  • Helps streamline internal UNT communications
  • Helps the attendee feel supported
  • Avoids confusion and mixed messages

Add statements and taglines to materials

  • Include information about ADA compliance and accommodation requests on your invitation, marketing materials, website and Facebook event invitation regarding who to contact about accommodation needs.
  • Taglines and ADA-compliance language are available through UNT’s Office of Disability Accommodation.
  • If possible, include the name of the person who will be responsible for providing accommodations, not just a department that guests may call.

University Union-sponsored events

If your event is sponsored by the University Union, you should direct people requesting accommodations to Scheduling Services at least three business days before the event. Scheduling Services can be reached at 940-565-3804 or via TDD access through Relay Texas, 800-735-2989.

Budget

Sign language interpreters, reprinting of materials in larger font sizes or in Braille for the visually impaired and other services for people with special needs may incur a cost to be paid by the department organizing the special event.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO get detailed information about what accommodations will be needed and ask for the requester’s contact information. Discuss the request with UNT’s Office of Disability Accommodation to decide on a course of action, then let the requester know what accommodations will be made.
  • DON’T ask a person requesting disability accommodations for specific information about his or her disability.
  • DO read the Office of Disability Accommodation’s information about disability etiquette.

Consider accommodations in your planning

Are your online materials accessible?

  • Ensure all downloadable documents and online forms are accessible for persons using assistive reading devices. UNT's Central Web Support offers training and technical assistance for online resources hosted on UNT web servers.

Is your venue accessible, and is seating available?

  • Not all campus locations are accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility-assistance devices.
  • Determine whether there is a specific entrance that people with limited mobility should use or a certain area of the venue where they may sit.
  • If your event is standing room only, consider having several chairs available for attendees with mobility impairments.

Will you need to provide assistance devices or convert materials to alternate formats, such as large-print programs?

  • The ACUS Adaptive General Access Lab can provide limited Braille printing for offices hosting special events. The event planner will need to supply the paper on which documents will be produced (11"x 17", 67 lb. individual sheets) or be able to reimburse the lab account for a small number of sheets. Arrangements for printing should be made at least one week before the Braille items are needed. Contact Richard Sanzone, user services manager for the Computer and Information Technology Center, at 940-369-7695 or richard.sanzone@unt.edu to arrange for Braille printing. The lab is located in Sycamore Hall, Room 104. Advance notice must be given through the user services manager; non-student walk-ins will not be accommodated.
  • Assisted-listening devices are available for non-academic and special events through the Office of Disability Accommodation. The University Union has assistive-listening devices for some its larger rooms; contact Union Event Scheduling Services for more information.
  • Sign language interpreters are available at an hourly rate for non-academic and special events through the Office of Disability Accommodation.
  • Ensure that you have a sound system and microphone appropriate for the event and the crowd expected.

Is accessible parking available?

  • Determine which handicap-accessible parking spaces are nearest to your event venue. Print out or include a link on your event website to a campus map, which shows where handicap parking is available.
  • UNT’s Parking & Transportation Services Department also offers a map showing special parking and traffic flow for large events held at Apogee Stadium and the Coliseum
  • Visitors who plan to park in handicap-accessible parking must also have a visitor permit. Visitor permits are available at the Parking Office in the Highland Street Garage on Central Avenue (the office’s lobby is located on Avenue A across from the Business Leadership Building). After 5 p.m., visitor permits are available at the Sullivant Public Safety Center on Wilshire Street.

 

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