UA Staff serve in a variety of roles on campus, and therefore are likely to interact with students and visitors who have disabilities. The information provided below is intended to serve as a guide for considering ways to create an inclusive experience.
4 things you can do to create inclusive programming:
1. Include an accommodations statement
A notation regarding accommodations should be included on publications, websites, and registration forms.
“For questions about accessibility, or to request accommodations for this event, please contact [name] at [voice] or [e-mail]. Requests should be made at least [specific time period] prior to the event.”
When you receive accommodation requests, you do not need to inquire about the specific details of the individual’s disability. Instead, provide more information about the event and ask the individual to identify their needs. If external assistance is needed, know where to go for help.
2. Provide accessible forms of communication
Social networking sites and email – If images are used (an image of an invitation, for example), all of the text that is on the image should be included in the body of the email or in the description of the post.
Offer alternative formats – For print materials, make sure the font size is at least 12, and use a sans serif font. Offering digital materials or large print should also be considered. Be sure you are using means other than color to convey information, and be sure your materials have good color contrast.
Close caption your videos – Any films or videos that are shown during your event, or any promotional videos. should be captioned. You can add your own captions to YouTube and Facebook videos: Captioning tutorial. A captioning grant is also offered through Emerging Technology and Accessibility.
3. Accessible meeting considerations
Signage and furniture placement – Event signage should clearly direct attendees to the location of accessible entrances and restrooms. Consider accessible seating and table set up to allow room for mobility devices.
Food and transportation – If food is provided, consider those with food allergies (consider choosing meal options with ingredients that are separated, and label all ingredients). If travel is provided, be prepared to provide accessible transportation.
4. Create a welcoming environment
The majority of disabilities are invisible, so you may receive requests from someone who doesn’t appear to have access needs – take all requests seriously.
Use person-first language (i.e., “person with a disability” instead of “disabled person” and “wheelchair user” instead of “wheelchair bound”).
Always ask before providing assistance – don’t assume someone with a disability needs help.
If someone is using an interpreter, speak directly to the individual, not the interpreter.
A person’s mobility device is part of their personal space – don’t touch without their permission.
This information is also available to download as a PDF: Inclusive Programming.
Refer students to ODS
Students may or may not directly disclose to you whether they have a disability. Here are some tips for referring students to ODS:
- If a student does disclose disability, ask the student if they have been in contact with ODS. If not, provide ODS’ contact information (firstname.lastname@example.org, 205-348-4285, or www.ods.ua.edu). If the student has contacted ODS before, encourage them to reach out to their Accommodation Specialist.
- If you have concern for a student who hasn’t disclosed disability, talk with the student about available campus resources such as ODS, the Counseling Center, the Center for Academic Success, etc.
Students can find out information about registering with ODS by visiting our Students page.