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Accessible Meeting Planning OVW Training & Technical Assistance Providers Meeting August 21, 2007
Presenter Information Erin Volk Program Manager Event Planning & Administration Accessing Safety Initiative Vera Institute of Justice Voice: 646 -457 -8057 Email: evolk@vera. org AIM: Erin at Vera
Importance of Providing Access at OVW TA Sponsored Meetings OVW has a commitment to providing highest level of access to all participants n Legal requirement: Title II of the ADA (American’s With Disabilities Act) n Moral obligation: It is the right thing to do n Movement philosophy: The inclusion of traditionally underserved populations n
Scenario Exercise On each table there is a scenario n What steps would you take to address the problem outlined in your scenario? n In your groups: 8 minutes to discuss n Assign a recorder and take notes on the flipcharts n Report back n
Scenario #1 - Last Minute Interpreter Request You are holding a meeting in a rural state. Two days before the meeting, you find out that two participants are Deaf and will need interpreters. When you review your OVW approved budget, you confirm that it does not include funding to cover the costs of contracting for interpreters.
Scenario #2 - Insufficient Number of Accessible Rooms at Hotel You have to hold a meeting in a specific city. You have checked every decent hotel in the city, and none have enough accessible rooms. You will have to place some participants in an overflow hotel.
Scenario #3 - Inaccessible “Accessible” Rooms at the Hotel When choosing your hotel, you called an asked if the hotel had accessible rooms. The hotel tells you that they have just finished a major renovation and they now have 10 accessible rooms. You need five of these rooms, which the hotel is happy to assign to you in your contract. When people begin arriving on the day before your meeting starts, you are informed by one participant who uses a wheelchair and one participant that is Deaf, that their "accessible" rooms are not accessible.
Goals of Scenario Exercise: Discussion n Demonstrate “real life” accessibility challenges “Damage control/crisis management” model vs. pro-active approach to planning Emphasize on prevention
Scenario #1 - Pro-active Management n n n Research the availability and quality of interpreters. Get referrals. Start building a relationship with recommended interpreter agencies. Place a tentative hold on a set of interpreters until you can complete your registration period.
Scenario #1 cont. n n Include a line item for interpreters in your budget. If not budget not included, see if you can use discretionary funds from your organization. Have all your participants complete a registration formtwo months prior to the event. Include questions that ask about the accommodations participants may need.
Sample Registration Question Interpreting Needs n n n n American Sign Language (ASL) Cued Speech Oral/English Speaking Signed English Simulations Communication Other ___________ None
Sample Registration Question Alternative Formats Braille n Large Font n Simple Language Program n None of the above n Other____________ *Please inform us of any additional accommodations you require for the meeting sessions. Be as specific as possible. n
Scenario #1 Follow-up/Follow through n n n Run weekly reports from your registration database on accommodations Follow up with participants about all accommodation requests received. Follow up with participants about what arrangements have been made to meet request.
Scenario #1 cont. Send Interpreters as much specific information on the as possible PRIOR to the meeting. n Facilitate the introduction of the Deaf participants and Interpreters on site. n
Scenario #3 - Proactive Management n n n In Hotel RFP Process include an ADA questionnaire. Conduct an on-site accessibility audit of potential hotels that meet your accessibility needs. During site audit ask to see equipment included in their Deaf accessible kits.
How can you tell if a room is really accessible? n n n Several codes in ADAAG that specify ADA guestrooms. Furniture placement- 36 inch aisle ways/transfer room Lowered features (air controls, blow dryers, closets, light switches, peepholes, towel racks, ect. ) Toilets should be 17 -19 inches from floor to lip of seat Pipes should be covered under sink. Should have accessible transfer bars in tub and around toilet.
Cont. n n Tub should have adjustable hand controls for the shower with a 60 inch hose. Preset tub bench (for ADA tub rooms) ADA roll in shower rooms should have affixed shower seat 17 -19 inches from floor. Look for inconsistencies in installation from room to room.
How can you tell rooms are accessible for Deaf Guests? n n Deaf Rooms/ADA Rooms often combined. Make sure all TV’s have closed caption option. Kits include: flashing doorknocker, bed shaking alarm clock, TTY/TDD (install prior to check in) Make sure hotel staff is familiar with installation of Deaf kits as well as how to operate the equipment
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Scenario #3 - Follow-up/Follow through n n Conduct a “walk-thru” of the hotel the week of your event, PRIOR to guests checking in. Assess the spaces for accessibility and make note of changes to be made. Conduct a training for key hotel staff about accessibility. Include questions about the hotel’s accessibility in your participant evaluation.
Scenario #2 Pro-active Management n n n Assess your group’s needs: How many Deaf Rooms vs. ADA rooms will the group use. Send out the pre-site questionnaires and get the most accurate data on individual Hotel’s ADA Rooms. Identify 2 -4 hotels within close proximity of each other to assess potential for overflow hotel
Scenario #2 cont. n n Do site visits of all the hotels, even the overflow ones. Guarantee ADA rooms in hotel contract. Include a clause that prohibits from “walking” guests in your group who have requested ADA rooms. If overflow is too far from main hotel provide accessible transportation.
Take-Away Points n n Achieving accessibility in a proactive way minimizes the amount of “damage control” onsite. Plan ahead for all accommodation requests. Follow up on all accommodation requests you receive- infuse customer serviced approach. Accessible meeting planning practices increases the experience of all participants.
Resources Accessing Safety Initiative Website www. accessingsafety. org/ n US DOJ, Office of Civil Rights ADA Business Connection www. ada. org 800 -514 -0301 n