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At the event's execution phase, consider the following suggestions. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and will evolve as we continue to learn. It is not required that you adopt each recommendation, however, use this checklist as a tool to help you move further toward Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SFU.
Items with (V) are considerations for, but not limited to, virtual events.
Room set up
- Signs should be easy to read using common words and short sentences.
- Make aisles/space around tables at least one-meter-wide for people using mobility aids.
- Ensure cables, cords and tripping hazards are taped down.
- Ensure that accessible routes are clearly marked (e.g., ramps, elevators, etc.).
- Registration tables should have enough space to accommodate a mobility aid.
- Registration tables should have seating available for those who need it.
- Volunteers should be available to support anyone needing assistance.
- For SFU venues, use the SFU Snap app to find gender inclusive washrooms on campuses and provide directions on signage.
- Consider the time it will take someone with mobility issues to get from one session to another. Plan breaks so they will not be late due to their “accessible” route.
- Ensure that the stage and/or podium are accessible for those with mobility aids.
- For seated events, ensure that there are spaces ready for wheelchairs or mobility aids. Try to make those individuals feel included in their placement.
- For stand-up events, provide a variety of cocktail table heights (e.g., low tables for those using a wheelchair, high tables for those who want to stand).
- If available, provide chairs both with and without arm rests.
- Reserve seating for people with disabilities around the room, but make sure they feel included (e.g., a person who is deaf might be seated closer to the stage, and a person with mobility issues may need to be seated in an aisle near an exit).
- Provide seating options at all events.
Food and refreshments
- Consider your menu’s diversity and inclusivity to various cultures.
- Consider whether serving alcohol is culturally and religiously appropriate.
- Meet with caterer or food providers in advance to discuss popular dietary requests (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free/celiac, halal, etc.) to confirm if it's possible to accommodate.
- All food should be clearly labelled for dietary restrictions (e.g., vegan, gluten free, nut free, etc.).
- Servers should be well-educated on allergens in the food which is being served. The most common food allergens are: milk/dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.
- Ensure that food, drinks, and utensils are easy to reach for someone in a wheelchair.
- Have bendy-straws (sustainable, if possible) available for those who need them.
- Buffet-style food stations should have a server available for assistance.
- Those who have special meals should get their meal at the same time as others (not early/late).
Speeches, presentations and formal programming
- Closed captioning and/or transcripts are available and offered.
- If your event is recorded and made available on-demand afterward, edit closed captioning transcript for accuracy.
- For in-person events, ensure the CC is legible and screen content is clear.
- ASL interpretation is available and offered.
- Image descriptions are available. (V)
- Visuals are clear on different screen sizes – whether in-person or virtually.
- There are options for people to express themselves (e.g., reactions, chat, etc.). (V)
- The event is delivered in multiple formats (e.g., video, audio, script, etc.). (V)
- Participants are encouraged to make necessary adjustments to their environment and engage in the way they feel most comfortable (e.g., camera on/off, etc.). (V)
- Pronouns are included in presenter’s names (V), introductions and/or title slide.
- Guests are encouraged (and shown how to) add their pronouns to their names or rename themselves. (V)
- There are moments dedicated to encouraging participation, so everyone feels welcome, seen and heard.
- Indigenous protocols are followed, inviting Elders/Knowledge Keepers to open and participate (when appropriate).
- There is a personal, meaningful acknowledgement of the land, stories, and history of Indigenous people in our country.
- If the event’s content might be difficult or upsetting, ensure there is professional support available and attendees know how to access that support.
- Ensure that gender inclusive language is used when addressing the group (e.g., avoid saying “ladies and gentlemen”).
- Ask speakers to be mindful of gendered language.
- If music is played during the event, ensure that it is appropriate for the audience.
Assessment and moderation
- There is a designated person to assess the event, to moderate harmful behaviours/conflicts, and collect accommodation requests.
- There is a designated person for vetting and reading questions.
- Guests are asked if they can see text and images clearly on the screen when screen-sharing. (V)
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