ABAI Events: Accessibility, Accommodations, Safety, and Inclusion Information
ABAI secures event sites years in advance. In doing so, several factors are considered for the location, size, and costs. Additionally, ABAI considers sociopolitical context for safety, welcomeness, and inclusion. While each event location differs, the core features of our events are listed below.
ABAI is committed to providing a welcoming, accessible environment for all attendees. If you require an accommodation for a disability, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will confirm and communicate as needed for follow-up and on-site support. We will make every effort to accommodate all requests within the logistical limits of our venues.
As a Presenter
Presentations are normally given from a stage requiring a few stairs to reach. Speaker podiums/lecterns are 3’ 10” tall, and speakers are typically expected to present from the podium/lectern standing up for the duration of the presentation, especially if the microphone is in a fixed position. Seating is available for the presenter before and after their presentation. Panel sessions will have seats pre-arranged on stage. If there are any issues with this set up, please communicate with ABAI early to discuss accommodations such as a step, stool, or ramp.
For the Audience
Below are a few accessibility resources for presenters to consider incorporating during their session to create an inclusive and accessible environment for their audience.
- Captioning: Presenters may turn on the captioning (subtitles) during their presentation. PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote applications have easy-to-use captioning support and instructions (see resources and links below). Turning on the captioning feature allows your microphone to capture your speech and displays it as text directly on your slides in real time.
- Readability: Strong contrast between the text and background colors makes the slides easier to view. Larger text sizes also help – try to avoid using font sizes smaller than 18pt. Sans serif fonts are most readable. Additionally, try to avoid placing a lot of text on the very bottom of your slides, as folks in the back may not be able to see it.
- Descriptions: When displaying a table, graph, or image, it is helpful to talk through and describe the various reference points, rather than gesturing to the screen. It is also helpful to give a brief description of what is in a video before you play it to the audience.
- Q&As: If your session incorporates questions from the audience, please have them use the microphone and/or you can repeat the audience member’s question before answering so everyone knows what was asked.
At every event, ABAI will make full use of the available facilities, and in some cases, events will be spread out across buildings or venues. ABAI works with the hosting venue to ensure that there are many places to sit and rest in hallways, near session rooms, in lobbies, and in any other available space, depending on the location.
Many locations will include a map and/or interactive map on their websites, which we will provide as applicable. Please note that the maps are illustrative and the rooms and/or seating may be arranged differently for our events.
General accessibility and mobility resources across the U.S. are available in the Resources section at the bottom of this page. Additional local resources will be made available before each event. Event Seating
At ABAI events, we ensure that each room has wheelchair/scooter seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone with limited mobility or who is using a mobility device such as a scooter, walker, crutches, or wheelchair may wait near the front of the line to use this accessible seating. There will be limited, marked accessible seating in each session room for those with hearing and/or visual impairments. For onsite help, please alert an ABAI staff member (wearing a red shirt).
All U.S.-based event sites must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For non-U.S. locations, ABAI contracts with venues and facilities that have restrooms that are accessible for all guests.
Personal and Parental Supports
Whenever possible, ABAI will make at least two rooms available for personal support—one to serve as a quiet, sensory-break room and another for meditation or prayer. Individuals may access the nearest of the two rooms based on immediate needs, but we ask that attendees also consider the designations of each room and other attendees’ needs when using the rooms. The rooms will remain unlocked and independently accessible during normal event hours (the same operating hours as the event registration desks). The room numbers will be made available prior to the event. For onsite assistance, please see ABAI staff at the registration desk.
Below are some licensed sitter agencies, with fully background-checked sitters who will come to your hotel room to provide childcare at competitive rates. Please note that this information was sourced online, and ABAI is not affiliated with these service suppliers.
Whenever possible, ABAI will secure a nursing room that is easily accessible to attendees. In many cases, the room will also come equipped with a mini fridge. The room number will be made available prior to the event. For onsite assistance, please see ABAI staff at the registration desk.
Report Safety, Discrimination, and Harassment Incidents to ABAI
ABAI staff have protocols in place to support members. In the event a member feels unsafe or has experienced harassment or other incident, locate an ABAI staff member in a red shirt. ABAI has a policy on sexual and other harassment, a communications policy, and a form for constituents to report such incidents via the website which is also accessible via the ABAI events app.
Event Space Emergency Procedures
For each venue and event, ABAI publishes several pieces of safety information as the event nears. Usually, this information will include emergency phone numbers of the convention or meeting space, hotel-specific policies and resources, nearby medical facilities, pharmacies, or other places for medical aid. While every event location will be slightly different and may have varying resources, the following procedures are a good baseline of what members can expect.
Facilities will have security systems that vary by location/country. ABAI works with the venue and hotel to confirm advanced security protocols within the event spaces, and confirms protocols with local police, fire, and medical dispatch.
Information about the nearest hospitals and/or trauma center will be available. In the case of an emergency, there will be options to call facility security from any house phone, as well as protocols with the local 911 service.
ABAI works with the venue and hotel to provide local information about the nearest fire department. Facilities will have fire detection and suppression systems with notification of and response to fires. Upon verification of a fire, area or building evacuation will take place using alarms—usually a combination of strobe light and tone alarms—throughout the building, along with notifications and assistance from security and building staff.
Suspected Active Shooter
- Evacuation—Get out of the building or area even if others won’t follow. Help others escape, if possible. Take an evacuation path away from the suspect. Warn others as you escape. Do not attempt to move wounded people. Do not rush toward officers, keep your hands visible at all times, and follow all of their commands. Update police with the suspect’s description and location.
- Lockdown—Do not leave your current location if you feel the suspect will see or find you. If you can, gather those around you and go to the nearest room with a locking door. Once inside, lock the door and barricade it with heavy objects. Try to prevent being seen. Turn off lights and close drapes or blinds. Sit or lie on the floor next to the wall with the door and be as quiet as possible. Silence your cell phone. Do not answer or open the door for anyone. If you are found and unable to get away, throw objects, yell, and continue to defend yourself.
Do not touch any suspicious-seeming items. Immediately report the item—location-specific phone numbers will be made available.
There are many resources available for using captions and translations in your presentations.
- Microsoft Office:
- Step-by-step instructions and best practice for making your PowerPoint presentations accessible. [Link to instructions]
- PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 can transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking, or as subtitles translated to another language. [Link to instructions]
- Google Slides:
- Apple Keynote:
- Create accessible documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. [Link to instructions]
General resources across the U.S. are available below. Additional local resources will be made available before each event.
Accessible Public Transportation
At many locations, ground transportation companies are able to pick up passengers with mobility aids curbside at the airport. This section will be updated with location-specific information.
Scooter and Wheelchair Rental
Not Seeing What You Need?
If you require an accommodation that is not listed above, please contact us at email@example.com. We will make every effort to accommodate all requests within the logistical limits of our venues.