All right. Thank you and good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the ADA audio conference series. My name is Peter Berg and I am the moderator for today's session. The ADA audio conference series is a project of the ADA National Network. ADA National Network is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institute on disability independent living and rehabilitation research.
The ADA National Network is your leader in providing information on the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may reach your regional ADA center by calling 800-949-4232 or by visiting www.adata.org to locate the regional center that serves your state. I am very pleased today to introduce our speakers for our session today on new customer service and accessible meeting resources.
Joining us today is Marrian Vessels. She is the Director of the MidAtlantic ADA Center and also joining Marian is Nancy Horton, a PA specialist with the MidAtlantic ADA center. You can find full bios for Marian and Nancy on the ADA-audio.org website. So at this time I would like to turn it over to Marian and Nancy for today's presentation. Welcome Marian and Nancy.
Good morning or good afternoon. This is Marian and I will be doing the first segment of the trainings. We are very excited to be talking to you about a new project, several new projects that we have developed just in time for the ADA anniversary. We have a new accessible meetings guide and a film that we want to share with you.
We are first going to be talking about the accessible meeting conference and events guide. It was developed this year, the MidAtlantic ADA Center and our parent company Transcend, sponsored an update of an existing document that was put out by the independent living and research utilization in 1993 written by June Isaacson Kailes and Darryl Jones and this was a guide that was not obviously online and very often the only way to look at it was a hard copy. There was no electronic version of it at all. In fact, when we looked at doing this project there was no electronic copy to be found and we were working on a hard copy as we looked to what the basis of a new guide would look like. So we have taken an existing document, which was used and was referenced; in fact, we heard the people were still referencing it earlier this year since it was really the only one that they could find. So this updated version on slide 12 provides some regulatory updates along with a host of meeting planner professionals. June Kailes was a part of the planning group and writing group. So it was great to be able to have someone with her expertise; who wrote the original one. And is coming back now to update it and make it current to today's standards. We were very fortunate to have a certified meeting planner, Sara Gailbred Locks, who does some of the work on the accessibility expos that move around the country and does a lot of inclusion work for people with disabilities in to the meeting environment.
The-somehow-the reason for this guide was that we wanted to make sure that every meeting event and conference was accessible. So we really looked to sharing this work with you today, knowing that we will be continually updated as we move forward. As technologies change, as concepts about inclusion change, we are really looking to be able to serve the needs of planners and participants to make sure that everyone is really engaged-Since there was no generic guide available that really drove our decision to undertake this project.
On slide 14, we look at the benefits of the guide for you, the fact that it is going to be updated over time. We looked to what emergency practices become best practices. And we look at it being as something that is used not only for major conferences and events, but families, you know, looking at doing family reunions and weddings. We look at this guide being not something as a big event, but also for meetings within your office or smaller events. So you will hear us talking about major conferences and what hotels look like and other options. But we really think this is going to have value for you as you move forward in any kind of meetings. Now looking at the list of people that are attending today's conference and I'm sure people who will be viewing this, many of you are already experts in making sure meetings, events, conferences, expos, are all going to be fully accessible. So we are not going to be probably telling you much new information today. But maybe just as the resource that you can then share with other entities to assure that people with disabilities are included in a host of events moving forward.
How to use this guide and slide 15, the information may be repeated in various sections because we designed it to be hopefully a useable guide no matter how you enter in to the-the guide. So you will see that there are specifically sometimes things that will be repeated in one section and identified in another just in case somebody goes directly to that section. You will see that we have navigational options on the left side of the screen which are chapter titles. And then clicking that link will then open the introductory text and you will get additional subchapters as needed. So there are three ways on slide 16 that you can attend or look at the material. You can view the full guide. You can plan a meeting. You can attend a meeting. And then we have specific recommendations for your speakers or presenters. So as you can see, we have a number of ways that people can enter the guide. I think that many people are probably going to look at doing the full guide, but we have lots of options for you. So you will see on page 17 the market case for accessible events and meetings. You'll see site selection, pre-event attendee registration and communication, meeting room layouts and considerations audiovisual components, food allergies and sensitivities, accommodations for deaf individuals or those experiencing hearing loss, access to printed or visual materials and others. And on the first page, we do talk about how to use this guide.
We do have a search engine too that people can go in and find how to navigate easily by searching for a specific resource or entity that they are looking for against standard protocol for a website. One of the things that we first and foremost wanted to make sure that we were providing resources on and this is one of the sections that will be enhanced in the next few months, is interacting with people with disabilities. As an ADA Center, many of you in the field know we still get huge demands for disability etiquette. Somewhat sad, at this stage of the game, 25 years after the ADA, one of our still most requested trainings is disability etiquette. But we have provided you three basic resources right here, that you can click and hand out and use as a part of basis for training: Tips for interacting with people with disabilities by June Kales, Choosing wording with dignity by the Vermont Disability Council, and two or three resources that you can use and these will be enhanced in the next few months.
The next slide is something that we spent a lot of time on in trying to develop the market case for providing accessible meetings, events, and conferences. We have a number of people with disabilities represented by outlines of their disabilities. And we have got things like people with vision, cognitive developmental, cardiovascular, arthritis, respiratory, Baby Boomers, temporary, veterans and on the live website when you scroll over those icons, those people, you will get the number of specific disabilities based on the census data. So you will see that veterans have 2.3 million, there are people with hearing disabilities at 30 million. People with vision disabilities at 20.6 million and folks with diabetes is 29.1 million. People with mobility disabilities at 8 million. We felt that this gave people a kind of broad flavor of the number of people with disabilities that make up the contingency of people with disabilities and as you all know these are only the people identified in this slide and in the census data that identified themselves as people with disabilities. So they were willing to tell the census bureau that they had a disability. So we always caution people that this is not a full number; that it is the number of people who identified themselves as people with disabilities. So we know the number is much, much greater. But it gives people a relevance to think about; wow we really need to consider folks who have auditory disabilities. There are 30 million people that have identified themselves as such. And that was going to play in to making sure your conference or your meeting is fully accessible.
On slide 21, we have a section talking about site selection. And some basic tips, you know, always ask about the accessibility of the facilities when you are considering an event venue and when we are talking about event venues, we are not talking about just major hotels or conference centers. It could be a local church. It could be a small meeting room. It could be anything in between, local library, but look and make sure obviously that these facilities are fully accessible. One of the greatest resources that you will find for an existing facility checklist is one that was done by the ADA center in New England and it is the ADA checklist for existing facilities. If you have not used it, please do check it out. It has not only the requirements under the Department of Justice regulations for the 2010 standards that were revised then, but it also has diagrams and it provides you recommendations; how to modify an existing facility to make sure it is accessible for people with disabilities. So, I think this will be a great resource and tool if you have not used it in the past. We also suggest that you work out affirmative statements of compliance and the allocation of responsibility between the landlord and the tenant if necessary.
On slide 22, we are talking about site selection assistance. What local resources can assist you? What does your event need, requests for a bid? When you look at site selection obviously you are going to be still considering the inclusion of people with disabilities and then recommendations for contracts and we have all of these. For slight selections, some of the basics that we all know, what are your preferred dates? We when doing our annual major conference we want to make sure that we are not in conflict with any of the Jewish holidays that are in September and so we have sometimes a very narrow window to make sure that we are fully inclusive of all individuals. We want to make sure that we know the number of attendees with functional limitations to make sure that our meeting size, meeting room sizes, will accommodate people. We want to look at parking requirements, number of sleeping rooms needed if necessary. Can you get accessible transportation to and from the airport and/or transportation hubs? Can they support our need for information technology? Whether it be video, conferencing, technical supports, the number of mics we need to make sure that all people can be heard. Making sure that the cost is going to be within range of the attendees that we anticipate. Other factors like that.
Some of the local resources that you might want to use to be able to determine what facilities are in a community, especially if it is not some place that you are personally familiar with. We recommend you look at the convention and visitors bureaus, or a local Chamber of Commerce, or Centers for Independent Living. I am sure many of you are aware that the Center for Independent Living is managed and operated for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community and operated by a majority of people with disabilities.
They often will be able to tell you guidance about what they have heard and used around facilities that not only are physically accessible and work for people with disabilities, but they are experienced with the customer service segment of the facility; which is very critical. We can often find that we have an accessible facility, but after using it find that their customer service for us and for our attendees, especially those with disabilities, may be lacking.
If you are going to be working with a meeting planner, we recommend that you get somebody that's been certified with a certified meeting planner designation, they are a certified meeting professional, CMP or a certified meeting manager, CMM designation. And these will at least make sure that the folks that you are hiring, to assist you, have great skills. We are working with those industries now, to see if we can put in a segment of disability etiquette, and disability customer service, and inclusion in to their testing requirements. So, hopefully, in the future, these folks will have more skills in including people with disabilities into their planning and training.
For site inspection, once you have scored the top two or three venues we obviously know you are going to make a site visit. Make two visits. First one unannounced and then as you move forward. We have included some emergency planning in to the materials. We will be beefing that up in this next few months to make sure we have got even more resources and support for you.
And for the inspection team, we really encourage you when you have an inspection team to be able to include somebody with a disability in to your inspection team. Somebody that will have a specific eye as to making sure that the facility, not only complies with the ADA, but is useable by people with disabilities. So, many of know, that even something that may comply, may not be really user friendly, for people with disabilities.
Slide 25, recommendations for contracts. There are a variety of things that you might want to consider in looking at your contracts. ADA compliance clause for the venue. Knowing exactly what kind of aides and services they will provide. The ADA compliance clause for the group. What is it that we are going to be providing to make sure that everyone is real clear about whose responsibility is what? Such as the group would be providing the interpreters if needed. The sign language interpreters needed, but the venue would be providing the assistive listening system, and then determining what mutual cooperation you might need. There may be additional clauses for specific disabilities. Such as if you have somebody with multiple chemical sensitivity and you will need to work out with the venue what they can do to help minimize the risk for somebody with specific multiple chemical disabilities. And also we build in to our contracts that we require that they accept disability awareness training for staff and on our website ADA Hospice you will-(no audio).
CLAUDIA DIAZ: We apologize it seems we have a technical problem with the telephone and the operator. It will be one moment while we get that reestablished.
Once again, we appreciate your patience while we get the audio reestablished from the speaker on the telephone. They are dialing back in as we speak right now. We apologize for the delay.
Doing a test to make sure that participants in the webinar room can—thank you Andrew. Hold on one second Marian before we get started again.
Marian, could you go back to slide No. 27? That's where we were disconnected from the webinar room. I apologize for having to go back over that.
No worries. We are on slide 27.
That's where we lost the connection.
Terrific. So we have sample questions for accommodations for one segment of your form. Whether we provide materials in standard print or large print or Braille, whether we put it on electric -- electronic files or whether we put it on our website, many times now we are offering people the only option for many materials is on our website where they can download it in an attempt to be green to make sure we are not printing out many, many pieces of paper that may not be used. So we often will recommend that people go on and download what they need and they can do it in whatever format they need and bring it on their phone or their tablet or print it out. If you will, then look at communication formats, we need to know what kind of communication needs we need to provide. Whether it is American Sign Language, or contact sign, or CART or assistive listening devices; and we will be talking about all of these later. We also do put on our form the need for accessible parking. Many times people will not identify they have a disability that needs to be accommodated, but they may need accessible parking and very often venues do not have as many accessible parking spaces as we might need; even if they comply with the ADA standards. We often will develop temporary parking. We will use duct tape to do the hash marks for the accessible aisles and use temporary signage that we purchase at a local hardware store and mount it either taping it on a wall or putting stakes in the ground, so that we have enough temporary parking that we need for our event.
Page 28, we have developed some best practices for room layouts and printable room layouts that you can then hand to the venue and how we want to make sure the presentation area-speaker’s platform is designed. On page 29, you will see the standard accessible theater setup in regular rows, but you will notice that we have inserted spaces for people with disabilities throughout the venue. So we have wheelchairs spaces in different spots on the outside, on the inside, and we have got those in row 1, row 4, in the last row. So that people can choose where they may want to sit. So that they are able to determine great accessibility. You will notice a new designation. We will have a standard looking wheelchair. And then we have also developed a new icon that's a scooter. So it has got a little kind of square and in the back of it is oblong; and it has handle bars in the joystick area. We wanted to make sure when we look at moving forward that people understand that scooters sometimes need different types of accommodations in order to be accommodated and we talk about the kind of access you need on the side aisles; we recommend three to six foot between aisles and at the edge of each of the rows so that people have lots of maneuvering room. We recommend backs of chairs in the back because very often people choose to want to sit in the back. It is also great area for people who are needing to stand for any period of time for whatever reason will have a place to do so.
This is an accessible classroom style where again you will see that now one of the scooters or two of the scooters are actually sitting on the edge of the table and have rotated their seat possibly to be able to use the table in one area or just like sitting at the edge of the table and put their things at the edge of the table. So many different ways that scooters might be accommodated, as well as, wheelchair users.
We also have Chevron style which is the style that we recommend. It provides not only greater inclusion of people with disabilities because people can sit on the edges if they choose to. It allows them to maneuver very easily. But also we like Chevron style, because it allows for more group dynamic and participations because individuals can see each other better than they are in the standard format where they are looking mostly at people's backs of their heads.
We also have accessible round table style on page 32 using five foot round tables and we recommend that you instead of doing the standard eight, for a five foot round you do six to provide more access for people with disabilities to be able to get in, get around and be able to sit at the table. You will also notice that we are also including access aisles at least in the middle so that people can maneuver around pretty easily and independently.
And then you'll see the presentation area where we have got the screen, where we show people with disabilities presenting as well as the interpreter. We even show the new kind of style for talk show platforms. You are looking at the top view where you may have the seats or the couches that people are using now and little side tables. So it is much more conversational than formal table with presenters.
Pay special attention to the fact the ramps are there. Very often that seems to be continuing to be a problem for people-for meeting planners to make sure that ramps are accessible with railings to make sure that people are safe when using them, that they are 36 inch wide and if they are over six inches that they need the handrails. I am going to be turning this section over to Nancy. Before we do we would like to see if anybody has any questions on the information we provided to date.
Andrew, would you come back and give instructions for our telephone participants on how they can ask a question, please?
Certainly ladies and gentlemen at this time if you have a question or a comment, please press star and then 1 on your touch tone telephone. Once again ladies and gentlemen, if you have a question or a comment, please press star, then 1 on your touch tone telephone.
For those of you in the webinar room, you can submit questions directly in to the chat area. You can do that now or as the session is going on or you can send questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We had a couple submitted one through chat and e-mail. Someone wanted to know the URL for the ADA checklist for existing facilities. And we can post that in the chat room as well.
And the PowerPoint it is a hot link.
It is. Okay.
They can also go there. Thank you for posting in the room.
ADA checklist.org and then Marian, a second question that someone e-mailed, wants to know you just talked about room arrangement and this-the participants wants to know should registration forms ask if the participant uses a wheelchair or should the room be set up with the expectation that you will have wheelchair users attending.
We recommend that people ask on their forms if someone is using a wheelchair mobility device. Because that then gives you great information in how you plan the needs of your attendees. So you may be surprised that you do not expect many people with disabilities. That it is not a very disability specific conference, but you may have any number of people that may even indicate that they are temporarily using a device. We had an individual who normally walks with assistance with a cane and rented a scooter to attend the conference because she felt it would make life much easier for her. So all of a sudden we thought we knew the audience. We do ask if somebody uses wheelchairs and mobility devices. So I think it is a really helpful set of information, then we ask them also are they going to need accessible parking again to be able to plan ahead. So that we will make sure that for a breakout room we may end up with a more wheelchair users than we had anticipated. And so we are going to restructure that room accordingly to make sure that we have enough space to accommodate wheelchair users. So I think it is very, very helpful to do that.
Andrew just a quick question, sort of related and this person had followed up with, what if facility only offers valet parking or they offer in combination, you know, self-park, valet parking. How do you manage that type of issue with the expectation that you may have, you know, participants using accessible vehicles?
Well, valet parking obviously is a choice that people have. So, you know, it is a nicety that people can be-can be using. And that we then know that that provides them one choice, but if there is going to be self-parking then they have going to need fully accessible spaces because they are going to be entering and exiting their vehicles independently, as opposed to valet, where they are going to be parking it for you; and you are not going to need accessible parking. So I would say, if people indicate that they are needing accessible parking on your form, make sure you have at least that number and more. So that if people didn't identify, you still have spaces available for them. And also not knowing if the venue is being used by other entities where you need to make sure that you have got enough spaces available.
That's a good point about the size of the venue could have multiple meetings or conferences going on at the same time and also the valet parking if someone maybe show up with hand controls and may not be able to use valet parking and will need to self-park regardless. Andrew do we have any questions on the telephone at this time?
I am showing no questions or comments.
We will turn it over to Nancy.
I am going to do the very first part and then Nancy will follow up. That's my fault. She is going to be doing the audiovisual things. But I am going to be talking about how to manage the questions and answer audience participations and then the presentation and the material slides and videos. There are many different ways that you can do that. If you are having callers or participants, we do not want them calling out questions because it can be very difficult for both the presenters to hear and the audience. So we recommend that you always have portable mics available because the participants may not be able to get to a central mic in the middle of the room or in the middle of the aisle. It is not using notecards, 3 by 5 cards, is a great way to not only manage the questions so that you do not have somebody manipulating a great amount of time but you will be able to develop a pattern to make sure especially if they are a panel, that you get all your panelists to be able to answer questions. Those are a few of the strategies that we talk about.
Food or beverage service, when you are having food, you want to make sure that the layout is fully accessible and the presentation of items is accessible. So we have recommendations and on a document that we develop food service accommodating diners with disabilities. We have suggestions such as having bendable straws available for those that have difficulty holding glasses or having a menu at the beginning of the buffet line that indicates what the food is on the line so that people can make informed choices as they move forward knowing that they going to be a lot of things that they cannot eat at the beginning or even for just dietary folks, wanting to make sure that they do not eat a lot of high caloric food and make informed choices before they move forward. So we have recommendations for buffet meals, recommendations for planners, and the kind of foods that we might want to recommend for people.
As you all know we have tremendous number of people with food allergies, the Food Allergy Research Education Center, identified that 15 million Americans have food allergies and they are eager to find restaurants and other venues that can accommodate their needs. That's something you want to ask your individuals what their needs are and share that information with the catering staff. I was just at a conference recently where someone didn't identify that they had a peanut allergy and ate a dessert that had peanuts in it and unfortunately had to leave the meeting because of the allergy reaction. So we obviously do not want that happening to any of our consumers or our participants. And so we are going to look at doing a form, on page 38, that has dietary restrictions and this is something that you are going to want to put on your registration form. As you can see we have got vegetarian, vegan, organic, kosher and gluten free, dairy, sugar free and other intolerances. We allow people to write down what they have want and need. They will be able to provide that and then have some sort of system, especially if the plates are being delivered to their table, as the how to identify that to the server.
Now I am going to be turning over the microphone to Nancy to talk about accommodations for deaf and those with hearing loss.
Thank you Marian. And good afternoon everyone. Again my name is Nancy Horton.
I'm also with the MidAtlantic ADA Center. And just going to talk a little bit about some of the sections we have a lot of information in the guide about accommodations for people with communication disabilities including people with, you know, vision disabilities, hearing disabilities, speech disabilities, we are going to kind of focus a little bit on accommodations for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. And hear on slide 39, we also just touch on people who are deaf-blind who sometimes need some very specific accommodations, maybe including things like tactile sign interpreting, Braille materials, or tactile signage.
So on our next slide on slide 40 we have, you know, as I said we have a lot of sections in the guide with information and resources about communication issues for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, information about using qualified sign language interpreters. Information about technologies like assistive listening systems, telephones, using speech-to-text translation services and captioning for materials. I'm sure most people are familiar with captioning these days. Captioning you see on your television or the captioning that you might be using today in the webinar platform. Real-time captioning, issues with telephone and accessibility for telephone. Television programming or videos that you might be utilizing within a meeting or training or a conference. And we have a section about access stations for conferences. This is something that you may find useful, particularly for larger conferences or really any size of a meeting where you might want to have a station where you have staff who are familiar with accessibility features, of all types. Where people with disabilities can go to find out information about accessible services, accessible features, and so that's something that we have information about in the guide as well.
On slide 41, we have a section with just basically a lot of tips about communicating with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. You know, a lot of comments and tips like speaking directly to an individual with a disability, maintaining eye contact with them. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not understand what's being said. Understanding how interpreters work. How meaning is conveyed sometimes within sign languages or other modes of communication for people with hearing disabilities.
Issues like interpreters' ethics. They are bound by certain ethics, like confidentiality and neutrality that they need to maintain. Tips like using the exchange of written notes and writing back and forth with people which can be effective for brief, simple interactions and then, you know, like maybe registering for a conference at the registration desk, picking up materials, that sort of thing. But, certainly not a way that you are going to communicate, in a workshop or a lecture or a presentation. And then, of course, our favorite refrain, our favorite tip which is staff training, you want, when you are having an event you want to make sure that the venue staff is trained like Marian mentioned, we often encourage or require as part of our agreements with meeting venues that they allow us to train their staff or make sure that their staff has training. As well as, your own meeting staff, if you have staff or volunteers that are going to be helping you conduct your event. You want to make sure that they have training about how to interact with people with disabilities and where to go for information about accessible equipment and accessible features and all that sort of thing. On slide 42, we have a lot of information about using qualified interpreters. The first bullet on this slide here is the definition of a qualified interpreter, from the ADA, which is a person who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially both receptively and expressively. So going both ways. Using any necessary specialized vocabulary. So that's the definition of what a qualified interpreter is. We talk a little bit about using an individual's family member or friend to interpret, which in many cases is not appropriate, because they may not be impartial even if they are skilled. So we talk about some of those kinds of issues. There is a lot of information in the guide about different types of interpreting. A lot of people are familiar with American Sign Language. That is a common mode of communication for people who are deaf and some people who are hard-of-hearing. It is a natural language, but there are other types of interpreting, and we also provide some resources for finding sign language interpreters in different communities around the country where you might need them.
On our next slide, number 43, we have a lot of information about telephone issues, telecommunication issues and this can be important in your planning stages, in your registration stages, if you are having an event where you have registration ahead of time to be able to communicate with folks who are trying to get information about your event or register for your event. A lot of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may use teletypewriters or TTYs or caption telephones. These are basically pieces of equipment that facilitate a text-based kind of communication over the phone. And, of course, folks these days often are doing texting, and so that's a text-based communication that a lot of folks can use and they can do that directly with folks who have that type of equipment. But for folks who do not have a TTY, for example, we have relay services that can be used to relay a conversation between someone, for example, who uses a TTY and someone who doesn't have one and a communications assistant can facilitate that communication back and forth. Sometimes that happens over the basic old fashioned phone lines, land lines, and sometimes that can happen over the Internet. You have Internet based relay services and we also have now video based telecommunications, where people have video phones, and they can use sign language for a telephone call and again we have video based relay services that can facilitate those kinds of conversations between people who can use sign language and folks who cannot. So it is a lot of great wonderful modern technology out there that enables us to have telephone conversations, with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or have speech disabilities.
On our next slide, number 44, we have information about assistive listening systems, which very often are going to be needed to supplement an amplification system or a PA system in a meeting venue. There are three basic types of assistive listening systems: FM systems, induction loop systems, infrared systems. These are all, you know, they work on electromagnetism. They have some basic similarity and they have some distinctions. There are pros and cons to the different types and depending on what kind of a venue you have and what kind of a meeting you have will play in to what will work best for you. So we have some information in the guide that can help meeting planners figure out what they need and help them get what they need: There are resources where systems can be purchased through assistive technology businesses or sometimes can be rented or even borrowed and we have some resources in the guide that can lead you to organizations like state assistive technology projects, vocational rehabilitation agencies, or local centers for independent living that may be able to help if you have a meeting venue that doesn't have this kind of equipment available for you. On slide 45, talking just a little bit about CART. CART is Communication Access Real-Time Translation-is what CART means. It is basically a lot of people are familiar with it. It is like-it is real-time captioning. It is similar to what you may be seeing in the webinar platform today. The real-time, you know, speech-to-text kind of technology and service. We have some resources in the guide about CART and where to get that service. The National Court Reporters Association and Captioning Matters. The National Association of the Deaf and steno search; these are just some resources. Along with the state office, for deaf and hard-of-hearing services, will have information about CART and assistive listening systems and where you can get these things and these services.
And on slide 46, we are up to talking about access to printed or visual materials. And so this, of course, is going to be more for folks who are blind or have low vision. That may need alternate formats. So if you pass out or disseminate any kind of printed materials or other visual materials, you may need to provide those things in large print or Braille, audio recording, accessible electronic files and if you are doing a kind of event where you do not require preregistration, you won't really know who is coming or what their needs are. We think it is a good idea if you are passing out printed materials to at least have a couple of large print materials on hand as well as accessible electronic files like on a thumb drive or something of that nature because those formats are usually relatively easy to create and have on hand and they will meet a lot of people's needs.
On slide 47, before I wind up my segment here, again these are just some sections that we have in the guide. We have so much information in the guide. We are just trying to kind of hit a few highlights here for you today. But we have a lot of information about, how to format printed materials, so that they are more user friendly. Particularly, for people with low vision. How to produce printed materials in large print format, resources for getting printed materials produced in Braille. How to create electronic files, so that they would be accessible to people. How to provide assistance like readers on site during your event. You may be doing activities that are based on printed or visual materials that really need to happen in real-time and you might need to provide a reader for an individual participant so that they can, for example, fill out a form or something evaluation form or something that you are wanting people to do on site in real-time. How to make sure that all of your pre-event materials are accessible tips-for things like registration forms and things of that nature. And how to orient attendees to the meeting space, tips for how to provide assistance to people with vision disabilities that may need help in finding their way around, learning the way around the venue where things are. Where to go in emergency, all of these types of communication issues and orientation issues that folks who are blind or have low vision may need. So there is a lot of information in the guide about how to plan for and accommodate people with communication disabilities in your event and with that I believe we are at a point where I am going to toss it back to Marian.
Thanks Nancy. We are now on slide 48 and we are going to be talking about invisible wounds. This is a designation that is kind of on the cutting edge for many of us I think and when we talk about invisible wounds we are talking about folks who may be veterans, survivors of trauma and those with wide variety of neurological conditions arising from injury. It could also be folks with intellectual or developmental disabilities that may offer unique challenges to the participant. So being in big crowds with loud noises, having blocked line of sight to the exit, and many other typical things that we know of as being common in a conference or a meeting or some sort of event may make it more difficult and challenging for individuals with disabilities. So I know that some folks now are developing what they call a quiet room or a serenity room, which is just a room, small separate room, off the main drag, so that it is quiet where someone could go in, usually it has lower lighting. Some place it is very comfortable for people who just need to escape from the intensity of the conference or meeting and to able to regroup, do whatever they need to do in order to be more comfortable and move back in to the event or meeting. So that is just one of the recommendations that's made in this section. If you are going to have very loud noises, let people know ahead of time, so that they can either excuse themselves before those happen. If there is videos that have very loud sounds things like that. We are learning to be more cognizant of accommodating people with a variety of different kinds of disabilities.
On slide 49, we are talking about personal assistants and service animals. One of the most asked questions that we get on the information line from the ADA centers in the last several years even though the requirements of who qualifies or what qualifies as a service animal have been narrowed, there are still huge numbers of questions we get. And more and more people are using personal assistants. And it is a wide variety of people, whether it be post-traumatic stress, whether it is seizure disorders, somebody with low sight or hearing, short-term memory loss, traumatic brain injuries and others are using either personal assistants and/or service animals to assist them in an event. For personal assistants, we want to make sure that there is room, and usually that's not hard to do for both the individual and their assistant. But if you have assigned seating, you are going to want to know that that person has a personal assistant, who might need to be sitting next to them, during meetings and meal services; and that is certainly something that you want to ask that individual, who identified they are bringing a personal assistant. Overnight accommodations, making sure that personal assistants are co-located if they are not in the same room, and many hotels have rooms with adjoining doors to the rooms so that they can assist. And while you do not need to accommodate the assistant under regulatory, typically personal assistants are not charged the conference fee or meeting fee. Then, it is your determination whether you want to charge them for food services if there are any. Sometimes assistants eat along with the person they are accompanying and sometimes they do not. They may just provide assistant in the eating activity.
Service animal, as I indicated, in spite of the fact that the regulations got clarified, there are still lots of challenges. We still need lots of complaints from the Department of Justice or hotels, food venues are re- fusing service animals and so making sure that the venue knows the two questions that can be asked; is this a service animal and what is the animal trained to do-are the only two questions. The ADA centers have developed a service animal factsheet that is very easy. There is new guidance from the Department of Justice, questions and answers that can be very helpful, as well as, the full guidance from the Department of Justice. As we mention, preparing event staff is really important. Canine Companions for Independence offers some etiquette tips on how to be comfortable interacting with service animals and of course making sure that you know where the relief areas for service animals are; so that you either put it in the attendee materials or you communicate with the individual who is bringing their service animal to make sure that they know where these areas are.
Tips for presenters-basic things that you all know. Sans serif font, at least 22 point, light colored background with dark text, plain background without watermark or photo or design behind the text is recommended. Using PowerPoint, as an outline, with short sentences or bulleted, ideally 4 lines of text or 40 words per slide. You know, keeping it short. One slide for two minutes of speaking time. Making sure that you alt text and we have a whole segment on where to go to find out, you know, what alt text is which is that text behind the chart or map or image that is allowable to be read by screen readers, so that they will know what everyone else sees and of course including verbal description of all photos or images and not necessarily reading the PowerPoint, but to provide an equitable representation of what is on the PowerPoint or the slide. What we do not want to hear is as you can see and not then a description of what is visual to everyone else.
We also have some tips for attendees, making sure they communicate with the event host, complete the registration forms with as much detail, and reach out to make sure that their accommodations were noted and complied with and if they are staying overnight to make sure they have interact with the hotel separately; to make sure that their needs are going to be accommodated and making sure that they are very much in charge of the situation by being firm, but consistent about what their needs are.
Now we would like to talk to you for a few minutes about our film. We are excited about this film. It is 20 minutes. It was developed because we kept hearing from any number of entities that they wanted a more current customer service film that talked about what people with disabilities needed. A lot of people were still using a film, which many of you may be familiar with, which was the Ten Commandments; which is old and outdated. One of the things we kept hearing: it needs to no longer than 20 minutes, and it had to be free, and it wanted it to be a great way for people to be comfortable in interacting with people with disabilities. So we went to a company, Story Line Motion Pictures, which has developed a lot of disability based films in the past. One notable one is, Lives Worth Living, that highlights national disability leaders and we asked them to develop this 20-minute film for us. So it has a variety of people with disabilities talking about what their recommendations are for providing them customer service. We have the 20 minute film, in its full length and you can view it, or we have it in a two minute brief preview and we have got the full film in caption audio described and in Spanish and the preview in Spanish and captioned since it is very short and very verbal. What can you use the At Your Service for? You can use it for disability etiquette training, page 56. Onboarding new staff or as a review for a current staff. And we have been getting some positive feedback from it. So we are going to show you now a preview of the captioned two minute version of At Your Service.
Thank you. Before we get started with that quick reminder that the video is captioned. You do not need the captioning in the webinar room and that the video is being pushed to your computers. So, you do not need to do anything until the video ends. We will go ahead and start the video.
That concludes the video. You need to close the video player on your computer in order to return to the webinar room. For those of you using assistive technology when you close your video player, you will need to get focused back in the webinar room. You do that by using the key stroke combination alt tab to get back in to the webinar room. Marian did you have any more comments or did you want to go to questions?
The only comment, on slide 57, that I would highlight is that if you go to ADAhospitality.org, which is a hot link on the PowerPoint, you will be able to find a variety of resources that you can use if you were doing any training for hotels or restaurants or other venues. We will be developing more resources in this coming year. We have PowerPoints that are for hotels and restaurants. Lots of resources that you can be using if you are going to be providing training to those venues.
And this is contact information for both Nancy and I on page 58. And as Peter mentioned, at the beginning, we are one of the 10 ADA centers that form the ADA national network and if you are not familiar with us we provide information and guidance materials, newsletters and e-bulletins, training such as this and face to face and other kinds of online training and you can all reach us at 800-949-4232. Voice and TTY. Or ADAta.org and with that Peter we will see if anyone has any questions.
Thank you Marian and thank you Nancy for all of that great information, tons of material and resources and information. Again for those of you in the webinar room, you can submit your questions directly in to the chat area. Click on the chat area or control M will put focus in there. If you hit enter when you submit your question you will not see your question, but it is viewable by the moderators and today’s presenters. Questions can also be submitted to email@example.com. And Andrew, if you would join us again and give telephone participants instructions on how they can ask questions.
Ladies and gentlemen on the phone line once again at this time if you have a question or a comment please press star, then 1, on your touch-tone telephone. If you have a question or comment, please press star, then 1.
While we wait to see if we get any questions, someone emailed in a comment about the service animals. To your point, about working with the staff, and training the staff, and the comment that the participant had that the individual using a service animal may not encounter the conference organizers when they first arrive on a site or a facility. It may be the facility staff that they first encounter and you want to make sure that those staff are trained on the service animal requirements. The question about-a question about the I guess to Nancy in getting materials but this questioner wanted to know how do you handle gets materials from presenters in a timely manner in the event that those materials need to be shared in advance with captioners or interpreters or those materials need to be, you know, put in to an accessible format?
We highly recommend that meeting planners establish deadlines based on their needs. We always recommend that you do some research about the facility and the community where you are going to be having an event. And find out what kind of lead time you need to have materials produced in various formats in these kinds of things. Establish deadlines that will enable you to meet those needs. And that goes for the presenters as well. If they are going to be giving out materials, you have to kind of make it a very strict rule with them that if they are going to give things out, they have got to get them to you in a timely fashion. Otherwise, they are not going to be able to utilize those materials or you have to establish some rules about those things.
And we do aggressive bugging of people when they do not comply to make sure we are assured of an accessible meeting. It is a huge challenge. And so a lot of times we recommend that you do, you know, sometimes a contract with people saying that you, you know, your materials are going to get to us three weeks ahead of time. Any number of things. So that people take it seriously.
And that's a great buzz word, aggressive bugging. That's a great phrase. To the deadlines that Nancy will brought up someone had submitted this earlier on during the first half when Marian you were talking about having individuals make requests for interpreters and captioning and so forth. And this person is asking for, you know, what is the-what's a reasonable deadline to put on your registration or flyers about the meeting or the conference, deadline in which individual has to make request for accommodations whether it be food, materials, or other communication needs?
Well, usually you will have a deadline for the any participant of, you know, a lot of people do one week, two weeks out.
We typically now reserve interpreters and CART and then know what our cancellation policy without penalty is. And make sure that we make that deadline way before that. So that we can cancel if necessary. And then just know that, you know, we still have an obligation if somebody signs up late, if we let everyone else do it, that we do it accordingly. A lot of times you will see people do maybe two weeks in advance, but you really want to juggle it depending on what it takes to get interpreters or provision of services wherever you are or what your normal lead time is. So it is a juggle between the two. You do not want—I have seen sometimes where people said weeks and weeks in advance that every other person didn't have to do that. So I think you need to be very judicious about what deadline you state, but realistic, so you can do what you need to do to be effective.
That’s a good point, Marrian, about knowing the area in that before folks even set a deadline or advertise their event they need to find out who those providers are before knowing that information before they actually get a request so that they can-so that they can fulfill that request when they get it. The question from someone asking about accessible apps individual indicates that they have been to some recent conferences where agenda and all other speaker materials will made available through an app and questions about, you know, access able apps or guidelines for creating those accessible apps.
I, too, have been to an accessible-several meetings that have accessible apps that have been very successful. We do not have anything in the guide about that now. But, I think, it is just becoming more and more something that we see large venues are doing. And so that's something I made a note of it that we may want to research and put some information in as a cutting-edge technology that people can be using. Obviously there is an expense to it, but large conferences have found that they have been very helpful and beneficial for folks.
Great. And question someone submitted in the chat area wants to know if the guide is currently available and on your web site.
Yes, you can go to ADAhospitality.org or ADAinfo.org and you will see on the home page you will see both the video on the guide on either website. And they are free for the downloading and use.
And then Andrew we will check one last time. Any questions on the phone?
I am showing no questions or comments.
We will finish with this last question. It is submitted in the chat room Marian and Nancy. Someone wanted to know if there is a height restrictions at a buffet table for towering food. I guess they are talking about food that is stacked up high or a higher reach range.
Well, yes. This is Nancy. I mean there are some standards in the ADA standards about reach, reach ranges, the ability to reach things. So that can come in to play. There are a little bit complex depending on a number of factors and how you approach things and there are standards for reachability essentially and what we recommend when it comes to these kind of towering food displays is either, you know, do not make them so high, make them within reach or arrange them in such a way that all of the food options that you are offering are dispersed kind of vertically, if you will, instead of, you know, all the strawberries being on the very tippy top of the mountain if it is unreachable. You know, put some strawberries, on every level, and then you got the ability to reach what you are offering. So you can use some of these tiered display types of things, but you have to be kind of thoughtful about how you arrange things or just do not use them, keep things down, reachable.
And that makes sense. And we have reached the bottom of the hour. So if your question was not answered, Marrian’s and Nancy’s contact information was out there. You can also reach out, as Marrian had said, to your regional ADA center, by calling (800) 949-4232 or ADA—adata.org to locate your regional ADA center. I want to thank, on behalf of the ADA National Network, both Marrian and Nancy for their presentation today, as well as the time they put into creating today’s presentation. A lot of great information that was shared today. As a reminder, today’s session was recorded and the recording will be made available on the ada-audio.org website within 24 hours and an edited text of the transcript of today’s session will be made available within 2 weeks’ time. As a reminder, our next session will take place on December the 15th and we will have Joyce Walker-Jones from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and we’ll have an open dialogue with the EEOC. So an open Q & A with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can find information about that session and registration by visiting www.ada-audio.org or by calling (877) 232-1990.
Again, I want to thank both Marrian and Nancy for their presentation today and want to thank all of you for joining us. We look forward to having you back in December. Thank you very much for those of you in the webinar room, you can close out your webinar browser to exit the webinar platform and for those of you on the telephone, you can hang up at this time. Thank you.