View Dyslexie font  |  View high contrast
Subscribe to the ADCET newsletter

Inclusive and Accessible Events on Campus or Online

Events are an integral and inevitable part of life in the post-secondary education sector involving staff, students and visitors to the institution. Events, whether formal or informal, offer an opportunity for an institution to demonstrate its commitment to inclusion and accessibility. Conferences, workshops, student orientation, sporting and cultural events and graduations, however large or small offer opportunities to model and showcase good practice in terms of accessibility.

These days events are often delivered in multiple modes such as face-to-face as well as online options (e.g., webinars, online orientations, training). Applying inclusive practice principles to event planning and deliver regardless of the format supports not only people living with disability but also those who are not impacted by disability. It is good practice and good business.

Below are a range of considerations for deliver inclusive on-campus events as well as some considerations for hybrid and online events.

Planning the Event




  • Do your research about accessible events! See our references section for more information.
  • Consider including staff from your Disability Services or Workplace Health and Safety Team on your planning group.
  • Consider including people with disability on your planning group.
  • Ensure you consider accessibility at every stage of the planning process.

Promotional Materials and Registration Information

  • Ensure that promotional and registration information is accessible and available in a variety of formats including electronic format.
  • If your event already has key accessibility features in place make sure you advertise this upfront. This is a great way to signal that this is an inclusive event. For example, 'this event will be live captioned, recorded, and include AUSLAN interpreters' or 'this event will be live captioned'.
  • At the time of registration, ask about any accessibility requirements that participants may have e.g., 'do you have any accessibility requirements that we should be aware of?'
  • Ensure that participants are provided with multiple options for registration including phone, email and online.  Ensure that online forms or platforms are accessible.
  • Ensure that registration is available at no charge for carers. The Companion Card and similar services identifying carers and facilitators and should be honoured.
  • Factor costs for AUSLAN interpreters, live captioning and other accessibility elements into your event budget.


Ensure that the planned location for the event is accessible. Check the following:

  • is it close to public transport or car parking or is there a drop off point?
  • is there accessibility parking available and clearly signposted?
  • is there a clear path of travel to the building? Is it well signposted? Easy entry? Automatic doors?
  • are there stairs and if so, do they have handrails? Is there an accessible lift as an alternative to the stairs?
  • are accessible bathroom facilities in close proximity to the venue
  • does the venue have capacity to support people with a range of accessibility requirements?
  • are quiet spaces available nearby for participants who may require this?
  • is there a place for assistance animals to rest, be toileted and watered?
  • is there adequate and accessible seating options for people who need them?
  • is there enough space for wheelchair users, users of mobility aids and other accessibility needs to navigate the venue easily?
  • is there an opportunity for people with disability especially Blind and vision-impaired people to have a pre-orientation tour of the venue?


Ensure that you have consider a wide range of dietary requirements when planning your menu. Poorly labelled food can have great impacts on participants especially those with pre-existing conditions health conditions. This includes people with allergies or food intolerances (common intolerances include lactose, nuts/tree nuts, eggs, fish/shellfish, gluten, soy) where poorly labelled food can cause serious injury or death.

Inclusive catering includes:

  • clearly labelling dishes and ingredients
  • labelling food types such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal, Kosher, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, FODMAP, nut-free etc
  • labelling dishes created for specific participants carefully
  • ensuring there is no cross-contamination of serving utensils
  • having plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages on offer
  • ensuring table heights cater for wheelchair users, and people with mobility aids to easily access catering
  • ensure wait staff and organisers have a full list of ingredients.

Hybrid or Online events

Some considerations for hybrid or online events may include:

  • is the platform (e.g., zoom, MS teams, Skype etc) you are using accessible? What accessibility features do they have embedded that you can access and what else might you need to consider? Is it accessible for people who use assistive technologies especially screen readers?
  • will the presentations be recorded for participants to view post event?
  • how will online participants be incorporated into your event? Are they able to pose/ask questions, make comments, indicate their engagement?
  • have you considered accessibility options such as AUSLAN interpreting, and/or captioning?
  • will Blind or vision-impaired or people with learning disabilities have advanced access to presentation materials? Are these materials accessible?
  • if participants don't have internet access can they also phone in?
  • are the presentations accessible e.g., plain language, good colour contrast, good font size, visuals are appropriately described?
  • do the presentations include jargon, cluttered slides or flashing, strobing animations? This may need to be altered or a warning applied.
  • will presenters require training prior to the event in order to assist them in presenting to diverse audiences?

If there is a virtual or online component of the event ensure you consider this aspect in all planning. Visit our inclusive teaching around online content delivery

Prior to the Event



Accessibility Requirements

Ensure that all requested accessibility requirements are arranged. This may include the following: 

  • arranging AUSLAN interpreters (look for the AUSLAN interpreting services in your State/Territory)
  • arranging for any video material to be captioned
  • arranging for live captioning services
  • provision of written material in an appropriately accessible format prior to the event.


Ensure that participants are provided with accessible maps in an appropriate format. This may include visual, text and audio maps. Maps should include information about accessible pathways, bathrooms, parking and seating.

Presentation materials

Ensure all presentation materials are accessible and appropriate. This includes:

  • ensuring there is no ableist or other negative language in presentations
  • providing copies of presentations to AUSLAN interpreters or live captioners prior to the event to ensure they can correctly spell names, places and specific terminology correctly
  • ensuring digital presentations are accessible e.g., colour contrast, font size and type, alt text and text descriptions when speakers show images
  • ensure presentation elements such as videos, links to websites, audio, animations, etc are accessible or able to be described as part of the presentation.

If there is a virtual or online component of the event ensure you consider this aspect in all planning. Visit our inclusive teaching around online content delivery


  • Ensure that all participants (whether in person or online) have all the information they need about the event e.g., date, time, location, event links, accessibility information and a key contact if they have additional questions.
  • Ensure there is a contact person available on the day of the event for any location or technical issues that may arise for people with disability in attendance.

Hybrid or Online events

If there is a virtual or online component of the event ensure you consider this aspect in all planning. You should still ask if participants have accessibility requirements in the same way. Visit our inclusive teaching around online content delivery.

On the Day of the Event




Ensure that venue, facilities and event signage is:

  • clear
  • utilises accessible and readable contrast, fonts, type sizes and colours
  • is at an appropriate height to be seen
  • includes raised tactile and/ or braille information where required (e.g., on doors and bathrooms)


Ensure that participants are provided with accessible maps in an appropriate format, which indicate the location of event venues and accessible facilities. Make sure maps are accessible via mobile devices including accessibility and/or wayfinding maps for people with disability are available and up-to-date.

Hybrid or Online events

If the event includes a virtual or online component make sure information about online links is accessible and that there is a contact person available to assist with technical issue.


Ensure that access to, and location of, venue facilities is communicated to participants. This might include:

  • the presence of a hearing induction loop or infrared hearing assistance system
  • the location of accessible bathroom facilities
  • the location of assistance animal rest areas
  • the location of quiet spaces
  • the location of nearby accessible parking and transport options.


  • Check presentations prior to commencement of event to ensure they are readable and working correctly in relation to any audio or captioning requirements.
  • Check lighting, hearing loops, captioning, and other assistive technologies and accessibility features are working.
  • Ensure presenters remember to provide information and descriptions on images, videos and other audio-visual material as part of their presentation. Avoid jargon, flashing and strobing animations, good colour contrast, type font and font size etc.
  • Provide printed or digital copies to people with disability on the day.

If there is a virtual or online component of the event ensure you consider this aspect in all planning. Visit our inclusive teaching around online content delivery

Accessible Path of Travel

Ensure that clear paths of travel are provided both outside and within the venue. The venue and environs should be clear of obstacles and trip hazards such as electrical cables should be moved or taped down.


  • Ensure that the venue is well lit throughout and that glare is minimised.
  • For outdoor events, ensure that shaded areas are provided for people who are sensitive to heat or who experience light or glare sensitivity.
  • Ensure there is adequate seating for people who need to sit down and room for wheelchair users and those with mobility aids to navigate the spaces (e.g., avoid uneven ground, or areas with multiple levels)


If catering is included in your event some useful tips on setting out catering for an inclusive event include:

    • ensure people have access to hand sanitiser prior to meals
    • clearly labelling dishes and ingredients or having a full list of ingredients available
    • brief wait staff and organisers about the full list of ingredients in case guests have questions
    • if individual meals have been provided for people with dietary requirements make sure these are easy to find and access 
    • ensure the temperature for foods is to the appropriate standards
    • label food types such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal, Kosher, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, FODMAP, nut-free etc
    • ensure there is no cross-contamination of serving utensils by keeping space between different food categories or having servers
    • ensure participants have access to water and non-alcoholic beverages
    • set out tables with sufficient room for people with mobility aids to navigate and ensure table heights cater for wheelchair users, and people with mobility aids to easily access.


  • Ensure that the registration table is at an appropriate height for all participants including wheelchair users and people of short stature.
  • Ensure that buffet lunch tables are at an appropriate height for all participants including wheelchair users and people of short stature.

For lecture style events/sessions:

  • reserve some seating at the front of the venue for wheelchair users, people who lip read or need to be close to the interpreters, or people with low vision or hearing.

For workshop style events/sessions:

  • ensure that discussion tables are at an appropriate height for wheelchair users.
  • ensure that there is sufficient space between tables and furniture for people using wheelchairs, walking frames and other mobility aids to navigate around.

For standing events, provide some chairs for people who may not be able to stand for extended periods or who may experience fatigue.

For both of the above, ensure that some seating with arms is available.

Roving audience microphones are provided where audience participation is anticipated.

On Stage

Ensure that the presenters and any participants who need to, can access the stage or equivalent. Ramps to the stage need to comply with Australian Building Standards.

Lapel microphones or adjustable height microphones should be used to accommodate people at different heights.


Ensure that there is an emergency plan for the event, that staff are aware of the plan and that emergency procedures address how people with disability will be assisted.

After the event


Area Considerations
Follow up: Seek feedback from attendees regarding the accessibility of the event and any suggested improvements. Ensure that any written materials from the event (e.g., conference papers) are provided to participants in appropriate accessible formats.

Related Resources

    June 2023