The following is a very basic guideline on accessibility and creating accessible events and spaces. The CSD has many resources and would always love to chat about making accessibility happen!
Braille– the CSD has access to a Braille printer if you wanted to create signage, handouts and pamphlets for a student run event or service. More often though, for something like a longer document or for something that people do not need access to on the spot electronic copies to go with assistive technology. The Braille printer works in English and French.
Portable Ramps– the CSD owns two portable ramps that can be borrowed for events. The ramps are 3 ft and 6 ft long. A $ 20.00 deposit will be required.
Wheelchairs, crutches and canes– can be temporarily borrowed for free.
What to look for when booking an accessible space
Always book physically accessible locations for events. Venues change frequently in terms of physical layout. When hosting an event we recommend that you call your potential venue with these questions to ensure that the venue is accessible.
Depending on what your event is you might want to adjust the questions, i.e. accessible sports. On campus ensure that the venue is located in a location that can be reached through doors that have opener buttons and without any stairs. Ensure that there is an accessible washroom reasonably close by and that there is enough space to move around without obstructions and that doors are wide enough for items like wheelchairs, lacking tight turns.
Please also consider that there are accessible routes to get to the venue (i.e. construction blocking a sidewalk).
Individuals should know that additional accommodations can be made at an event upon request. This is important, since it can be difficult to predict what will make an event accessible for everyone. Therefore, on every piece of information advertising the event it should be written, “Accommodations available upon request where possible.”
If food is being served you should write “Accommodations (including dietary accommodations) available upon request.” In French, “D’autres accommodations sont disponibles sur demande dans la mesure du possible.” When there is food being served.
Appropriate contact info should also be provided. If possible please try to have as many mediums for communication available as possible i.e. a phone number and an email address. However, if there is no office phone available event organizers are not expected to release a personal phone number.
The Principles of Universal Design– the principles of Universal Design were established to create spaces that are more accessible and are a very common reference material in conversations about accessibility.
ASL/LSQ Bookings in Ottawa- In Ottawa there are two companies which you can contact for American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation the Canadian Hearing Society’s (CHS) Ottawa office and Connecting Community Interpretation Services (CCIS). For Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) you can contact the Canadian Hearing Society’s Ottawa office.
Please note that ASL interpreters cannot translate from French to ASL and QSL interpreters cannot translate from English to QSL. You should contact the interpretation services approximately 5 weeks in advance of the date to ensure a booking.
Interpretation for long periods of time can be difficult for the interpreters and can cause damage to their hands. If you are having an event and there is no one present who requires interpretation please do not request that the interpreters sign everything anyways. They will probably recognize anyone who requires interpretation (because we have a rather small deaf community in Ottawa) or you can have them ask participants (depending on the room size).
You can contact the Connecting Community Interpretation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you email please provide the following information: name of event, date, time, location, organizer, presenter(s), Deaf participants (if known), the on-site contact person with a cell number, the billing name, a mailing address and an email address.
If preferred you can reach the CCIS by phone at 613-482-0660 and the CHS by phone at 613 521 0509/TTY (888) 697 3650.
Please always feel free to contact the CSD about accessibility questions!