Approved by: The President
History: Issued             -- July 20, 2010
Revised            --March 12, 2012
Last Reviewed -- July 23, 2019
Related Policies: Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Title IX Compliance Policy
Additional References: Making Public Events Accessible; Campus Accessibility Map; Disability Awareness and Campus Access
Responsible Official: Equal Opportunity Officer tel. (202) 319-4177


I. Introduction


All events that take place on campus must meet accessibility standards in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). All event organizers must be familiar with this policy, comply with its scheduling and notice requirements, and make every effort to accommodate attendees at events who have disabilities.


II. Definitions


A. Event means, but is not limited to, academic lectures, receptions, religious services, student organization meetings, sporting events, and any other type of meeting or activity open to the University community and/or to the public (e.g. commencement). Events may be curricular or co-curricular.

B. Event Organizer means the member of the University community, or the school, department, or other unit or group sponsoring the event.

C. Physical and Programmatic Access/Accessibility refers to any means of physical access to, and communication prior to and during the event. For example, for those with disabilities affecting mobility, this would include scheduling the event in a space accessible to wheelchairs or other devices for mobility assistance; for the deaf and hard of hearing this might include interpreters, transcribers or captioning; for the blind and those with low vision this might include Braille or electronic format delivery of text; for other disabilities this may include providing event-related materials in an alternative format, including announcements about the event.

D. Readily Achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense. (28 CFR §36.304)


III. Policy Requirements


A. Responsibility for making events accessible


As an institution that is required to comply with the ADA and Section 504, The Catholic University of America must make every effort to make all of its programs and activities accessible to those who wish to attend. To the extent readily achievable, this includes physical and programmatic access/accessibility as defined above, and as described further in Making Public Events Accessible. Accomplishing this goal requires coordination across campus, as well as the participation of those seeking an accommodation. However, primary responsibility for accessibility rests with the event organizer. The organizer will make a good faith effort to accommodate all persons with disabilities.


B. Scheduling Events


The University will make every effort to schedule all events open to the public in an accessible space.

For events open only to students, faculty and/or staff (i.e. the University community), event organizers shall make every effort to schedule such events in accessible spaces. If for any reason a University community event is scheduled in a space that is not accessible, and the event organizer receives a request for an accommodation from an individual with a disability, the event organizer must work with Conferences and Pryzbyla Management for co-curricular events, or Enrollment Services for curricular events, in order to find an alternate location that is accessible.

The University's centralized online Event and Space Scheduling System should be utilized for all University events that will be held on campus, whether curricular or co-curricular.


C. Publicizing Events


Event organizers must place an accessibility notice statement in all materials announcing the event. This includes electronic communications such as e-mail, as well as print materials (e.g., banners, posters, flyers, brochures, "clings," postcards, etc.). The text must include the name and contact information for the individual, school, department, or other unit or group to contact for accommodations. Suggested text is set forth below.

1. Suggested accessibility notice statement (long version)

"Please contact___________ (event organizer) at _____ (phone and e-mail) at least one week prior to the event to request disability accommodations. In all situations, a good faith effort (up until the time of the event) will be made to provide accommodations."

2. Suggested accessibility notice statement (short version)

"For disability accommodations please contact (event organizer) at _____ (phone and e-mail)."

NOTE: It is not necessary to include an accessibility notice in communications regarding routine or standing meetings for small groups of individuals when none of the individuals is in need of an accommodation.


D. Making Event Materials Accessible


Event organizers are required to ensure that all materials for the event are available to be put in an alternative format upon request. Event organizers are responsible for contacting Disability Support Services during the event planning stage to ensure that all materials can and will be made accessible. Public Affairs will ensure that publications produced with their assistance contain the required accessibility text.


E. Additional Resources for Making Events Accessible


For more information on making an event accessible please see the Disability Awareness and Campus Access web page. Complaints about lack of accessibility with respect to University events should be directed to the Equal Opportunity Officer (tel. 202-319-4177) or to the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (tel. 202-319-6170, CUA-COMPLIANCE@CUA.EDU).