Yale is committed to creating an environment that is inclusive to all people with disabilities, inside and outside of the classroom.

Students may visit Yale's Student Accessibility Services Office for information on how to facilitate individual accommodations for students with disabilities throughout the University. Here are some important practices for ensuring that your events are accessible.

When planning events, members of the community should ensure that events are accessible to attendees.


Prior to the event, event participants should be able to:

  • Obtain information and directions prior to the event
  • Be informed about accessible parking
  • Be informed about the accessible entrances.
  • Be informed about  accessible restrooms

Helpful Tips:

  • Plan early: Planning early helps to improve the ability for the event to be accessible to all participants.

Event Space:

Event planners are responsible for ensuring events are accessible. Ensure that the physical space is accessible to people with mobility impairments. Consider:

  • Stairs, ramps, aisles, stages
  • Location and height of tables and desks
  • Placement of chairs
  • Placement of microphones

Marketing Events:

  • Event publicity should include the following statement:
    • "If you or an event attendee requires disability-related accommodations, please contact [Event organizer or OSA or Student Accessibility Services] in advance of the event”.

Transportation & Parking:

  • The Sterling Law Building is on the public transportation route, and there is metered street parking. Campus shuttles run throughout the year and can help to move attendees from downtown hotels to YLS buildings.
  • If you have attendees who need assistance with transportation due to mobility challenges, Yale's Special Services Van is available to members of the Yale community.
  • If you have special guests and would like to provide parking (at a charge to your student group), you can contact Yale Parking to obtain a code.
  • Consider live-streaming your event so there is less of a need to travel

Accessible Content: Videos, Media and Handouts

  • Captioning your media makes it more universally accessible. Additional Information can be found here.
  • You can contact IT services and OSA for assistance.
  • Please review Yale's Web Accessibility Guide prior to planning your event.
  • Provide participants with accessible content: electronic versions of handouts in advance when possible. Information can be found here.

Quick Tips

Adapted from the Spring 2022 Accessibility Workshop, hosted by the Disabled Law Students Association:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about a friend’s disability and accommodations you can provide to make them feel more included. People with disabilities often have their identity partially rooted in their disability, so they may appreciate you wanting to know more about this part of their identity. That being said, respect their privacy if they’d prefer to not talk about it.
    • Example: “There is no pressure to explain anything to me, but I know your disability probably impacts how you experience the world. As someone who cares about you and wants to get to know you better, can you tell me what that’s like?”
    • Example: “I completely understand if you don’t want to talk about this, but is there anything I can be doing in this friendship to better accommodate you?”
  • Many people have invisible disabilities. Don’t doubt your friends when they tell you they have a disability. Instead, realize their chronic pain, epilepsy, etc. may get worse at times and better at others—this is normal. Moreover, they may be having trouble because the obstacles they face are hidden to others.
  • If you notice you have a coworker with a disability, reach out and ask if you can do anything to make their experience more inclusive.
  • If your coworkers share what accommodations they need, consider asking for those accommodations instead of them.Example: If you have a coworker who identifies as Deaf, ask for Zoom captions to be turned on so it’s not always on them.
    • Example: If you have a coworker who identifies as Deaf, ask for Zoom captions to be turned on so it’s not always on them.
  • Always leave a space for people to request accommodations in event sign-ups and meeting announcements.

Use disability-positive language

  • Take the words crazy, insane, and psycho out of your vocabulary, as they perpetuate the stigmatization of people with mental health issues. Replace with words like “wild” and “ridiculous.” It’s ok to mess up on the way to using more inclusive language.
  • Use person first language, such as “She is a person with a disability,” instead of “She is disabled.”
  • Avoid using sympathy when discussing disability. “They have epilepsy” is neutral, while “They suffer from epilepsy” indicates victimization. Avoid terms like “is afflicted with,” “limited by,” “victim,” “unfortunate,” and “imprisoned by.”

Make some accommodations the default.

  • Always include image descriptions in your emails and over Zoom.
  • Always turn on Zoom captioning.
  • Avoid using legalese, which may keep people with slight intellectual disabilities from accessing the conversation.
  • Include information about accessibility for every event and opt for the most accessible venue possible (e.g., wheelchair accessible rooms).
  • Always be flexible with accessibility concerns and send out event invites early enough for people to raise those concerns well in advance of the event.