Conference Organizer Responsibilities Regarding Persons with Disabilities

Stanford has an institutional commitment and legal obligation to not discriminate against persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in a campus-based program. Stanford is committed to providing opportunities and reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities. The responsibility to not discriminate and to provide equal access to persons with disabilities is assumed by every Conference Organizer who intends on using Stanford's facilities.

The following information is intended to help you plan an accessible conference:

  1. Understand your obligation. It is the responsibility of the Conference Organizer to comply with all applicable laws including, but not limited to, laws relating to physical access by individuals with disabilities. This includes the obligation to provide disability related accommodations necessary for the otherwise qualified individual, with a disability, to participate in the program.

  2. Include a “disability access & information” announcement in your program materials. Your registration materials and mailings must include an announcement that describes how a person can request a special accommodation, whom the request should be made to, and when the request should be made.


Disability Access & Information: Attendees needing special arrangements to accommodate a disability or wheelchair access may request such accommodations by contacting                                                          (name of person or office). Requests should be made by                                                                             (one month in advance). Include phone number of contact, fax number, and telephone device for the deaf (TTY is not mandatory).

  1. Discuss special arrangements with your Conference Account Manager/Coordinator. Conference Account Manager/Coordinator know this as soon as possible (but no later than one month before the start of your program). Communicating this information on a timely basis is essential for allowing your Conference Account Manager/Coordinator adequate time to make the necessary arrangements for accessible housing.

  2. Arrange for auxiliary aids and services.  Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), auxiliary aids and services must be provided to a disabled person if they are deemed necessary for the disabled person to use the entity's (your program's) goods and services. All reasonable accommodations, other than building or housing access, are the responsibility of your program. The Diversity & Access Office can provide you with a list of resources to assist you in making appropriate arrangements (e.g., names of interpreters, agencies, or services). Examples of auxiliary aids and services that your program may be required to provide include: Sign language interpreters, Assistive listening devices, Materials with enlarged print or in Braille. Examples of auxiliary aids and services (of a personal nature) that your program is not required to provide include: Hearing Aids, Wheelchairs, Personal Assistants.

  3. Designate an onsite expert. We recommend that you designate someone on your staff as an onsite “disability expert” who will be familiar with such things as the nearest disabled parking, accessible paths of travel, accessible telephones, drinking fountains in your residence, and meeting spaces, as well as local resources (e.g., Braille transcription, interpreters, etc.). We also recommend that the onsite designee’s name and phone number be made available to all appropriate parties.

  4. Emergencies. It is important to make your Conference Front Desk (CFD) aware of any participants with disabilities. During campus emergencies, special consideration may be required for participants with disabilities. To ensure that proper assistance will be administered in the event of an emergency, please make sure your CFD is aware of the names and room assignments of any disabled participants in your program, prior to their check-in.

Please contact the Diversity & Access Office for disability access questions and resources:
(650) 725-0326 or

For additional information on planning an accessible event at Stanford University, please visit: