Planning an Accessible Event Frequently Asked Questions

Downloadable FAQ page

Am I required to provide accommodations?

All events that take place on the Augsburg University campus must be accessible to eligible persons with disabilities.  Also, adequate notice must be given so that eligible persons can make their accommodation needs known in a timely manner.

How much notice does a participant with a disability have to provide to be entitled to an accommodation?

There is no “cutoff” point after which the event sponsor has no obligation to provide an accommodation due to short notice.  An event sponsor is required to make a good faith effort to provide an appropriate accommodation upon request.  What is considered a reasonable accommodation depends in part with the amount of time to secure the accommodation the event hosts have been given.  At the earliest stages of planning an event, the planners should consider how the organization intends to respond upon receiving a request for commonly requested accommodations, e.g., interpreters, captioning, wheelchair access, etc.

On the other hand, requests for accommodation made only a few days before an event may mean that no qualified interpreters are available.  

We haven’t received any accommodation requests yet for our event.  Am I legally required to provide an accommodation (e.g., interpreters, wheelchair access, etc.,) in the absence of a request from a specific individual with a disability?

Although in general the duty to be accessible is triggered by an actual person with a disability making a request for accommodation, the larger the number of attendees expected to attend an event, the stronger the legal presumption that the event host/planners have planned in advance for the possibility that such a request will be received and there is an expectation that the host/planners would be able to accommodate, even on short notice.  It is, therefore, especially important that even before an actual request for accommodation from an individual is received, the host/planner of a University event develop a plan for how to provide basic accommodations.

If I need a sign language interpreter, where do I go to request one?

Your assigned Event planner can assist you in securing a qualified interpreter or captionist.  Please allow at least five days advance notice for the best chance of securing an available interpreter.  

Should I book an ASL interpreter for my event—just in case?

Not necessarily.  For large, very public events, we encourage budgeting and arranging for an ASL interpreter, even in the absence of a direct request, as the presumption is that at least some guests in attendance may require those services.  However, that may not be the case for smaller events. Not all deaf persons are fluent in sign language and some individuals who are deaf or have other hearing impairments may need a different kind of accommodation.  Therefore, it cannot be assumed that simply providing an ASL interpreter will be an appropriate accommodation for everyone.  In those cases, it is best to wait to receive a request for accommodation before committing to a specific approach so that you don’t end up providing a resource that is not needed.

A participant requested that printed materials be provided in an alternate format.  What do I do?

In most cases, a request for alternative format of printed material, whether for brochures, pamphlets, or event announcements, requires that a text-only electronic version of the publication or announcement be made available.  Individuals can then access the information through screen reading software, or by modifying the font size, color, etc. of the printed text.

Other Formats you may need to consider include:

    • Braille
    • Large Print
    • Flash Drive

For assistance with the creation of documents in alternative formats, contact your assigned event planner who can assist you with making arrangements and provide information on associated fees.


Who pays the costs of disability accommodations at events?

Just as the event host bears the costs for food and beverage, equipment rental and/or audio visual services, the host department or organization of the event pays the expense of any accommodation necessary for any participant with a disability to attend.  

For additional information, please contact:

University Events
612.330.1104
events@augsburg.edu