There are tons of moving parts when planning a meeting or an event—so many that skipping a beat almost seems inevitable. However, accommodating special needs is one area where you really can’t be careless. Planners are held responsible for considering and planning for all types of accommodations. Be sure to survey attendees during registration so you can plan ahead. A good rule of thumb is to specify that the survey be completed at least a month in advance for conferences and two weeks in advance for one-day events.

Here is a sample questionnaire, including the most crucial provisions.

I will need the following accommodations:

  • ASL interpreter
  • Braille
  • Wheelchair access
  • Communication Access in Real Time (CART services)
  • Assistive listening device
  • A personal care attendant will accompany me
  • An assistance dog will accompany me
  • Handouts in electronic format
  • Closed-caption videos
  • None of the above

I have the following dietary restrictions:

  • Vegetarian (or kosher)
  • Nondairy
  • Gluten-free
  • None of the above

I identify my gender as:  

  • Male
  • Female
  • Intersex
  • Trans
  • ____ (fill in the blank)
  • Prefer not to disclose