Guide: Planning and Hosting Inclusive Events

For disability inclusivity specifically, the Disability Allied Law Students Association has created an accessible events guide for review.

When planning events, it is important to keep in mind the needs of the wider community to ensure that everyone is welcome to participate. 

The Diversity and Inclusion team is available to assist in consultation on the inclusivity of your events and assistance in preparing accessible materials. Services we can provide include but are not limited to: 

  • Checking to ensure that digital materials are accessible, and helping to create screen-reader-friendly documents where needed.
  • Assistance in identifying accessible venues and soliciting accessibility information.
  • Securing CART (live captioning) services for events.
  • Assistance in coordinating accommodations, dietary restrictions, and other inclusivity needs for attendees.
  • Assistance in identifying and reaching out to diverse speakers and panelists. 

For disability inclusivity specifically, the Disability Allied Law Students Association has created an accessible events guide for review.

Scheduling Events

  • When scheduling events, it is best practice to be mindful of religious observances and holidays that may preclude someone from participating. This Interfaith Calendar can assist with inclusive event scheduling. 
    • Hosting events on Friday evenings after sundown or on Saturdays before sundown will mean that Jewish community members who observe the Sabbath will not be able to attend. In addition, events should not be scheduled on the high holy days (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover). 
    • During Ramadan, which in 2022 is from April 2-May 2, Muslim community members will be fasting during the day. Scheduling events later in the day or after sundown when the fast is broken may make it difficult for Muslim community members to attend. 

Event Locations

  • If you are hosting an event on campus, ensure that you note in your advertisements and materials the accessibility of the space, as well as location of the nearest all-gender restrooms.
    • While all NYU Law buildings are equipped with elevators and wheelchair lifts, Lipton Hall is a suboptimal location if you anticipate that any of your guests will be in a wheelchair. The accessible entrance is through the kitchen. 
  • If you are hosting an event off-campus, ensure that you are familiar with the accessibility information of the venue and communicate it clearly to your attendees. 
    • Information about popular venues used by NYU Law students is compiled in the Accessible Venues Guide, maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The guide includes information about dietary restrictions, accessibility for attendees using mobility aids, nearby subway stations, and all-gender restroom access.
  • If a venue you intend to use is not already included in the guide, peruse their website and/or contact the venue in order to gather accessibility information.
  • You can also look up the nearest accessible subway station to share with your attendees.
  • If guests or speakers must stay in a hotel, you should also call the hotel to find out accessibility information, as well as ensure there is an accessible subway station near the hotel. 
  • In many cases, hybrid events may be more accessible for the broader community. If hosting an in-person event, consider adding a livestream/hybrid option. 

Digital Advertising

  • Ensure you are familiar with NYU’s Digital Accessibility policy and resources. All advertising should contain: 
    • A contact for accommodations and accessibility needs, OR an RSVP form with a question soliciting participants’ accessibility needs. 
    • Image descriptions for photos and graphics. 
    • Alternative text for social media posts. 

Event Materials and Format

  • If distributing materials to attendees, be mindful of format. Where possible, prepare large-print and plain-text (limited stylistic elements, screen-reader-friendly) alternatives.
  • All videos played should have closed captioning turned on. 
  • Microphones should always be used where possible, especially if the event has a hybrid option. 
  • If the event deals with sensitive topics, consider adding content warnings and invite participants to step out if needed.


Food & Drink

  • All RSVP forms should have questions soliciting attendees’ dietary needs. 
  • All food and drink should be on a table and in a location that is accessible to attendees using wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
  • All events should have kosher and/or halal options available to ensure equitable participation by Jewish and Muslim community members. 
  • Any events with alcohol should also have ample non-alcoholic options. Consider hosting some events without alcohol to make space for community members who may be in recovery. 
  • Consider providing takeaway boxes for students who may be fasting due to religious observance.