Reflect best practices in the contract.
The contract is an important opportunity to outline the venue’s commitment to ensuring accessibility. Before signing, ask the hotel to designate in the contract the specific rooms you will be using during the event. Detail function space set-up requirements, including securing an ADA-compliant ramp for the stage and ensuring 36-inch aisle ways to allow for maximum accessibility for people who use wheelchairs. Hold ADA rooms as part of your room block and designate the number of Deaf kits you may need for the event. Require the heads of different departments to attend a pre-conference meeting at which you will reiterate your access needs and important considerations for hotel staff. Be sure to include in the contract language related to ADA compliance and a relocation clause.
Think of your organization as being in partnership with the event property to increase the accessibility of their space and your event. While the meeting host has primary responsibility for ensuring the accessibility of the programming, the facility has primary legal responsibility for architectural access. However, because the host agency has contracted with the hotel, they share some responsibility. Work with the event property to ensure you are both meeting your legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure the best experiences for your meeting participants. This means identifying any access issues that fall within the property’s scope and helping them to problem-solve.
Resources You Can Use
- Contracting with the Hotel. This document contains sample standard language related to accessibility that Vera includes in contracts with hotel properties. It addresses ADA compliance and the relocation of guests with disabilities in the case of an oversold hotel, and outlines standards for the setup of the event space.
- Hospitality and Disability. An initiative of the ADA National Network, this website provides information, training, and resources for hotels and other businesses to effectively reach and serve customers with disabilities.
- Hotel Access Training. This sample PowerPoint was developed for a pre-conference meeting with hotel staff and includes basic information on disability and Deaf culture, tips for working with people with disabilities and Deaf people, and specific considerations for different departments, including valet, front desk, and banquets, among others.