This guide for developing an accommodation request form has an emphasis on deaf people but is applicable to a wide variety of events and situations.
To coordinate accommodations for a variety of requests, it is important to obtain as much information about the event as possible from the person requesting accommodations. Depending on your campus infrastructure, more than one form may be used. Some campuses have one form for students and a different form for staff members, faculty members, and visitors. Some campuses have a form that allows users to choose a specific accommodation from a list, and other campuses have separate forms for the specific accommodation choices (e.g., when requesting assistive listening devices, guidelines are included about borrowing campus equipment). Other institutions have used a different process for requesting accommodations such as media to be captioned because the request goes through a different campus department.
Whether your institution has one comprehensive form that is routed through one designated office or several forms within various departments, the goal is for the forms to be easily located, with clear instructions outlined, and accessible to all in different formats (e.g., online, hardcopy in the office, as an attachment by e-mail, in large text). This guide provides items for consideration to get you started with drafting or updating your request for accommodation forms.
✔ Name and Contact Information of the Person Requesting Accommodations
It is recommended to include different contact options, such as e-mail, videophone, text, and voice.
✔ Date and Times
The form should outline the exact date, day of the week, and starting and ending times for when the accommodations are needed. For one-time requests that cover more than one day, indicate on the form whether a separate form is needed for each day that requires accommodations or whether an agenda with the dates and times can be included in the Special Instructions section.
Indicate that for any off-campus requests, an address must be provided. For larger campuses, directions are helpful to include. The form should ask for any special instructions on where to meet the deaf individual (e.g., if the event is at a large venue without assigned seating, such as a conference).
✔ Type of Accommodation
Provide options for the person requesting accommodations to choose the accommodations needed, such as the following:
✔ Point of Contact and Contact Information
When scheduling accommodations, it is important to follow up with the event host to ensure that they have proper logistics in place, such as seating, lighting, access into the facility, security clearance, and parking instructions.
✔ Type of Event and Materials Needed
To plan effectively, obtain as much background about the event as possible. Request a copy of the agenda, a script, presentation materials, readings, names of participants, and any other supporting materials. Clarify whether it is a one-on-one meeting or a large-group meeting. Is it a political event? Does it cover sensitive topics or use technical content? Is it an improv type of event? This information will aid with selecting service providers with a background or experience that is a better fit for the assignment.
✔ Deadline for Request Submission
It is beneficial to receive requests well ahead of time. With more advance notice given, there is a higher chance of securing the requester’s desired services and there are more options to choose from. Include a statement that when requests are submitted with less than the suggested advance notice, the institution will make a good-faith effort to fulfill the request. If the request cannot be filled, indicate follow-up actions, such as rescheduling a study group session for another day.
✔ Special Instructions
Provide space for any specific instructions from the person requesting accommodations. These instructions could include specific clothing required or preferred, any preferences for specific service providers or providers the deaf individual is not comfortable working with, cultural sensitivity considerations, or other details necessary for the event.