Accessibility at Live Events

ASHA is committed to providing an outstanding experience for all participants at its live events. We strive for access to all activities—to the fullest extent possible—at these events based on an awareness of participants' needs and appropriate planning. ASHA's live events and meetings include, but are not limited to, the ASHA Connect conferences and the ASHA Convention, and any board, committee, or council meetings held at the National Office or elsewhere.

For large-gathering events such as the ASHA Convention or ASHA Connect, you are asked to indicate, when registering, the area(s) in which you will need assistance. Once the registration process is complete, you will receive an email directing you to fill out a brief survey to provide ASHA with more specific information about the accessibility accommodations you are requesting. A staff member will follow up with you to review your survey responses and discuss your needs. Your timely completion of the survey is critical. 

If you are participating in an ASHA board, committee or council meeting, whether at the ASHA National Office or another location, the ex officio or organizer of the meeting will ask participants if accommodations are needed and will facilitate securing services. 

We ask that all requests for reasonable accommodations at our live events be made as early as possible, and well in advance of the event, so that we may best meet individual needs. On-site requests will be met to the best of our ability; however, available resources may be limited.

For any questions or concerns about accessibility at live events, please e-mail  accessevents@asha.org.

Mobility

Due to the large size of most of ASHA's live events, especially the ASHA Convention, venues for sessions and activities are often spread out over a wide area, and distances between locations can be considerable.

ASHA does not provide wheelchairs or scooters for attendees at its live events; however, a list of wheelchair/scooter rental options will be made available for each event so that you may make arrangements to easily navigate the event.

Each session room at our live events has a priority seating area set aside for wheelchairs or scooters.

Note: ASHA staff and student volunteers may only provide brief and limited assistance, such as helping to get situated in a session room. They cannot serve as a substitute for an aide or personal assistant and may not provide services such as pushing wheelchairs around the convention center or facility or accompanying attendees to sessions or events throughout the day.

Hearing Impairment

We recognize that hearing needs and hearing-related accommodations span a wide spectrum. Facilities used for ASHA live events typically offer a limited number of headsets for individuals with hearing impairment, but the type and quantity of equipment can vary widely between venues. Your completion of the survey to detail your needs is very important in helping us to plan for your accommodations. An ASHA staff audiologist will contact you to discuss your survey responses and obtain additional information.

Captioning is provided at the Opening General Session and the Awards Ceremony at the ASHA Convention.

Vision Impairment

Priority seating can be found at sessions and activities that take place during the ASHA Convention and ASHA Connect. When available, ASHA can provide digital files that may be enlarged and/or printed for easier reading.

Food Restrictions and Allergies

We ensure that our large live events offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-avoidant, and dairy-free food options. Please check at one of the ASHA Information Booths for a list of outlets where you may find these items. ASHA may accommodate religious or medically necessary food restrictions and ask that you contact us at accessevents@asha.org to discuss your dietary needs in advance.

Aides or Personal Assistants

If you require the services of an aide or personal assistant, ASHA will arrange complimentary registration for the individual. Please contact  registration@asha.org to register your personal aide or assistant (name, city, and state are required for the badge). The badge for both the attendee and the personal assistant or aide will be mailed to the attendee.

Aides and personal assistants may attend sessions and access exhibits, but are not eligible to earn continuing education credit. We ask that they be mindful of full registrants and room capacity and use discretion when selecting seating at sessions.

Service Animals

Please contact us at accessevents@asha.org to let us know in advance if you have a service animal. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

Priority Seating

A limited number of priority seats are set aside for those with disabilities, including end-cap seating, in each session room as well as the Opening General Session and Awards Ceremony. Seats will be located in different areas to accommodate different needs. Wheelchair and scooter spaces will be created along the aisles for easy access.

Seats marked as priority will be held open at all times if not being used by an attendee with a disability. Attendees seated in priority seating but who are not utilizing Accessibility Services may be asked to move elsewhere.

Priority seating at all events is limited and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early for popular sessions and events.

Priority Access Stickers

You may request a Priority Access sticker at Registration to put on the back of your badge to self-identify to staff, volunteers, and presenters as someone who needs accommodations. This sticker will allow you, for example, to bypass lines (such as at Materials Pick-Up or to pick up boxed lunches) if you have difficulty standing for long periods of time, or to be directed to Priority Seating at sessions and events. These stickers are optional and not required.

Housing

At all ASHA live events that also involve housing, ADA-designated hotel rooms are set aside for individuals requesting them. Please make your hotel reservations as early as possible, as there may be a limited number of accessible rooms available at each property. Please refer to the ASHA Convention housing web page or the ASHA Connect housing web pagefor more details about ADA hotel rooms.

Transportation

During the ASHA Convention, complimentary shuttle service is provided between the Convention Center and the official ASHA hotels. Preliminary shuttle routes and daily schedules are posted online in advance of the Convention and final schedules are available on-site. Those who use scooters can typically utilize the standard shuttle service; scooters are stowed in the storage area under the bus. Shuttle staff can assist with scooter storage and retrieval.

Upon request, an accessible shuttle with a wheelchair lift can be scheduled between any official ASHA Convention hotel and the Convention Center or any official ASHA-sponsored activity during the ASHA Convention for door-to-door service for attendees in wheelchairs. Call or visit the Shuttle Bus Desk on-site to make arrangements in advance. The phone number will be published on all shuttle signage and in the program book. Please allow approximately 45 minutes advance notice of when and where you will need a pickup.

Personal Consideration Rooms

At our live events, several rooms are set aside at the convention center or conference facility for nursing mothers, those with sensitive personal health needs, prayer and meditation, etc. Please inquire at the nearest ASHA Information Booth where you may request a key—staff will direct you to where the room is located. Please note that these rooms are not staffed, refrigerators are not provided, and ASHA is not responsible for items left in the rooms.

ASHA Information Booths

At our live events, Information Booths with ASHA staff and volunteers are available to answer your questions and provide directions to elevators, family restrooms, Personal Consideration Rooms, or food outlets where you may find food options for those with dietary restrictions.

Other Accommodations

Please contact us at  accessevents@asha.org if you have questions or have a need for assistance in an area not discussed above.

ASHA Corporate Partners