Checklist: Creating an Accessible Culminating Event

Explore ways to make your residency’s culminating event accessible to students, families, and staff.

Checklist: Creating an Accessible Culminating Event
  • Wrapping Up & Reflecting
  • Practical Tips & Accommodations

Checklist: Creating an Accessible Culminating Event

Checklist for making your culminating event accessible:

Is there sub/super-titling or captioning provided so that everyone can understand what the students are saying?

  • Include information about captioning, subtitling, or supertitling in any introductory remarks or when directing audience members to the seating area.

  • Add the script into a slideshow, and try using a Smartboard or a projector in the space to project the lyrics above or next to the stage.
  • Running the closed captioning can be a great role for a student who doesn’t want to perform onstage but likes technology.
  • Put the script on chart paper and have a teacher or student point to the lines as they’re said.
  • Have copies of the script or lyrics available for people to follow along.

Remote Teaching and Learning Tip:

Offer a recording (either video or audio) to students and families post-event. If not all students can perform in a synchronous way, ask them to send a recording of their reading/performance prior to the event, and include it in the recording that you distribute (as well as the live event, if applicable).

Are interpreters available? Can announcements be translated into multiple languages (e.g., Spanish, American Sign Language, other languages spoken by parents/audience members)?

  • Connect with school staff, students, and parents to identify which language interpretations will be most useful to the group.
  • Incorporate the location of interpreters into your planning for the event.

  • Provide a handout with important elements translated.
  • Have copies of the script available.
  • Write announcements in other languages on posters to be held up.
  • Invite students to incorporate multiple languages in the event.

Remote Teaching and Learning Tip:

Have live, synchronous interpreters and/or add captions for your virtual culminating event. You can also send out a document with the program ahead of the event so that participants can follow along.

Are audio descriptions of visual elements provided throughout? Can programs/signage be translated into Braille? Are large-print programs available?

  • Consider how to make materials more universally accessible. Can all programs be printed with large print? Can audio description be a part of the narration of a performance or its introduction?
  • Check in with school staff, students, and parents to make sure that there are enough Braille programs and audio description devices available for those who will use them.

  • If these accommodations are not already planned, ask for the Classroom Professionals’ support in communicating with the audience to find out if there are any specific access requests.
  • Can a student or staff member offer to share the program information verbally or provide audio description one-to-one?

Is there access to an elevator if the auditorium is not on the first floor?

  • Create signage to direct audience members to the elevator.
  • If possible, encourage all audience members to follow the most accessible route to the performance space to equalize the experience. Create welcome signs and post them along that pathway.

  • What alternative performance space can you use?
  • Can you have smaller culminating events in accessible classrooms?

Is there an accessible entrance to the building?

  • Make sure it’s clearly marked.
  • Make sure the location is noted on your event invite. Even better, make the accessible entrance the main entrance for the event!

  • If there is not an accessible entrance, make sure that is noted on your event invite with details (ex: the entrance is not wheelchair accessible and can only be accessed by walking up one flight of stairs).

Is the stage accessible? Is there a ramp or elevator?

  • Make sure you have access to the elevator, or that a staff member who does is available for rehearsals and performances.

  • Can you have students perform in front of the stage (all students, not just wheelchair users)?
  • Consider using an alternative performance space.

Are there ushers who are available to guide audience members to their seats? Is the auditorium clearly marked?

  • If students are participating as ushers, consider how you can highlight this role with a badge or other signifier.

  • Recruit students to act as ushers.
  • Ask students’ caregivers or staff from your organization to volunteer as ushers.
  • Have students make directional signs.

Is there aisle seating reserved for those who may need easy access to the exits?

  • Try to reserve a few extra aisle seats beyond those requested in case any requests are missed.

  • Make signs to reserve seats. Be sure to reserve a few in each row so people can still sit with the other guests they came with.

Is there a family/non-gendered/accessible bathroom available and clearly marked?

  • If possible, make this the main restroom for the event.

  • Can you create one for the event? If so, create signs to label it clearly, as well as directional signs indicating where it can be found.

Is there a way to share the culminating event with those who are unable to attend?

  • Consider offering a recording, pictures, and/or newsletter describing the performance for family and community members who are unable to attend.