Student Handbook

Social Events Policies, Procedures & Guidelines

Accessibility Policy

Smith College is committed to compliance with both the spirit and the letter of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The goal of the college is to assure not only non-discrimination but to provide for full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of campus life.

The following private entities and activities are considered public accommodations under the ADA: establishments serving food or drink, theatres, lecture and concert halls, sports facilities and places of exhibition, entertainment, recreation, and private undergraduate or postgraduate schools.

Any activities planned and scheduled to take place on the Smith campus that are open, or advertised as open, to the Smith community, the Five College community, or the general public should be accessible to persons with all types of disabilities.

All-campus parties must be held in locations that are accessible to persons with mobility impairments. Any questions should be directed to the disability services director at ext. 2071.

For open house parties, the college has adopted a standard that a minimum of one house or Campus Center party on any particular night (except winter and spring weekends) will be in an accessible location.

For all organizations and for houses hosting private events, if the event location is not accessible and guests with mobility impairments will be attending, special arrangements should be made ahead of time to accommodate them or to reserve another location. If these arrangements have not been made, you will be unable to host the event. Any questions should be directed to the disability services director, at ext. 2071.

Responsibilities of the event planner include the following:

  • Scheduling a location, which is accessible to persons with mobility impairments, including wheelchair users, and advertising the event as being accessible.
  • Providing sign-language interpreters or assistive listening devices if requested at conferences, public lectures or concerts. (You may say in your publicity that these will be provided with two weeks notice.) Contact disability services, ext. 2071.
  • Advertising events in various media (i.e., both oral and visual materials such as printed announcements, radio advertisements, phone mail listings of events, SGA Hotline, etc.). The Office of Student Engagement has symbols denoting accessibility available upon request.
  • Making available large-print copies of programs or other printed materials that may be handed out at events.
  • Sending an e-mail to the director of the Disability Services Office if you are holding an event that accommodates persons with disabilities.
  • Asking invited guests and participants of conferences whether they will need special accommodations. This should be included in any invitations you sent out.
  • Consulting the accessibility information table in the appendix of the Guide to Student Organizations and Event Planning when determining potential locations for your events.

The Office of Disability Services is available to provide technical assistance on accessibility to student organizations. Organizations are responsible for making various arrangements for their events, including requesting and paying for sign-language interpreters during conferences, public performances and concerts. Requests for interpreters should be submitted two weeks in advance to the Office of Disability Services, ext. 2071, or College Hall 104.