Accessibility for Staff Events

MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible and inclusive for individuals with disabilities. If you organize staff events on campus, see what services are available and request assistance for upcoming events.

If you are an employee with a disability who would like to request accommodations for an upcoming event, please contact the event organizer. If you are a student requesting an accommodation, please email Disability and Access Services (DAS) at

Overview for Event Planners

The Institute will make reasonable efforts to provide access so that individuals with disabilities can participate in our events. If you are an event organizer, you should anticipate the cost of providing these services in your event budget just as you would catering, AV, or other event needs.

It is the responsibility of each individual school, department or event sponsor to be responsive to all requests and to pay for the cost of the accommodations that are approved and provided to an individual or the general audience at the event or program.

No costs may be passed onto individuals needing services, and cost cannot be a determining factor when deciding whether or not to provide accommodations. The Institute may substitute specific types of accommodation with effective alternatives if the original accommodation request can not be met.

The Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves office (DSMLO) in Human Resources acts on behalf of the Institute to receive staff event accommodation requests and provide support to event organizers.

Examples of Services

Sign language interpreters (ASL interpreters)

Due to a shortage of qualified sign language interpreters in the Boston metro area, interpreters are often booked weeks in advance. We recommend at least a 3-week notice, when possible. If there are no available ASL on site interpreters for your event, we can offer Remote ASL. Event planners should use pre-event communication and publicity to invite individuals who may need interpreting services to make their need known by a specific date in order to allow enough time to secure interpreters.

Due to the physical and cognitive demands of interpreting, interpreters typically work in teams of two, replacing each other every twenty minutes. If the event is longer than one hour, two interpreters will likely be assigned.

Speech-to-text services (CART services)

Some deaf and hard of hearing individuals, especially those who do not use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication, may request a service knowns as Communication Access Real-Time Transcription (CART). CART provides a verbatim transcript of all spoken communication using a stenotype machine (similar to what court reporters use) connected to a laptop computer equipped with CART software.

As with sign language interpreters, there is high demand for CART services. Participants needing CART should be encouraged to make requests as early as possible in order to allow enough time to secure services.

Other services

DSMLO can provide support for additional services. These may include:

  • Assistive listening devices
    Some individuals have sufficient residual hearing that allows them to utilize assistive listening devices along with their own personal hearing aids. These systems consist of a receiver that is worn by the participant and a transmitter that sends a signal from a microphone to the receiver. Many of the larger lecture halls on campus are already equipped with assistive listening devices. For rooms that don't have the equipment, MIT Audio Visual may be able to provide these devices if given sufficient notice.
  • Alternative format for materials
    Large print, Braille, audio tape, and electronic versions of speeches, lectures, and general emergency information prepared in advance of the event can be useful for participants with visual impairments or learning disabilities.

Request Services

Use the Event Accommodation Request form to request assistive services for your upcoming event.

 Request Services


DSMLO can provide support and assistance in determining the type of services needed for your upcoming event. Contact us.