ALA works to make sure your experience will be a pleasant and accessible one.  Below you'll find "Conference" and "Convention Center" features to ensure that the ALA 2019 Annual Conference is accessible to all.  

ALA works to make sure that your experience will be a pleasant and accessible one. Here are the features we have in place to ensure that the ALA 2019 Annual Conference is accessible to all: 

  • We caption our main sessions, (e.g., President’s Program, Membership Meeting, Council Meetings, and others, as requested by organizers).
  • We have accessible sleeping rooms in our hotel block. Rooms for the deaf, blind, and attendees in wheelchairs are available. Please check the appropriate box on your housing form.  An onPeak representative will contact you to make sure you are placed in an appropriate room.    
  • Leader animals of all kinds are welcome throughout the Conference.    
  • Our shuttle bus company offers accessible buses. Instructions on how to obtain your ride are available in each hotel, in the convention center, and listed in the on-site newspaper, Cognotes.    

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters

Conference Services coordinates interpreting services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. To use the service, Interpreter requests should be made prior to conference attendance by contacting the Conference Services Accessibility Hotline 312-280-3225 or email [email protected], before May 24, 2019. 

An interpreter will also be on-call in the Conference Services Office in the Convention Center, Thursday through Monday.  Services are available on a first-come / first-serve basis.

Mobility Assistance

Based upon availability in each city, ALA maintains a limited number of wheelchairs and scooters on a first-come / first-serve basis for attendees that require mobility assistance.  ALA offers complimentary scooters to be used during regular session hours.

Scooter pick up and drop off will be located in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Please see the attendant for assistance. You will be asked to sign-out and return the scooters daily with the attendant.     

Please make note of the Scooter Hours:

    Thursday, June 20 - 11:45am – 5:15pm

    Friday, June 21 -      7:15am – 7:15pm

    Saturday, June 22 -   7:15am – 5:15pm

    Sunday, June 23 -    7:15am – 5:15pm

    Monday, June 24 -    7:15am - 5:15pm

    Tuesday, June 25 -   7:15am - 2:30pm

 Any scooters returned past the closing time noted above will be subject to a $25 fee.


If you require mobility assistance and would like to reserve a scooter prior to the show, please contact the Conference Services Accessibility Hotline 312-280-3225 or email [email protected], no later than May 24, 2019. Reservation requests cannot be taken after this deadline; however, additional scooters will be available for use during the conference.

Mothers Room

There will be a private and comfortable space allocated to nursing mothers in the Convention Center. 

Walter E. Washington Convention Center Accessibility

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is committed to accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.   

General Accessibility

A curbside drop-off for wheelchairs and sidewalk curb cut-outs is located at each corner of the Convention Center perimeter. There are also ramps leading from the 9th Street and 7th Street corners to the doors at the Mount Vernon Place entrance. Automatic doors are located at the Mount Vernon Place, L Street and Metro (7th and M Streets) entrances. Inside the Center, meeting rooms, exhibit halls and public areas are all served by conveniently located elevators. Telephones, drinking fountains and restrooms throughout the building are wheelchair accessible. The taxi curbside cut-out located at Mount Vernon Place is available for wheelchair drop-off/transfers. ADA ramps are accessible from either end of Mount Vernon Place.   


The Mt Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center Metro station on the Yellow and Green Lines is located only a few feet from the Convention Center’s 7th and M Streets entrance. Use the short stairway or the elevator located just inside the entrance doors to reach the concourse. Please note, however, that registration for most meetings and other events is normally reached via the Convention Center’s main entrance on Mount Vernon Place, located three blocks to the south via 7th Street.    For information about Metro accessibility, please visit the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority website.   


There are twelve designated public parking spaces designated for vehicles displaying disability parking placards/permits or license tags in the following locations:   

  • 7th Street between L Street and Mt Vernon Place (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between Mount Vernon Place and L Street (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between L Street and M Street (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between M Street and N Street (3 metered spaces)

All of these handicapped spaces are accessible at the sidewalk side; although the spaces are not marked for wheelchair transfer. These spaces are public parking spots and are on a first come first serve basis. We cannot reserve these spaces. There is no public parking inside the building. There are parking garages and lots available in order to accommodate events at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and other downtown venues. The hours of operation and hourly rates vary at each facility, so please be aware when leaving your vehicle.   


Passenger elevators located throughout the Center provide access to all public areas of the building. Elevators are alarm-equipped with two-way communications to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Command Center and have tactile Braille call buttons inside and outside the cars.   

Hearing Impaired Services

Infrared Audio Assistive Listening Systems are permanently installed in the meeting rooms and Ballroom. Contact the organization managing the event you are visiting if you require these services. You can find that contact information on our calendar of events.   


All of the Center’s restrooms are accessible to persons with disabilities and contain stalls, sinks and mirrors that are wheelchair accessible.   

Service Animals

Trained service animals are permitted in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with proper supervision.   

Sight Impaired Information

Tactile Braille signage is at the entrances to all meeting rooms and restrooms, and inside and outside all passenger elevators.   

Wheelchair Lifts and Wheelchair Lecterns

If you will be presenting or speaking at an education session while at the Convention Center, we have portable wheelchair lifts to assist you onto stages. The Convention Center also provides wheelchair lecterns for speakers. Please contact the organization managing the event you are attending ahead of time, to ensure that your needs will be taken care, as this equipment must be installed prior to your arrival.