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Accessible Meeting Destination

Published: December 19, 2022

Providing accessibility for all people is an ongoing priority for event planners and is also an ongoing priority for all the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon. Here are some of the ways that our region supports accessibility for meeting attendees.

Accesible Transportation

Lane Transit District (LTD) is a popular transportation service that serves the Eugene-Springfield metro area and outer communities. LTD is committed to providing services that are accessible and help maintain independence for all. Every bus uses a low-floor design that can lower, or a ramp can be used to make boarding even easier.

If your attendees want to take a pre or post-meeting trip to the coast, Link Lane is the metro-coast connector that is known for their comfortable rides and service that runs seven days a week. There are two daily round trips from Eugene to Florence, making it an easy and reliable means of transportation to the coast. Link Lane is fully accessible and allows service animals on board.

At MTR Western, transportation is their service, but hospitality is their business. Their charter buses offer both wheelchair access and storage space which creates a more comfortable and spacious ride for passengers.

Accessible Recreation Activities

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region continues to make recreation opportunities more accessible. Attendees will appreciate the wide range of activities that they can experience.

The City of Eugene’s Adaptive Recreation Services provides a wide range of services which include adaptive recreational equipment rentals, customized programs, and inclusion services. Their adaptive recreational equipment includes beach and all-terrain wheelchairs as well as trikes, recumbents, hand cycles and tandems. Take advantage of their customized programs as they will tailor a program or trip for your group at a reasonable price.

The Spencer Butte Challenge Course is one of the few ropes courses with accessible elements and can accommodate groups ranging in size from seven to 70 people. This course is an amazing learning opportunity for groups by designing inclusive and challenging team building elements, on the ground and in the air. Programs are customized to your group’s needs and provide a day of group challenges in a supportive environment in which everyone can participate.

Spencer Butte Challenge Course

The Owen Rose Garden is a beautiful, eight-and-a-half acre park which features the nationally recognized Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree. Located on the banks of the majestic Willamette River, this wheelchair accessible garden is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the roses and the river. This visually pleasing garden also features a public restroom, gravel walkways with benches, a pergola-lined paved walkway and an arbor picnic area.

Attendees will enjoy the view from the wheelchair-accessible observation deck at Oregon's second highest single drop waterfall at Salt Creek Falls. The observation deck is the primary viewing platform at the top of the waterfall and is only 50 yards from the parking lot. The waterfall is also one of Oregon’s most powerful falls with an average yearly flow of 50,000 gallons per minute pummeling over the rocks.

At the coast, the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area offers stunning views of the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America.The area also offers a paved, wheelchair accessible trail that takes the visitor from the parking area to an upper viewing platform. There is also a short section of paved trail that leads to picnic tables and views of the dunes and Pacific Ocean.

Accessible Arts and Culture

Our region boasts an impressive art scene that attendees won’t want to miss. Catching a show at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a great after hours activity. Their facilities offer a wide range of accessible features including American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, wheelchair seating, sensory sensitivity packs and extra-wide doors at all access points.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA) on the University of Oregon campus is a great place to explore a variety of art exhibitions. JSMA is accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who need to avoid stairs. They also allow service dogs and offer wheelchairs on a complimentary, first come, first serve basis.

DanceAbility International, based in Eugene, connects people with and without disabilities through dance and movement. They work hard to explore and uproot the misconceptions and prejudice between people with and without disabilities. Their mission is accomplished through their various workshops, classes, trainings and events that are enriching and inclusive.

Accessible Hearing Partners

In 2020, our company installed a hearing loop system in our Visitor Center which was one of our many efforts to become a more accessible DMO. A hearing loop system sends sound directly to the telecoil receiver in a user’s hearing device.

Visitor Center Hearing Loop

We launched an initiative this year to fund the installation of hearing loops at as many partner businesses as possible and are hoping to have ten to twenty partner installations this year. In addition, we are seeking grants to help fund even more partner installations. Some partners that have installed hearing loops include Florence Events Center, Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene Airport and Cottage Theatre and more. Reach out to us for a full list of our partners who have this technology available.

Accessible Company Commitment

Our company has established three pillars of strategic focus including accessibility, sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In addition to efforts in making our offices and Visitor Center more accessible with an entry ramp, automatic door and hearing loops, we are incorporating accessibility tips in communications to our partners. This “Disability Dialogue” quiz from the University of Western Canada is a great resource to become more knowledgeable about accessibility. It was shared among our staff and partners recently and is a great resource.

Accessible Services

Let us make your meeting more accessible! As local experts in our area, we’ll provide exemplary service to make your meeting fully inclusive. We will find the appropriate venues and hotels that meet your accessibility requirements. In addition, we can source various types of meeting support such as ASL interpreters and audio/visual services. We are happy to connect you with our local partners for accessible restaurants, adaptive equipment rentals and more.

Accessible Skiing Adventure

An Accessible Meeting Destination

Our destination is committed to accessibility. We have it all from accessible venues to transportation and activities. Consider hosting your meeting here and let us help you curate an accessible meeting that is inclusive to everyone.

Author: Brian Saunders

Brian Saunders was born and raised in a small town in Connecticut. After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 2019, he made his way back to Oregon where he has been visiting for over 10 years. In his free time, Brian enjoys cooking, hiking and riding his bike.