Alternatives 2019 (#Alternatives2019) strives to be a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive place for everyone. We value each person’s gifts, inner strength, life experiences, and capacity to grow. 

The Alternatives Accessibility Services (TAAS) is committed to addressing the inclusion of all people, whatever their abilities, in all activities. Beyond the physical accessibility of the facilities, we endeavor to welcome all individuals—including those with mobility, visual, hearing, chemical and sensory, developmental, addiction, and other ability issues—into every facet of the conference.

We have evaluated the accessibility of the conference area and dorms. The Catholic University of America (CUA), where the conference will be held, will complete an initial screening for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and an onsite follow-up accessibilities survey.

Reserving Accessible Housing

Those in need of accessible accommodations will make their reservation using the same housing reservations system as all other Alternatives 2019 attendees. Please know that staff will be monitoring all dorm room reservations made with ADA requests to ensure people get an appropriate room for their level of need as availability allows. So please make your needs known and reserve early.

Be sure to list required assistive features needed. Please request what you require, keeping in mind there are limited resources so requesting at your level of need and not beyond will allow more people to participate in Alternatives 2019.

Bringing your Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal to Alternatives

Service Animals at Alternatives

The Service Animal must be in good health. Service Animals to be housed in campus housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian. A Service Animal must be clean and well groomed, and measures should be taken at all times for flea and odor control. The Service Animal must have current vaccinations and immunizations against diseases common to that type of animal. All Service Animals must wear a current rabies vaccination tag.

Handlers are responsible for ensuring the immediate clean-up and proper disposal of all animal waste, and for any damage caused by the waste or its removal.

The Catholic University of America is committed to promoting full participation and equal access to University programs and activities for individuals with disabilities, and to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. Pursuant to these commitments, Service Animals are permitted on campus for persons with disabilities in accordance with the requirements of this policy.


Support Animals at Alternatives

Definition: Support Animal means an animal that provides emotional support, well-being, or companionship that alleviates or mitigates symptoms of a disability. The presence of the Support Animal must be necessary in order to provide the guest with a disability the use and enjoyment of the dwelling. There must be an identifiable relationship between the disability and the support the Support Animal provides to the guest.

If you wish to bring your support animal to Alternatives, 

1) Please read the Guidelines and return to CUA. 

2) If you are staying in the campus dorm complete the accommodations request at this link.

3) Email the required documentation (detail below) one month before the conference to

(At least 10 business days are required to review requests for a Support Animal and supporting documentation.)

Submit supporting documentationfrom a licensed, treating clinician. The documentation should include diagnosis, provide explanations from the treating professional regarding the guest’s disability or condition, the impact of the disability or condition on a major life activity, the necessity of the Support Animal for the guest to use or enjoy campus housing, and the relationship between the guest’s disability and the relief the assistance animal provides. This documentation must come from the guest’s current treating clinician and include date, signature, and licensing information.

It is strongly recommended that the guest submit all required materials to ECS at least one month prior to his or her stay on campus. 

If the University determines that a Support Animal is a reasonable accommodation, the guest must then submit current vaccination and licensing documentation(if applicable).


Alternatives 2019 strives to meet individual accessibility needs to the best of our ability. On your registration form, please let us know of any particular needs you have. 

Some information about CUA and accessibility: 

· CUA is on a Metro stop, and all Metro stops are ADA-accessible. The newly remodeled Metro stop is open; the pathway to CUA is completed; and signage directs people to the Pryz Center.  

· All the dorms are equipped with elevators and snack machines. Reservations can be made for rooms with accessible showers. Please make those reservations early.

·  We will provide transportation to and from the dorms by golf carts or accessible vans for those who need it.

·  There are accessible, all-gender/family bathrooms in the conference space.

· CUA offers affordable meal plans to fit various dietary needs, and there are a variety of restaurants and shops within walking distance.

· We will conduct a multicultural/disability awareness training for CUA staff in advance of the conference. 

· We will have a clear plan for reporting/responding to problems.


Washington Metro Accessibility

The Metro is one of the most accessible public transportation systems in the world. Each Metro station is equipped with an elevator to the train platforms and extra-wide fare gates for wheelchair users.

Nearly all of the Metrobuses have wheelchair lifts and kneel at the curb.

Travelers who have a disability can obtain a Metro Disability ID card that entitles them to discounted fares. (Call 202-962-1558, TTY 202-962-2033 at least 3 weeks in advance.) The Metro Disability ID card is valid on Metrobus, Metrorail, MARC train, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Fairfax Connector, CUE bus, DC Circulator, The GEORGE bus, Arlington Transit (ART), and Amtrak. Montgomery County Ride On and Prince George’s County TheBus allow people with disabilities to ride free with a valid ID card. Read more about public transportation in Washington, DC.

For people who cannot use public transportation due to a disability, MetroAccess provides a shared-ride, door-to-door, paratransit service from 5:30 a.m. to midnight. Some late-night service is available until 3 a.m. on weekends. The MetroAccess customer service number is (301) 562-5360.

The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority publishes accessibility information on its website: You can also call (202) 962-1245 with questions about Metro services for travelers with disabilities.

Registration for Personal Aides

Personal aides who are attending solely to facilitate the attendance of another may register at a special $55 full-time rate. This personal attendant registration rate is only for those whose presence is required to assist an Alternatives attendee with disabilities or limitations that would preclude them from attending without assistance. Contact to arrange registration for a personal aide.

Planning for Accessibility

We recognize that some Alternatives participants may have needs that might not be apparent, such as those related to traumatic brain injury, some effects of chemotherapy, heart ailments, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome—also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)—epilepsy, fibromyalgia, etc.

Alternatives can be a fatiguing experience for anyone. We encourage you to take care of yourself. If you need to take a break (or are feeling creative), you may take advantage of the art drop-in center; and if you are feeling some emotional distress, a comfort suite staffed by trained peer supporters is available. 

Please bring whatever makes you independent at home, such as assistive devices, including wheelchairs, walkers, and electric scooters. Bring comfortable walking shoes and mobility devices. 

Take a virtual tour of Catholic University’s campus. See what it’s like to travel across campus, tour a residence hall room, and more:

 If you have mobility or other physical access concerns, here are some places where you can rent assistive devices in Washington, DC:

Scooters and Wheelchair Rentals

  • Scootaround - (888) 441-7575. Scooter and wheelchair rentals available daily, weekly or longer periods of time. Take a tour of DC and the National Mall on a mobility scooter.

  • DC Tours - (888) 878-9870. Rent a mobility scooter or a manual wheelchair. Daily rates.

  • Bike and Roll - (202) 842-BIKE. Electric scooters and manual wheelchairs available. Two-hour, half-day, daily, and multi-day rentals.

  • Lenox Medical - (202) 387-1960. Provides short-term scooter, wheelchair and knee walker rentals to tourists and local residents.

  • Orthopaedic Mobility Rentals provides service daily, weekly or monthly rentals throughout the DC Metro area. Call 571-340-8961 for more information.

Wheelchair Accessible Van Rentals and Sales


Accessible Parking in Washington, DC

Two ADA-accessible parking meters are located on every block that has government operated parking meters. The DC Department of Motor Vehicles honors “handicap parking permits” from other states.

Cars bearing disabled parking tags may park in designated spaces, and park for double the posted time in metered or time-restricted spaces.


Accessible Passenger Loading Zones on the National Mall


Parking Garages Close to the National Mall With Accessible Parking Spaces

  • Colonial Parking in Capital Gallery (6th Street and Maryland Avenue, SW)

  • Colonial Parking in the Holiday Inn (6th Street and C Streets, SW)

  • Ronald Reagan Building (14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)


Access to Washington, DC’s Major Attractions

While all of DC’s attractions and cultural venues are welcoming and accessible to visitors, the following attractions maintain dedicated web pages outlining their accessibility features, including ramps, sign language-interpreted tours, and wheelchairs. Visit for details, including downloadable maps that identify accessible entrances, curb cuts, designated parking, and more. For questions about programs for people with disabilities, call (202) 633-2921 or TTY (202) 633-4353.

Click on an attraction name to learn more. 

On the National Mall and in the memorial parks, you’ll find permit-only parking adjacent to the FDR Memorial. A limited number of wheelchairs are available for loan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You can reach the interiors of the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial using elevators located in the memorials’ ground-level lobbies.