Accessibility

Everyone is welcome at SXSW. We strive to make our conference and festivals accessible to the largest number of people possible, and are always looking at ways to remove barriers.


SXSW 2023 - Attendees

Accessibility at SXSW

 

SXSW Accessibility Commitment Statement

Everyone is welcome at SXSW. We strive to make our conference and festivals accessible to the largest number of people possible, and are always looking at ways to remove barriers.

If you have accessibility requests or requirements that are not covered on this page, please contact accessibility@sxsw.com so we can work together to find an accommodation.

Contact SXSW Accessibility

  • Email: accessibility@sxsw.com
  • Phone: 512-467-7979 (Call/Text)
  • In Person: Accessibility Desk in the Austin Convention Center during the event. Event days phone number will be added here at a later date.

Accessibility Help Desk Location & Hours

Accessibility Help Desk - Trinity Street
Austin Convention Center - Across from Exhibit Hall 3/4 next to the Trinity St. Entrance
Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm, March 8 - 13

Accessibility Help Desk - Registration
Austin Convention Center - Exhibit Hall 1
Hours reflect that of Registration

Accommodation Request

 

Please fill out our Accessibility Accommodation Form to submit your request to the SXSW Accessibility Team. You must be a registered attendee to make Accessibility Accommodation requests for SXSW 2024.

Accessibility Accommodation Form

The deadline for submitting accommodation requests for SXSW 2024 is February 24, 2024.

We will do our best to honor requests after the deadline, however services cannot be guaranteed. If you are a speaker, artist, filmmaker or other invited guest of SXSW, please discuss your accommodation needs with the SXSW staff member that is programming your event.

You will be provided a form to request ADA accommodations needed for your event and connected with the Accessibility Team.

Accessibility Designation

 

An Accessibility Designated SXSW Badge will provide attendees with accessibility needs access to designated seating, use of the ADA Entrance and the ADA shuttle.

To request an Accessibility Designated SXSW Badge, please email reg@sxsw.com or request one while picking up your badge onsite.

All registrants attending the in-person event must pick up their own credentials by showing their government-issued photo ID at Registration in the Austin Convention Center.

Companion Wristband

 

SXSW does not provide 1:1 interpreters, personal aids, or guides. Attendees who require these — and other accommodations we do not provide during SXSW — can request a Companion Wristband. This will allow them to provide the necessary accommodations to accompany them without the purchase of an additional badge.

Companion Wristbands can be picked up at the Accessibility Desk in Exhibit Hall 1 at the Austin Convention Center during badge pickup. Both the badge holder and the companion must be present and have proper identification at the time of pick up.

Please contact accessibility@sxsw.com for more information about Companion Wristbands.

Captioning & ASL Interpreting

 

ASL Interpreting

SXSW provides ASL Interpreters for all keynote sessions, select featured sessions, and the post-film Q&A’s for all of our headliner film and tv screenings. Additional events may be requested and scheduled by using this Accessibility Accommodation Form. ASL Interpreted events will be listed on the schedule as they become available.

SXSW does not provide ASL interpreters for expos, parties, sponsor events or personal 1:1 to accompany individuals throughout the festival. If you are attending one of these types of events and would like to bring your own interpreter, contact accessibility@sxsw.com about our Companion Wristband option.

Conference Captioning

All keynote and featured sessions provide open captioning. Closed captioning is also available for additional sessions by request using this Accessibility Accommodation Form. If your request has been received and confirmed, closed captioning will be accessible on your personal device (phone, iPad, computer) via link provided online. Contact accessibility@sxsw.com if you are having trouble accessing your closed captioning link.

Film Captioning

Closed Captions are available for all screenings. Closed captioning equipment is limited and is first come first serve. If you plan to use a closed captioning device at a screening, please fill out the Accessibility Accommodation Form.

Open Captioning will also be available for select screenings. These will be listed on the film schedule as they become available.

Additional questions regarding ASL interpreters and captioning can be directed to accessibility@sxsw.com.

ADA/ASL Entry & Seating

 

Conference Sessions

Those with Accessibility Designation have the option of using ADA entry and ADA/ASL seating during our event. All designated SXSW accessible seating is based on capacity and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

For large ballrooms, look for a large ADA Entry sign or ask a SXSW volunteer or staff member if you are having trouble locating it. For smaller sessions, you will head straight to the main door and inform them you’re using ADA Entry. If the doors have not opened yet, you will join the Priority Access line.

If the rest of the room is filled to capacity when the session begins, one-half of the available ADA seating will be released to those waiting in line. The remaining seats will remain available for late-arriving Accessibility Designated badge holders.

Film Screenings

We recommend that those with Accessibility Designation who have a specific seating request use ADA priority entry so they are able to choose the seat that will work best for them upon entry. Doors open for priority entrance approximately one hour before and are held until approximately 45 minutes before the screening time.

Additional questions about ADA/ASL entry & seating can be directed to accessibility@sxsw.com.

Audio Description

 

Film Audio Description

Audio description will be available for select films. These will be listed on the film schedule as they become available. Audio Description equipment is limited and is first come first serve. If you plan to use a audio description device at a screening, please fill out the Accessibility Accommodation Form.

Accessible Housing

 

To request an accessible room online with SXSW Housing & Travel, choose your ideal hotel from our list of available hotel rooms and follow the steps to book. When you reach the “special request field” in step 3 of the booking process (where you’ll also enter your payment information), let us know that you require an accessible room and any other additional details about your stay.

We’ll pass this information along to the hotel, so they can accommodate your request.

Service Animals

 

SXSW allows ADA-recognized service animals trained specifically to assist a person with disabilities at all events. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not permitted at SXSW events.

If you are bringing a service animal, we ask that you register your service animal at one of the Accessibility Help Desks. You will receive a SXSW Service Animal tag that signals to all staff and volunteers that this animal is working and you have been in touch with the Accessibility Team.

Sensory Information

 

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with PTSD, dementia, autism and other similar conditions (1 in 6 individuals). One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of this environment.

Sensory items such as fidgets, ear plugs, and KultureCity Sensory Bags are available at the Accessibility Help Desks and Sensory Rooms.

Sensory Rooms

Mobile Sensory Rooms by KultureCity are located at:
Hilton, Room 614
March 8th - March 15th
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

JW Marriott - Room 208
March 8th-12th
10:00 am-5:00 pm

Film

Screenings with strobe effects will be marked in the schedule. If you have questions or concerns about the content or sensory experience of any events, contact accessibility@sxsw.com.

Transportation & Parking

 

Transportation

Austin, in general, is accessible. Be aware that there are some places throughout the City that are historic, or dated and could pose challenges for some who have a disability. Please reach out to accessibility@sxsw.com for questions about specific establishments or areas.

Our advice to attendees is to utilize public transportation, rideshare, or taxi service when available. All public transportation methods have an accessible option.

Shuttle Services

SXSW provides a free registrant shuttle service serving the Austin Convention Center and several of our other venues. There is also an ADA accessible shuttle that travels the same route. More information about their accessibility services during SXSW will be available closer to the event.

Parking

If you have a government issued disabled hang tag or license plate, you don’t have to pay the parking meters. Private parking lots and garages may have different rules and regulations. If you park near any of the SXSW Shuttle Stops you will be able to request the Accessibility Shuttle to bring you to your desired venue.

Mobility Devices

 

At SXSW, wheelchairs and 3- or 4-wheel electric scooters, walkers, canes, and crutches are allowed and are reasonably accommodated. Please know that SXSW does not provide push services for attendees. For safety reasons, requests to use other power-driven mobility devices will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please email accessibility@sxsw.com.

Charging

Charging outlets will be available at the Accessibility Desk located on the first floor of the Austin Convention Center. Charging is on a first-come, first-served basis and devices must be secured with a lock or other means of securing the device. SXSW cannot be responsible for unattended devices left charging.

Repair/Rental

While visiting SXSW, please feel free to call or visit the Accessibility Desk on the first floor of the Austin Convention Center for a list of local vendors that can assist with rentals or repairs. It is advised to make rental arrangements in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of equipment.

There is no equipment rental of any kind offered by SXSW. Please make your own mobility accommodations, if required. If you need assistance email accessibility@sxsw.com and we will help provide options within the Greater Austin Area

This page is regularly updated as more information becomes available.

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