Demarcated access lanes

AdaCamp was a two-day unconference dedicated to increasing women’s participation in open technology and culture. This page is part of the AdaCamp Toolkit, which helps you take AdaCamp’s tools and practices and apply them to your own event. You can re-use the text of this page under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license with credit to the AdaCamp Toolkit.

From 2013 onwards, AdaCamps featured demarcated access lanes. These lanes were corridors on the floor marked with tape in which people could move, but shouldn’t be stationary, allowing clear travel paths through the event.

The demarcated access lanes at AdaCamp were an idea from WisCon (see “Blue Zones” in WisCon’s accessibility guide).

Why access lanes?

The access lanes provide a clear path for everybody to move on, without a path through a room becoming choked up with people queuing, or talking to each other, or simply waiting around.

This access is particularly important for people with disabilities, so that:

  • wheelchair or scooter users have a ample-sized path available on which they can travel without having to ask people to move aside or make room for them;
  • people who find movement painful or tiring have a direct path to travel on without negotiating obstructions or needing to wait for people to move aside; and
  • blind and partially sighted people have access to a clear path.

Placing access lanes

Place access lanes at least through the entrance of your plenary venue to accessible seating areas, through the meal service corridors, and through the main travel areas between rooms of your event and into the entrances of rooms.

Mark the boundaries of the access lane by placing lines of tape on each side of the access lane. The tape called “painters tape” or “masking tape” is excellent for this purpose. Within the access lane, add an occasional notice in tape, eg “ACCESS LANE” or “KEEP MOVING”.

Access lanes should be at least 3ft/1m wide and ideally 4ft/1.2m or more wide.

When placing lanes, pay attention to where people will need to clump or queue, such as in front of the scheduling wall of an unconference, near the meal service area, and near registration. Plan both for an access lane in these areas that can stay clear and for other space where people can clump or queue.

Guide to access lane for attendees

EVENT uses access lanes marked out with COLOR tape throughout the event. Please keep the access lanes clear so that there’s always a path through the room for people with disabilities and for everyone else at the event.

You can:

  • move through the room in the access lanes

You can’t:

  • stop and chat in the access lanes
  • queue in the access lanes
  • place bags, furniture, power cables, or other obstructions in or across the access lanes

Help maintain the access lanes if you can:

  • politely remind your fellow attendees to not stop or queue in the access lanes
  • remove any obstructions you find in the access lanes

If you need help maintaining the access lanes, contact the reception desk or conference staff.


Photographs of access lanes: