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Greening Your Events: Policy & Accessibility

Policy

In line with the Forest Service mission, “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations,” employees are required to manage resources in an environmentally-responsible way.

The following serve as the foundation for policies related to green and virtual events: 

  • Executive Order (EO) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade: “Consider the development of policies to promote sustainable commuting and work-related travel practices for Federal employees that foster workplace electric vehicle charging, encourage telecommuting, teleconferencing, and reward carpooling and the use of public transportation…”
  • Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), §301-74.3 Conference Planning, “Consider alternatives to a conference, e.g., teleconferencing…” A conference is defined as, “A meeting, retreat, seminar, symposium, or event that involves attendee travel. Some training can also be considered a conference.”
  • USDA Travel Regulation (ATR), “To ensure efficient spending, agencies are encouraged to devise strategic alternatives to Government conference travel, including local or technological alternatives...”
  • FSH 6509.33 Chapter 300: “It is the responsibility of the Forest Service Deputy Chiefs to…Ensure units manage resources in an environmentally positive way, which includes giving preference to virtual events and facilities which consume less energy.”
  • Sustainable Operations: Green Events support Forest Service Sustainable Operations goals. Core Action 5 of Sustainable Operations Accomplishment Reporting asks units to: “Incorporate sustainable practices into onsite events and/or replace some onsite events that require travel with hybrid or virtual events.

Accessibility

Federal Agencies have the opportunity and obligation to provide all programs and presentations in a manner that is accessible for everyone. Ensuring that those with mobility, vision, and cognitive issues can participate fully in all events is key to making them successful.

  • Federal agencies are required to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, amended in 1998).
  • To ensure that individuals with disabilities have complete access, all Federally-funded/conducted onsite events must be held in accessible facilities (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).

Accessibility for onsite events includes considerations such as ensuring the facilities meet Federal access standards. Accessibility for virtual events includes providing features such as live captions, keyboard commands, compatibility with screen readers, and using plain language.

See the Resources & Support page for accessibility resources, tips, and support.

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