Rally accessibility for attendees with disabilities
To ensure the most inclusive and diverse movement possible, the Women’s March Chicago is dedicated to facilitating an accessible, supportive experience at the Rally for all participants, including people with disabilities.
Below, please find more information about our accessibility services at the Rally, including the Accessible Viewing Area in front of the stage, services such as ASL Interpretation and Open Captioning, accessible entry to the Rally, timeline, drop-off and transportation.
Please note: services and seating are on a first-come, first-served basis, and are only for the Rally portion of the event — not the march.
Details on this page are subject to change. For any questions about accessible services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessible Viewing Area
- Attendees with disabilities and their companions are invited to participate in the Rally from the designated Accessible Viewing Area, located near the rally stage. The viewing area will have seating and is wheelchair-accessible, and may be accessed by a protected path from a designated entry point at Monroe and Columbus to the Accessibility Viewing Area at Columbus and Jackson that will be only be open to people with disabilities and their companions. The Accessible Viewing Area is ideal for those needing close proximity to the speakers and/or needing access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, or Audio Description.
Please note that availability of the Accessible Viewing Area and accessibility equipment is first-come, first-served and cannot be reserved in advance. To accommodate as many people with disabilities as possible in this area, please try to limit the number of companions who will not be using accessible services.
Accessible entrance and path to the Accessible Viewing Area
- A dedicated entrance for people with disabilities and their companions – including people who want ASL Interpretation, Open Captioning, Audio Description and Assistive Listening Devices — is located at the southwest corner of Columbus and Monroe.
- There is a protected path specifically for people with disabilities between the entry point at Columbus and Monroe and the Accessible Viewing Area at Columbus and Jackson. The distance of the path from the accessible entrance to the Accessible Viewing Area is approximately 900 feet.
- Volunteer guides and courtesy wheelchairs (available on a first-come, first-served basis) will be available to facilitate travel between the accessible entrance and the Accessible Viewing Area.
- For more information, please see below under Accessibility: Getting Here.
- The main entrance to the Rally for the general public is at the corner of Columbus Drive and Congress Boulevards.
- People will not be able to enter the Accessible Viewing Area from Columbus and Congress.
Timeline and what to expect
9:00am – 11:00am Pre-rally musical entertainment & videos
11:00am – 12:30pm Rally begins: speakers and performances
12:30pm – 1:30pm The March Route will run from Jackson and Michigan to Federal Plaza
The March will terminate in Federal Plaza where we will ask participants to move towards their transit and meet up points to exit the area safely. This will allow ALL the participants in the march to reach Federal Plaza from the rally site without creating a bottleneck.
***Those unable to march can remain in the rally area.***
Until 2pm – Jackson Drive and Columbus Drive will remain closed for marchers who remain in the rally space.
For more information about the march, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Accessible Services and Accommodations for Rally
- People requiring physical access are welcome to participate in the Rally from the Accessible Viewing Area, which is wheelchair-accessible.
- Chairs in the Accessible Viewing Area are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Accessible portable toilets are available throughout the rally area and near the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Loaner wheelchairs will be available to make it easier to travel between the accessible entrance and the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Review Accessibility: Getting Here (below) to learn more about arrival and entry.
American Sign Language Interpretation
- American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters will be on the stage, visible from the Accessible Viewing Area. Seats within the viewing area will be reserved specifically (on a first-come, first-served basis) for people who require a good line of sight of the interpreters.
- ASL interpreters will also be present at the Access Tents (see below).
- The rally will feature Open Captioning on large 10’ x 16’ screens placed at multiple points, both inside and outside of the Accessible Viewing Area.
- For the Accessible Viewing Area, captions will be presented on a large 10’ x 16’ screen mounted above the stage. Seats will be reserved for guests who identify as wanting the captions, and may be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis.
- We will have Jumbotrons displaying video with Open Captioning on Columbus Drive:
- One Jumbotron will be facing South along Columbus Drive between Jackson and Congress
- One Jumbotron will be facing east in the Family Zone, on the north side of Jackson, east of Columbus
- Please note that in the event of inclement weather, video may not be available.
Assistive Listening Devices
- Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available in the Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the General Access Tent, located behind the stage.
- Because of potential damage to the equipment, ALDs may not be available in inclement weather.
- Please bring a photo ID that will be held as collateral.
- Audio Description for the rally portion of the day will be available in the Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the General Access Tent, located behind the stage.
- Because of potential damage to the equipment, Audio Description headsets may not be available in inclement weather.
- Please bring a photo ID that will be held as collateral.
Sighted Guides and other Access Guides
- Access Volunteers are available to guide attendees from the Access Tents to the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Monroe Access Tent: located near Monroe and Columbus.
- General Access Tent: located near the stage, on Columbus between Jackson and Monroe.
- Access volunteers will be available to provide information on accessible viewing area and available services, and may escort you to an accessible location if you would like assistance.
- The tents will serve as a meeting point for those wanting to connect with volunteer guides.
- ASL Interpreters will be stationed at the tents to facilitate communication.
- Accessible portable toilets will be located to the west of the stage near the Accessible Viewing Area, close to Jackson and Columbus
Accessibility: Getting Here
Accessible entrance and drop-off point
- A dedicated entrance for people with disabilities and their companions – including people who want ASL Interpretation, Open Captioning, Audio Description or Assistive Listening Devices — is located at the southeast corner of Columbus and Monroe.
- An accessible drop-off and pick-up point specifically for people with disabilities is at the southeast corner of Columbus and Monroe, next to the accessible entrance and path to the Accessible Viewing Area.
- Volunteers will be stationed near the accessible entrance at Monroe and Columbus to welcome you, and assist with directions to the viewing area or other assistance.
- Drop-off and pick-up location for people with disabilities will be at the southeast corner of Monroe and Columbus. Vehicles will not be permitted to park in this area: it is intended for pick-up and drop-off only.
- All vehicles (including Pace) for accessible drop-off and pick-up should come south on Columbus from Randolph towards Monroe. (Please note: Monroe west of Jackson will be closed.) There is NO drop-off or pick-up permitted on Lake Shore Drive.
- We have notified companies and are working with them to provide accurate street closure and drop-off information for persons with disabilities.
- The Millennium Park Garages offer the most convenient parking to the rally, with entrances on Columbus Drive, north of Monroe or south of Randolph.
- For a $5 coupon and prepayment, head over to this link :
- Use this code: womensmarchchi
- This will specifically direct you to Millennium Park garage/parking:
- Other parking can be found at https://www.parkwhiz.com.
CTA and Metra
- CTA – All buses are ADA accessible. Check here for more information – CTA Accessibility
- Metra- We are in contact with the Metra Planning Department and the Metra Police. We will provide any updates from Metra. Here is link to a map of the downtown Metra stations.
- RTA Trip Planner The RTA Trip Planner allows travelers to plan trips in the Chicago region using public transit (CTA, Metra, and Pace buses and trains) that include directions for driving, biking, and walking. Click here for RTA Trip Planner. Use Monroe and Columbus, Chicago as your destination address which will put you near the accessible entry point for the rally.
While the Rally is guaranteed to take place, the March will only be held if attendance does not exceed a certain number of people. In 2017, when attendance reached the unexpected number of more than 250,000 people, march organizers made the decision part-way through the Rally that the March would not take place.
These plans for the March are based on currently expected weather and turn out – please note that this may change as we work closely with our professionals and assess the situation. We are excited to have everyone participate in a fun and enjoyable day. Our exceptional Safety Marshals and Directional Volunteers are being trained and will be updated on the ground the day of the event for everyone’s success. The resounding message from 1/21/17 was that the emotional experience of the day transcended the details. We know that uncertainty can be tricky, but please know that we are working hard to plan an amazing day, and that we trust the day will present great opportunities no matter how it launches.
If it’s decided that the March will not take place, it will be communicated over the stage speaker system and via the ASL interpreters, open captions, and Women’s March volunteers.
If the March does take place…
- The march route begins near the Accessible Viewing Area at Jackson and Columbus, and will run ¼ mile to Federal Plaza. The march route will be cleared and maintained by trained marshals.
- Persons with disabilities may:
- Remain in the Accessible Viewing Area during the march portion of the event.
- Go to Federal Plaza and remain while the march portion proceeds farther north and returns to Federal Plaza