What To Expect


Learn What to Expect at the 2020 CACUSS Conference

Aligned with the CACUSS values of access and inclusion, the What to Expect descriptions below will discuss components that may provide an environment that will be fully enjoyed by all conference attendees.

Transportation/terrain Meeting and Conference Rooms - What can I expect at the Delta?

The Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport and Conference Centre (655 Dixon Road, Toronto Canada)  


This property serves as both location for plenary, breakout sessions, buffet service, sponsor and exhibitor showcase AND the primary hotel for a majority of out of town delegates.  Meeting rooms are used throughout the space and spread out over a very large area.  Ample signage and wayfinding volunteers will be available to help direct delegates during conference hours.  A majority of the conference seems to be located on the second floor of the SOUTH end of the conference centre (see washroom and elevator information below).  The second floor is a long distance from the registration and access hub in the WEST end of the conference centre.

Committee has determined that meeting room doors are heavy and not automatic and signage for rooms is not visible.  Again, large font signs on easels and wayfinding volunteers will help alleviate some of the problem.

The SOUTH and WEST entrances of the conference centre are locked at midnight.  Entrance via main lobby doors only after midnight.  Doors to the hotel and conference centre are automatic sliding doors.

First Aid Kit located at hotel front desk.

Crowd       Crowd – What is the estimated number of people who will attend the event?

We expect 700 - 1000 delegates to join us in Toronto for the 2020 CACUSS Conference from Sunday, May 31 to Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Sound/lighting      Sound/lighting – How quiet or loud is the event expected to be?  What is the lighting like?

Generally, you can expect it to be quite loud during main plenary sessions, sponsor and exhibitor showcase, meal service and around the registration and access hub.   The lights in each breakout room are NOT dimmable.  New lighting to be added to hallways and open areas in spring 2020.

Space/quiet space     Space/quiet space – Where could I find private, quiet space to rest, meditate or pray?

There are no green spaces near the hotel and conference centre. This area is NOT pedestrian friendly.  As a result, the committee is providing a room to pray or meditate as well as a wellness room for those delegates needing to 'step away' from the conferrence.  The Wellness Room will feature activities and programming from all 5 hist college institutions, including activities including colouring, drumming and yoga.  Room assignments and available hours will be shared in spring 2020.

Language       Language – What languages will be used at this event? For example, will there be French, English or sign language interpretation available?

The conference will be delivered in English.

Alcohol/beverage      Alcohol/beverage – Will alcohol be served? Will there be alcohol-free areas at the event venue?

The welcome reception on Sunday, May 31 will not offer alcohol.  The Closing Reception on Wednesday June 3 will offer a cash bar.  There is a bar located in the hotel called Lot 41 for those who wish to purchase alcohol outside of conference hours.

Coffee, tea and water will be served during meal times.

Food/service       Food/service – Will there be food available, at this event? What kinds of foods? Will service staff be available to assist with taking food and beverage orders?

Morning and afternoon nutrition breaks and lunches will be served Monday, June 1 - Wednesday, June 3.  For those attending Pre-Conference on Sunday, May 31 morning nutrition break and lunch will be served.  At this time, all food service will be buffet style with menu cards identifying any allergens or dietary restrictions.

Standing Cocktail reception featuring passed and stationed food will be served at both the welcome reception on Sunday, May 31 as well as the closing reception on Wednesday, June 3.  There is a Starbucks Cafe located in the hotel for those wishing to purchase additional coffee or snacks.

Both catering staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist delegates at the buffet should they require it.

Menu will be shared with delegates later in spring 2020.

Restrooms      Restrooms – Are there gendered and non-gendered washrooms available at this venue? Are there private restrooms? Are there wheelchair accessible washrooms?

 There are just two washrooms that are located on the second floor SOUTH end of the conference centre.  These washrooms are a long distance from the breakout rooms.  They are marked accessible, but the committee has determined the entrances are awkward with possible maneuverability issues for people with wheelchairs or scooters.

The two washrooms in the EAST end of the conference centre are marked accessible but they are NOT, entry would be extremely difficult.  Two washrooms closest to the hotel LOBBY are designated as gender neutral washrooms.  Conference organizers are monitoring the progress closely.

The committee recommends the two washrooms in the WEST end of the conference centre by the registration desk.

All washrooms will be marked with wayfinding signage and volunteers throughout the venue.

There are no private restrooms; all restrooms are stalls.

Elevators/stairs      Elevators/Escalators/Stairs – Are there stairs and/elevators available at this event?

ONE set of elevators are located in the SOUTH end of the venue, close to the plenary, sponsor/exhibitor showcase and buffets.  They can comfortably hold wheelchairs and scooters and feature braille buttons and raised numerals for people who are blind or with low vision and are mounted at a comfortable height for those using a wheelchair or a scooter.  The conference elevator does NOT have an auditory signal to alert people who are blind or have low vision.  Guest room elevators DO have an auditory signal.  Both elevators have a visual cue system in the lobby to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

There is one escalator near the elevator that can change direction if needed along with 2 sets of stairs.  

All three of these options are located a long distance from registration area in the WEST end of the conference building.  If the elevator is out of service during the conference, the only other option is a freight elevator, accessed via SOUTH end of the building.

Transportation/terrain      Transportation/Terrain/Parking – How could I get to and from this event? Are there terrain considerations?

The Delta is either tile or carpeted flooring and also serves as the primary hotel for a majority of delegates with very little commute time.  The hotel is surrounded by highway and delegates will have to cross 6 lanes of traffic on foot to access the property.  For those driving to the property, there is a sufficient number of accessible parking spots close to the building.  The best entrance to access the conference would be the WEST entrance (access through the parking lot).  This is very direct and fully accessible (ramp, automatic doors).  It is recommended that Wheel Trans drops off at this entrance.  The SOUTH entrance has steps and there is a ramp further west but requires access through a small door.

Attendant care      Attendant care – Will personal attendants be available to people with disabilities for activities of daily living? How can I request an attendant?

Volunteers at the access hub are available to assist delegates upon request.  Please make sure to indicate your needs in your registration form or email events@cacuss.ca by Friday, May 8, 2020 to ensure a volunteer is available for you as requested.  For those with service animals, there are no green areas around the hotel.  In the parking lot, there are two patches of grass and some trees that may be used for service dogs.  A water station for service animals will be available at the accessibility hub.