When running an event for the public, you have a legal and moral obligation to ensure the event can be accessed by all.
If someone with a disability finds an event difficult to navigate and enjoy due to a lack of accessibility, not only will you have failed to meet their expectations, but they might also complain directly or indirectly.
So how can you make your event accessible for all to enjoy?
Here are 10 tips:
1. Check Access
Include ramps and wider passages for those with mobility issues and who use a wheelchair or other mobility device. This will also help parents with prams.
2. Demonstrate Accessibility To All On Promotional Materials
Make a point to subtly show you have taken steps to make your event accessible to all. Include information such as disabled access, hard-of-hearing equipment, etc.
3. Provide Transport
If you are hosting a large event, or must have your car park a long way from the main event, consider providing additional transport to help those with limited mobility.
4. Supplementary Equipment
Those with hearing or sight problems might need supplementary equipment to support their enjoyment of the event. Offer it for free if you can but otherwise offer it for hire at a reasonable rate and place a booking form on your website to help with planning. Make sure that toilets for disabled people are available and if possible encourage the use of a Changing Places facility for those who need a carer to help them with their toileting.
5. Train Staff
Train your event team to consider those with a disability. Giving directions with hand signals is no help to someone with a visual impairment.
6. Describe Images
Should you be hosting an event which includes a presentation, remember to tell presenters to describe the image as well as show it.
7. Publish Braille Maps
If you provide maps for guests, have some which are in braille and raised line. This should also be considered for any guides, leaflets, or brochures.
8. Give Adequate Time Between Event Phases
Don’t forget it can take anyone with a disability longer to move from one location to another, so allow for this in your planning.
9. Include A Disabled Parking Area
If you’re using a field as a parking area, designate an area on the field for disabled car users.
10. Consider Dietary Requirements
If you’re offering food, remember to consider all dietary requirements of guests. It can be embarrassing for them to have to ask.
With these tips, you can start to create an event that will be accessible to all. Remember the best tip is to always check the accessibility of possible locations of your event prior to booking. This will make your job easier in the long term.
What tips do you have for accessibility to your events?
Let us know in the comments below.