Three Easy Ways to Maximize Event Accessibility
Below are three easy ways to maximize event accessibility by accommodating everybody, including those with invisible disabilities.
- Event design
Event planners work magic behind the scenes. They pull everything together to create an exciting, welcoming environment.
Diversity and inclusion work best when they are a part of the planning process.
〰PLANNING TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰
Guest accommodations should be friendly to people with disabilities, including those with ‘hidden’ disabilities.
Most U.S. hotels, motels, inns, etc. include accommodations that are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. In fact, all accommodations designed or constructed after January 26, 1993 are required to be ADA compliant.
Make it easy for your guests or attendees from the start! Provide them with an accessibility statement and point of contact in your event announcements and invitations. Be sure to include clear instructions on how to request accommodations. Make sure attendees know that requests for special accommodations have the same deadlines as RSVPs and avoid confusion! (Scroll to the end for two examples!)
Include details about lodging and transportation accessibility with out-of-town guests.
〰EVENT DESIGN TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰
The best event designs unify and refine your event. Be sure that acoustics, lighting, and climate are all a part of making your event comfortable and inviting.
Prioritize details that impact guests’ ability to see, hear, and fully participate in your event. Thoughtful seating arrangements, unobtrusive decor, and widely available information help.
Personalized event entertainment goes a step further to ensure that ALL of your guests are able to participate in your event.
Strolling entertainers make accessibility a breeze for those with mobility impairments–the entertainment comes to you!
〰TECHNOLOGY TO MAXIMIZE EVENT ACCESSIBILITY〰
If you use visual or auxiliary elements (for example a slideshow or speaker), share additional services, assistive technology, or accommodations that you can provide.
● American Sign Language interpreters
● CART services (Real time closed-captioning is more accurate than computer generated captions)
● Visual and auxiliary aids
● Assistive communication devices
Have information available in alternative formats (large print, for example). If text is presented, use a mic and read it aloud while facing the audience.
This list is not exhaustive, but it is a great place to start to help create a more accessible world.
Be open to learning new ways to deliver a positive, coequal experience to each guest. (Or as we put it, keep inviting everyone to the table.)
Below are two more easy ways to maximize event accessibility by setting the right pieces in motion, starting with your announcements. Happy planning!
Sample Accessibility Checklist
Please let us know how we can enhance your participation!
___ Advance copy of slides to be projected
___ Allergies — List: ________________________
___ An assistant will be accompanying me
___ A service animal will be accompanying me
___ Assistive listening device
___ Diet Restrictions — List: __________________
___ Gender neutral bathroom
___ Lactation room
___ Large print
___ Orientation to facility
___ Reserved front row seat
___ Scent-free room
___ Wheelchair access
___ Wheelchair access to work tables throughout meeting space
Provide an accessibility statement with a point of contact.
Sample Accessibility Statement
We are committed to organizing events that are inclusive to all. To request information on accommodations and accessibility, contact [ Full name & pronouns] at [email AND phone number] when submitting your RSVP. As a courtesy to those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we are asking that our staff and guests please avoid wearing strong fragrances.