Making events accessible for disabled people
This is a big subject – and the best way to understand it is to involve disabled people in helping to organise your event. There is no one guide to follow but we have given you some links to explore below – about making your event work for people with a range of abilities.
- Please consider the needs of wheelchair users, or people with reduced mobility, including space for wheelchairs and ramps.
- Offer free tickets/spaces for personal assistants where needed
- Deaf people or people who are hard of hearing may need sign language interpreters at a talk, and/or reserved seats towards the front for clear visual communication for lip reading.
- Speakers at your events should always use mikes to amplify sound.
- Blind or partially sighted people will have specific needs related to clear signage and clear walkways with no trip hazards.
- Offer a variety of communication formats for further information: telephone, email, texts
Resources and Links
- Social Model of Disability
- The Social Model was developed by disabled people to identify and take action against discrimination.
- It contrasts to the traditional Medical Model, which presents disability as an individual, medical ‘problem’ and focuses on what a person can’t do because of their particular physical, neurological or psychological characteristics, and places responsibility and burden on the disabled individual.
- The Social Model takes the focus away from impairment; it places responsibility on government, organisations, businesses and individuals to identify and implement constructive changes to remove barriers and increase access.
2. Making Events Accessible – short resource guide from Shape
3. BSL Interpreting Services in Hertfordshire
If you are organising a talk, you may want to consider hiring an interpreter in British Sign Language (BSL) to enable better engagement for deaf people who use BSL.
Signs in Vision
Telephone/SMS 07728 579696
Telephone 01763 209001 SMS 07885 553013
4. Welcoming blind and partially sighted customers
An RNIB short guide Welcoming-your-blind-and-partially-sighted-customers-leisure-factsheet
5. Checklist for making your event more accessible
In planning your event, you should consider the following:
- What do you need to do to ensure access to information and interpretation?
- Do you need to organise accessible transport or think about bus/train routes.
- How many accessible places are there in the car park area; can you reserve them in advance of your event?
- Do you have wheelchair accessible toilets?
- Do you need to adapt the lighting and room layout to accommodate sign language interpreters (SLIs)?
- Have you got a hearing loop or infra-red system? Is it working?
- What’s the plan in the event of the fire alarm going off? How will you let deaf participants know what is happening? Have you carried out a risk assessment?
- How are you going to brief front-of-house staff?
- Is there an outdoor space for assistance dogs to use?
- Is your catering clearly labelled -with assistants on hand to help serve food/drink?
- Are you providing mugs instead of cups and saucers, and straws?
- Can you provide printed notes of presentations etc, to circulate beforehand?
- Can you give all speakers and presenters information about what you expect from them regarding access and inclusion?
- Who is responsible for ascertaining consent to be photographed?
- Are you and your photographer or filmmaker aware of the issues regarding the creation and use of images of disabled people?
- If you are providing name badges, is the font large and clear enough?
6. Top Tips for Accessible Marketing
Short guide to Accessible Marketing for your event