Access for People with Disabilities

Making events accessible for everyone

The best event is accessible to everyone in the community: there should be no barriers to potential audience members engaging and enjoying your event. There are a range of factors to consider including the gender, ethnic, physical and mental position of the audience. We have some links to explore below to help you make your event work for everyone: if you have any concerns or would like support please get in touch.

  • Consider the needs of wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility, including space for wheelchairs and ramps.
  • Offer free tickets/spaces for carers and 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 microphones to amplify sound. Find out if your venue has a hearing aid induction loop and make sure your sound system uses it. 
  • Blind or partially sighted people will have specific needs related to clear signage, appropriate lighting levels and walkways free of obstruction.
  • Offer a variety of communication formats for further information: telephone, email, texts
  • Consider timing and venue and the impact that those choices may have on those that follow particular religions
  • Are there catering options to include dietary access?


Many public venues in St Albans have been audited at AccessAble. Check to see if there is a survey available and link to it in your publicity. 

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.

Making Events Accessible

Click here for a brief resource guide from Shape

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

Welcoming blind and partially sighted customers

An RNIB short guide is available here.  Welcoming-your-blind-and-partially-sighted-customers-leisure-factsheet

Checklist for access

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? What about Changing Places toilets (with hoists and changing facilities)?

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 people with additional needs know what is happening? Have you carried out a risk assessment?

Is there an outdoor space for assistance dogs to use?

Is your catering clearly labelled – with assistants on hand to help serve food/drink?

Do you have a range of drinking receptacles (ie mugs and straws as well as cups and saucers)? Could you encourage attendees to bring their own refreshment, given the subject matter?!

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 people with disabilities?

If you are providing name badges, is the font large and clear enough?

Top Tips for Accessible Marketing

Short guide to Accessible Marketing for your event