Event accessibility — a priority for all event planners

Event accessibility — a priority for all event planners

13.3 mil­lion Eng­lish peo­ple live with a dis­abil­i­ty 1. You may not know this — as many dis­abil­i­ties are not vis­i­ble — but it is very like­ly that dis­abled per­sons attend the events you organ­ise. Actu­al­ly, many may not even attend your events because they don’t know whether they will be able to eas­i­ly access the event and enjoy the moment with­out dif­fi­cul­ty. Worse still, they may have had a poor expe­ri­ence at one of your events and don’t want to attend anoth­er ever again.

Mak­ing your event more acces­si­ble is also a way to attract a new audi­ence, who will have a dif­fer­ent out­look on your event’s themes and process. So, here are some tips to offer every­one the same oppor­tu­ni­ties to min­gle, share and have fun at your events.

Con­tents

  1. Boost your event’s acces­si­bil­i­ty
  2. Com­mu­ni­cate about acces­si­bil­i­ty fea­tures
  3. Write an acces­si­ble descrip­tion
  4. Make reg­is­tra­tion easy

1. Boost your event’s accessibility

Mak­ing an event acces­si­ble is more than a sim­ple require­ment, it must be a desire and a pri­or­i­ty on your part. Cre­at­ing an inclu­sive envi­ron­ment is not just about putting access ramps in place. Organ­is­ing an event that is acces­si­ble to per­sons with reduced mobil­i­ty (PRMs) means that you must be atten­tive to the small details that make every­one feel wel­come.

How­ev­er, start at the begin­ning and ensure that you com­ply with the rules set by the Equal­i­ty Act. This is the min­i­mum you have to do, and most venues used to receiv­ing the pub­lic are com­pli­ant. Still, we rec­om­mend that you take a look at the venue before­hand to make sure every­thing is in order.

Sig­nage is very impor­tant. Acces­si­ble entrances and adapt­ed toi­lets must be vis­i­ble from a low point of view, for peo­ple using a wheel­chair. And for the visu­al­ly impaired, these signs must be large enough and use con­trast­ing colours.

Make sure that the lay­out of the venue pro­vides enough space for wheel­chairs-users and all oth­er atten­dees to move around and min­gle.

Don’t neglect all oth­er forms of dis­abil­i­ties, such as aller­gies to cer­tain types of food. Peanut aller­gies, for exam­ple, should not be tak­en light­ly. Avoid serv­ing it or indi­cate very clear­ly when a dish con­tains it. These are the kinds of details that will make your event acces­si­ble to every­one.

2. Communicate about accessibility features

Don’t just announce that your event is acces­si­ble but explain clear­ly how it is so. This will reas­sure the peo­ple con­cerned so that they can make the deci­sion to attend your event with as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble. We rec­om­mend that you give details on the means used to make your event inclu­sive in your event’s descrip­tion and on your com­mu­ni­ca­tion mate­ri­als.

For exam­ple, describe acces­si­ble entrances, men­tion wheel­chair spaces, etc. Park­ing is also very impor­tant. Is there enough space for PRMs? How many in total?

A detailed descrip­tion of your event’s acces­si­bil­i­ty will help peo­ple make a deci­sion before reg­is­ter­ing or pur­chas­ing a tick­et. It also shows the sin­cer­i­ty of your efforts.

3. Write an accessible description

Your event’s acces­si­bil­i­ty also includes your web­site or Weezevent min­isite. Online acces­si­bil­i­ty is gen­er­al­ly under­es­ti­mat­ed com­pared to on-site acces­si­bil­i­ty. Your event can be the most acces­si­ble in the uni­verse on site, some­thing is still miss­ing if the rel­e­vant peo­ple are not informed.

A few easy actions can make your online event more acces­si­ble:

  • Use descrip­tions for each image, for peo­ple using screen read­er tech­nol­o­gy.
  • Add a text tran­scrip­tion of each video post­ed on your web­site or on your YouTube chan­nel, for the rea­sons men­tioned above and for hear­ing impaired peo­ple.
  • Increase the con­trast of the text on your web pages, for visu­al­ly impaired peo­ple — includ­ing the elder­ly.

Some web design­ers spe­cialise in acces­si­ble and inclu­sive design.

4. Make registration easy

The reg­is­tra­tion process is the most impor­tant part of an event atten­dee’s online expe­ri­ence. Indeed, it is the part that includes pay­ment, and there­fore gen­er­ates stress. If pos­si­ble, we rec­om­mend you have the entire reg­is­tra­tion process test­ed by sev­er­al peo­ple around you to iden­ti­fy any issues.

Any delays or dif­fi­cul­ties in under­stand­ing how to com­plete the form will frus­trate your poten­tial par­tic­i­pants. And if the form con­tains too many ques­tions, users of assis­tive tech­nol­o­gy can sim­ply give up on com­plet­ing the reg­is­tra­tion. So, make sure you cre­ate a short but com­pre­hen­sive form.

Tip: Add a ques­tion to find out about any poten­tial dis­abil­i­ty that peo­ple reg­is­ter­ing for your event may have. This will show your will­ing­ness to organ­ise an event that is acces­si­ble to every­one and will help you plan adjust­ments for report­ed dis­abil­i­ties.

Mak­ing a real effort to cre­ate a pleas­ant expe­ri­ence for peo­ple who need acces­si­bil­i­ty fea­tures will make them feel ful­ly includ­ed — not just allowed to par­tic­i­pate in your event. In addi­tion, it will be well received by all your atten­dees, in addi­tion to the PRMs. You can’t imag­ine all the pos­i­tive effects this can cre­ate!

Con­vinced? Get start­ed on your first event or its next edi­tion now! With an easy-to-use all-in-one tick­et­ing tool, save time on set­ting up acces­si­bil­i­ty fea­tures. Dis­cov­er all the fea­tures of Weezevent by click­ing below:

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