5 tips for an accessible event
Many event organisers try hard to ensure their events are accessible, but wouldn’t it be great to make your event truly accessible to all disabled people?
1. Access starts with information – before anyone gets near your venue. How easy is it to navigate your website or find out from you about facilities and arrangements for disabled people? Do you make it clear that there is someone an enquirer can speak to in advance as well as someone easily found at the venue itself?
2. Don’t make judgements on behalf of disabled people as to what is or isn’t accessible for them. Describe the nature of the access and say you will do whatever you can to help, including discussing any reasonable adjustments that might make their experience as positive as possible. Make your physical access as flat and easy as you can, especially enabling those with limited mobility to be dropped off as near to the action as possible.
3. Real inclusion is about being truly welcomed by all those responsible for the event – not being made to think you’re a bit of a problem but feeling that everyone is pleased to see you there. Remember that most disabled people do not actually use wheelchairs. Physical access is only part of making disabled people welcome. Just as important as your facilities is the attitude of all your staff. They don’t have to be experts; they do have to be welcoming.
4. Getting your attitudes right is the critical thing – not knowing everything. It is simply an extension of good customer service. It’s worth having a training session for all staff about welcoming and including disabled people. Active Impact will be happy to provide that training for you.
5. Book The Mobiloo! Many disabled people with the most significant physical impairments (and their families) simply don’t get out and about to interesting events and activities because it is impossible or hugely undignified to go to the toilet or be changed when they get there. Standard accessible toilets will work for some of your potential customers. The Mobiloo will mean that even those who need to be hoisted and changed lying down can come along to your event. And maybe they need the chance to get to exciting events even more than those who take going out for granted?
Inclusion Training and Consultancy
The Mobiloo is owned by Active Impact, a social enterprise based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Our directors include Paralympic medallist James Brown and national writer and trainer on inclusion Philip Douch.
If you are hiring the Mobiloo – or even if you aren’t – Active Impact can act as event consultants on welcoming disabled people. We can offer advice to organisers and/or training to your whole team of staff and volunteers. Our training and consultancy is friendly, fun and accessible – just as your welcome to disabled visitors should be.
‘So much fun and light-hearted as well as being very informative’
‘Changed my way of thinking’
‘Fantastic! Very well presented. Philip was brilliant and very quickly put us at our ease’
To find out more about training contact Philip on 01453 298337 or email@example.com to discuss your needs.