Ensuring your event is as accessible as is reasonably possible is an important part of your planning for several reasons;
- To ensure that your desired audience can attend your event.
- To make sure that you are not inadvertently excluding anyone from attending.
The ISAN Access Toolkit is an excellent, detailed, free to access resource that has been developed to aid event organisers to make their events more accessible. You can download this resource in the Documents section on the left hand side of this page.
Considering accessibility at your event is important for a number of reasons, including your legal obligations, your potential attendance figures and your potential revenue.
‘Disability’ is defined as the effect that oppression, discrimination, inequality of opportunity and living in an inaccessible environment has upon the lives of people with impairments. If a wheelchair user cannot attend your pop up theatre performance/street party/urban arts exhibition etc. because there is no suitable access, then you as the event organiser have prevented them from attending through a lack of facilitation.
People you need to consider are:
- Wheelchair users
- People with mobility impairments
- People who are hard of hearing
- People who are deaf
- People who are visually Impaired
- People with hidden impairments
- People with learning disabilities
- People with mental health issues
What measures are suitable for your event will depend upon a number of factors, including whether your event is indoors or outside, involves staged performances, the length of the event and overall capacity of your venue. Elements to consider could include, training for stewards, suitable signage, access routes, accessible toilets, viewing platforms and viewing areas, British Sign Language Interpreters, captioning, touch tours and audio description. This is by no means an exhaustive list and further guidance is available within the ISAN Access Toolkit.
Once you’ve done all the work to ensure that your event is accessible, it’s also important to let people know. Include details of the event’s accessibility in your promotional materials and on your website help you communicate with your potential audience. The ISAN Access Toolkit offers excellent straight forward advice on the use of accessible formats for marketing materials and how to ensure that your website is access enabled.
The primary pieces of legislation relevant to accessibility are the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), the full contents of which can be found in the Links section on the left hand side of this page.
Action For Access
Arts Council England has produced a guide to Accessibility, which provides comprehensive information on the topic and signposts to further reading.
It has information on a wide range of areas, including: the Disability Discrimination Act, meeting access requirements, employing people with disabilities, communication, language & terminology and customer care.
You can download this guide from the Links section on the left hand side of this page.