On the Mainstreaming Equalities Organisational Development Programme, we look at organising accessible events to provide examples of how we can ensure accessibility. Equality Impact Assessment and Access Auditing are two of the main tools we can use in planning accessible events.

We need to consider a wide variety of accessibility concerns:

Communication accessibility

  • How we communicate
  • Jargon vs. plain English
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Alternative formats
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Accessibility of peripheral materials – handouts, application process, websites etc.

Cultural accessibility

  • Different expectations of the ‘proper’ way to do things (e.g. time keeping)
  • Religious observance
  • Dietary requirements
  • Communities’ ‘comfort zones’ – can we take our event to somewhere people will be comfortable, like a local community centre?
  • Identifying risks of clashes where sensitive topics are on the agenda and planning how we will deal with these

Physical accessibility

  • How people will get there and use the venue
  • Location
  • Transport
  • Access audits of premises
  • Inclusive technologies, e.g. induction loops, palantype, screen reader software
  • Venue / room set-up
  • Personal care and support
  • Reasonable adjustments

Social accessibility

  • Local social context (e.g. Sectarianism, territorialism, poverty)
  • Childcare
  • Financial exclusion
  • Transport
  • Digital exclusion

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