Pre-event planning is particularly important for people with a disability. Therefore, a key component of your access plan is ensuring that information about accessibility is readily available both in the lead-up to and during the event.
A website can be a great place to provide detailed information on event considerations for people with a disability, such as accessible travel options to and from your event. The event website should feature information about how accessible the surrounds and physical structures are and link to any useful resources, such as the Transport Infoline Trip Planner. It is also helpful to make detailed information about the event site or venue available, such as seating plans or photographs of accessible features, to help your access customers identify any problems they may encounter.
Where not all facilities at an event are accessible, it is helpful to identify those that are. You might consider producing a mobility map of the event venue showing accessible parking, drop-off zones, toilets, paths, entrances and exits, lifts and other features. This can be uploaded onto the event and venue websites or included as a feature of an event's smartphone app, as well as distributed to staff on the ground at the event itself.
If providing event information on a website, consider designing it so it can be read by people with a vision impairment. This can be as simple as ensuring text is displayed in an accessible electronic format such as HTML. You may also consider producing information about your event in plain language formatting. This is useful for people with intellectual disability, as well as for older people and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
For information on designing accessible websites, including the international guidelines on accessibility, visit the Web Accessibility Initiative website. Some best practice access and inclusion websites include Be. Accessible and Inclusive London.
Communications during the event
To ensure any communications during your event are reaching the broadest possible audience, some things to consider providing are:
- signage in and around the event that is clear and includes visual symbols
- clear visual signage indicating accessible facilities such as toilets, public telephones and food and drink counters
- key information available in large print and/or Braille.
If you are providing live updates at your event through social media or VMSs (Variable Message Signs), you may want to consider including key information on accessibility, such as changes to accessible routes or when wheelchair accessible viewing areas have reached capacity. As wheeling to an area can involve considerable effort, this will save wheelchair users from unnecessary trips.