Today, we’ll talk about an often overlooked sector in event management – those who are differently-abled. Event organisers have a responsibility to offer a great experience for each and every attendee and that includes those who have disabilities. No one should be left behind. Yes, even in events. Event planners better keep this in mind all the time. Being differently-abled shouldn’t be a hindrance to attending events.
Inclusivity in events means making events accessible and available even to those people who have disabilities or those who belong to the marginalised or minority group. There are people who are mobility-challenged, hard of hearing, or vision impaired. They may have physical, intellectual, or sensory disabilities. Generally, people with disabilities do certain things in a different way than the rest of mainstream society. This is their way to overcome their disability and adapt to their surroundings. In the same way, they can overcome these disabilities, with the help of event organisers, so that they can have a great event experience.
Events should be accessible to everyone. And those who are differently-abled or belong to minority groups should be given equal opportunity to participate in events especially if these will contribute to their development. To ensure the inclusiveness of an event, make sure to check on the following:
Determine their needs ahead of time
You can do this during your registration process. Ask your participants if they’ve special needs for you to make their event experience a great one. Usual questions pertain to dietary restrictions, need for assistive listening devices, and requests for interpreter, accessible parking and seating. Don’t forget to ask for other assistance that they might need which aren’t included in your initial list of choices. Knowing this information will help you provide an inclusive and accessible event experience for all your attendees.
Prepare and Communicate
Now that you know the special needs of your attendees, make all the necessary preparations to make them feel that you value them. If you can’t accommodate some of their requests, advise them beforehand so that they can decide if they’d want to push through with attending your event or they can make adjustments from their end. Communicate their special needs to your speakers and the rest of your team so that they would also be prepared to accommodate the needs of your differently-abled participants.
Structure of the Venue
Is there an elevator to make it easier for attendees to reach the venue? Are there ramps for attendees using wheelchairs? If possible, provide a wheelchair accessible route to the venue for your attendees. Include also the parking space where they can leave their vehicles which would make it hassle-free for them to get to and from the venue. You can also check if the restrooms are PWD-friendly. Be certain that the layout of the booths and arrangement of seats allow those who use wheelchairs, walkers, or canes to move about comfortably around the venue. Ensure that they have adequate space and given priority at all times.
Wrapping It Up
Making your event
inclusive is the right way to go. Everyone should feel welcome to attend your
event no matter their abilities or disabilities. And as the event organiser,
it’s your duty to ensure that each one of them has a great experience during