Planning accessible events
When organising an event, regardless of scale, there are some things to consider to make it more enjoyable for everyone. An accessible and inclusive events checklist has been created in collaboration with The Barossa Council Disability Access and Inclusion Advisory Group, Town of Gawler, Light Regional Council, and Adelaide Plains Council and Feros Care (NDIS Local Area Coordinator).
Location and venue
- Select a venue that is easy to find, has adequate parking, including disability parking bays, and can be accessed by public transport, (if available),
- Select a venue that is easily accessible for people with disability and has lifts and ramps, (if relevant),
- Check that the acoustics of the venue are adequate and, where possible, noise from external sources, (traffic, crowds, etc), does not interfere with the event,
- Ensure accessible bathrooms are available and check that these are clear of clutter and can be easily accessed, and,
- Contact Council to enquire about signage for temporary additional disability parking bays if needed.
Promotional material and communication
- Make your promotional material available in as many formats as possible (e.g. printed, large print, electronic, audio, Braille, Easy English),
- On your promotional material, consider using Arial font (recommended minimum size of 12pt), which is the preferred font of Vision Australia and the Australian Royal Society for the Blind, to assist those that have a vision impairment,
- Outline the accessibility features of the venue on the event promotional material ,e.g. wheelchair accessible, hearing loop available, etc,
- Provide information about accessing the venue, including location of disability parking bays, general parking, public transport, and venue drop-off points,
- Ensure participants can register for the event in a range of ways, including by phone, email, SMS, online or in person, and,
- Presenters should describe any visual information in their presentations if people with vision impairment are present.
- Check if your event requires extra disability parking bays,
- Yyour event MC or organiser can provide a verbal explanation of the layout of the venue at the start of the event, including directions to toilets, food areas, breakout rooms, fire exits and emergency evacuation points,
- Provide sufficient space between tables and chairs for wheelchair access,
- Ensure table height is accessible to wheelchair users and people of short stature. This includes registration tables, information booths, refreshments and food tables,
- For standing events, provide chairs for people who may experience fatigue,
- The venue should be clear of obstacles and trip hazards,
- Provide a separate, quiet area to allow participants to take a break if needed,
- Avoid strobe lighting and flashing lights, or if needed for the event, provide advance warning,
- Provide a ramp to the stage, (if required), and ensure it complies with Australian Standards, and,
- Aim to have the venue lit evenly throughout.
- Familiarise yourself with the laws surrounding service animals in Australia,
- For ticketed events, Companion Cards and similar services be honoured,
- Consider utilising an Auslan interpreter,
- Consider a hearing loop for your event,
- Provide a variety of meal options and items that are easy to eat. Include foods that do not require utensils or intricacy. Ensure special meals, eg. vegetarian, gluten-free, etc, are clearly labelled and easily accessible,
- Consider captioning for videos or movies, and,
- Where appropriate, consider an audio description for videos or movies. If they cannot be audio described, ask if the presenter can supply visual information that a person with low vision may be able to access.
Always seek input and feedback from people with disability before and after your event to ensure the event is as accessible and inclusive as it can be. A hard copy of the checklist is available from the Council office.