With summer here, I am seeing more and more events being advertised. But how accessible are these events? When I am considering attending any event, I will always look for the information about access to see if it is right for me. However, most of the time the information is either missing, not relevant or highlights a lack of understanding around access. I am determined to use my lived experience to show that making your events accessible for more people doesn't need to be difficult.
Here are some of my top tips, based on my own experiences, to make your events more accessible for a wider range of people.
Tip #1 - Make all access information available in advance
Too often I go to find the information about an event and discover that if I want to know about the accessibility, I need to email someone else first to get this. All information about access should be readily available without needing to ask separately.
Tip #2 - Make the information relevant for all visitors
Access information for neurodivergent visitors is usually aimed at parents of neurodivergent children. Neurodivergent adults need that information too but it feels like we are excluded when it isn't aimed at us so ensure that this is available for us too.
Tip #3 - Bring in those with lived experience
Whenever I have been involved in the planning of events, the access information has usually started as quite generic but when I have visited the site in advance I have been able to identify areas of access that otherwise would have been missed. Please consider including lived experience as part of your event planning.
Tip #4 - Provide a range of ways to engage with an event
When planning an event, try to think of different ways for visitors to engage. Consider include tactile elements, active elements, breakout spaces, quiet elements, sensory activities, structured activities and open ended activities. This could also include whether the event is online, in person or hybrid.
Tip #5 - Remember access is more than just having a ramp
Whilst having a ramp or step free access is an important part of access for some visitors, it is important to recognise that you need more than this to be accessible. Consider how you can improve access for other visitors such as those who identify as deaf, autistic and/or neurodivergent.
Accessibility made simple
Making your events more accessible doesn't need to expensive or time consuming. Following these top tips will make such a difference. If you would like to explore how to make your events more accessible with Emily: Autism and Me then please book a discovery call at: https://calendly.com/emilyautism/discovery-call