Make your event accessible to people of all abilities

Collingwood is committed to providing people of all abilities consistent opportunity and access to all Town events.  Making your event accessible can increase the number of people who will attend. Letting people know about accessibility features in your promotional material will help them plan to participate.

Accessibility features are included throughout the event planning kit.  This section will help you think in a more focused way about how accessible your event can be.

Transportation and Parking:

·         Is your event on or near a public bus route?

·         Is there accessible parking nearby? 

·         Is there room for someone with an accessible van to park and then to exit the van from the van’s side ramp?

·         Is there a shuttle available for your event?  Is it accessible for someone in a wheelchair?

Entrances:

If your event is inside a building:

·         Are there stairs to get to the main entrance?

·         Is there any entrance with a ramp or no stairs?  If yes, where is it located?

·         Is there an automatic door opener to any of the entrances?  If yes, which entrance?

·         Can you make a portable ramp available for someone using a walker, wheelchair or scooter?

·         On doors that don’t have automatic openers, is there a door bell or knocker to alert someone to open the door?

·         Can you arrange to have a volunteer available to open the entrance doors that don’t have automatic openers?

Main event room or outside meeting space

·         Is the layout of the meeting space open enough for someone in a wheelchair to navigate?

·         Is the lighting bright enough for someone with a vision disability?

·         Is there a microphone available to ensure that everyone can hear?

·         If you are seating people at tables, is there at least one table high enough to allow a person in a wheelchair to sit at this table?

·         Is there an accessible washroom on the same floor as the main event room or close to the meeting space if the event is outside?

·         If this room is not on the main floor, is there an elevator to the room?

·         If the meeting space is outside, have you checked that the surface is level and hard enough to allow someone in a wheelchair or scooter to get around easily and safely?

·         Have you checked for possible tripping hazards?

Communication:

·         Have you used clear, simple language in your advertisements and any materials you have created?

·         If you’ve used charts or pictures, have you added an explanation in words that can be read out loud for people who have difficulty seeing pictures or understanding charts?

·         Is the colour contrast on your signs, print materials or slide decks clear enough that someone with low vision could see and understand them?

·         Do you have microphones to make sure that everyone can hear?

·         Do you have signs to direct people to the meeting space and to washrooms?

Planning:

·         In your initial advertisements or invitation letters/emails, please ask people to contact you if they have accommodation needs for a disability or different ability.  Remember this can include requests to accommodate food or environmental allergies, lighting requests (fluourescent lighting can trigger seizures in some people), accommodations for a service animal (e.g. a bowl of water and a place for the service animals to relieve themselves), ample breaks in the day to allow rest times, and many other requests.

·         Once you have received these requests, work with the people making the requests to find the best way to accommodate their needs.

Evaluation:

·         On your feedback forms, include a question around accessibility e.g. Were your accommodation needs met?     Did you find the event accessible?   If not, what could we have done better to meet your needs?