With more talk about the diversity and inclusion and how women and minorities should be included at events, the world’s largest minority is often forgotten and left out: people with disabilities. Many organizers do not make their events accessible to attendees interested in participating or make incorrect decisions on types of services. Without proper accessibility services, people with disabilities cannot navigate your website, book a ticket, participate in your event, or enjoy your post-production media. I often experience this firsthand as a deaf attendee and speaker.
I highly advise you to take accessibility into account long before you plan your event to ensure that the process goes more efficiently and you have enough budget for accessibility expenses throughout all phases of event planning.
The best way to manage accessibility efforts is to designate a consultant to help with event accessibility strategy from planning to completion. This role is especially important for larger events where many diverse needs must be coordinated. Solutions vary from event to event.
Depending on needs, I offer the following services to ensure that your event (large or small) is accessible to people with disabilities from start to finish (or for certain parts of event planning):
- Disability awareness workshop and training: I provide a workshop and training on disability awareness before you start your event planning to ensure that all bases are covered and there’s enough budget for accessibility expenses on your website, your event, and your post-production media.
- Website accessibility: I help you ensure that your event website is accessible to make it easier for potential attendees to navigate, read, enroll, or contact you.
- Event accessibility logistics: Depending on the project scope and the type of disabilities attendees have and their number, I consult with you before, during, and after your event on accessibility logistics to ensure that your event goes smoothly for both you and your attendees with disabilities.
- Post-production media accessibility: Many event recordings are inaccessible to deaf people as well as to people with other disabilities. I help make recordings easy to use and create good quality captions and other types of accessibility for your post-production recordings through my experienced professional contractors or perform quality checks of captions made by you and edit them if needed to ensure that they follow quality guidelines.
I have over 10 years of experience consulting with businesses on how to improve their web, media, and event accessibility and over 20 years of experience working with captioners, sign language interpreters, and various access service providers. Due to the professional code of ethics for interpreters and captioners (that event organizers also need to get familiarized with and to add to their event code of conduct), communication access service providers are restrained from “providing counsel, advice, or personal opinions” and stepping out of their roles as providers. As part of my consulting services, I work with my clients to locate and hire the best providers, to coordinate their event accessibility logistics, and to help with their website and post-production accessibility.
Many event organizers often say that they don’t have the budget for accessibility expenses. As with any business expenses, you have to consider the return in your investment. This may be the best investment you can make.
Ready to work with me? Contact me.