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How to Make Business Events Accessible to People with Disabilities

January 22, 2018

Business events are effective strategies to showcase products, discuss strategies, attract investments or get together with employees and fellow corporations. However, one of the biggest challenges of holding corporate events is to ensure that they are accessible to all attendees including those with disabilities. Accessibility goes beyond providing ramps for wheelchair users encompassing all types of impairment from hearing and vision loss to cognitive and physical conditions. In India, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 (PDF) is the legislation that recognizes and protects the rights of people with disabilities.  Here are simple tips to make sure that your events are reachable to all target audience and participants.

Assign an Accessibility Planner

Hosting an event requires extensive planning involving several players. If you are to ensure that the event is accessible to participants with disabilities, assigning a person to take charge of all arrangements makes sense. The coordinator will be touch base with other planners to ensure that accessibility requirements are met.

Site Selection is Critical

The most challenging barrier to accessibility is the site of the event. Older buildings, for example, may not have accessible routes and facilities for those with disabilities. The selected site can be evaluated and modified to include installing ramps, assigning parking areas, rearranging tables, chairs & display racks, installing flash alarm lights and others practical adjustments. Accommodating Different Types of Disabilities

Inside venues, there are several ways to include the needs of those who have disabilities. Beforehand, utilization of a disability-friendly online events ticket software can make it seamless for everyone to get their passes. At the event, individuals with poor vision or who are blind may need special things such as larger fonts in print materials, Braille or audio information & instructions. Slideshows can incorporate visuals and graphics to improve impact while a member of staff can direct those who need assistance in locating activities or amenities during events and conferences. Deaf or hearing-impaired visitors and participants may receive captioned media, sign language interpreters, and assistive learning devices to make it easy to participate in events. In addition to welcoming participants with service animals, you must also provide service areas with bowls of water for these helpers as well as an area to walk or exercise. Lights are important for visibility but do remember that bright lights are a problem for epileptics. Dim lights make it difficult for people with vision impairment to read and see things or for people with hearing disability to lip read. A reasonable compromise is to provide adequate lights and keep an area reasonably dimmed with the help of blinds or curtains. With careful planning, making business events inclusive and accessible does not cost a fortune involving slight modifications to the site or facility. Above all, these alterations help those with disabilities interact and engage comfortably ensuring the success of a business event.

Source: Maxability