News from Northwest ADA Center Idaho

Summer time means festivals and events galore. This guide will highlight some of the areas that event planners will need to include to ensure people of all ages and abilities are included in temporary events such as music festivals, street fairs, art shows, and farmers markets. The guide does not cover all areas but it is a great place tostart in your planning process. Incorporating access at your events can seem overwhelming, but it will become second nature when you utilize resources that are available. Keep in mind these guiding principles when developing your access plan:

  • Improving access to temporary events doesn’t have to be costly
  • Build the cost into your budget
  • There is a strong business case for improving accessibility
  • Advertising access information in advance of an event is crucial
  • Not all disabled people are wheelchair users
  • ASK FOR ASSISTANCE

No person with any type of disability should be prevented or discouraged from attending—and from fully and equally participating in—the event, or any part of it, based on any accessibility issue. Planners must work with attendees and presenters in an interactive fashion so that the most appropriate accommodations can be identified and provided. It is helpful to have a general understanding of the various types of disabilities, including mobility, sensor, cognitive, learning, and psychiatric.

Some accommodations may be unreasonable, i.e., they pose an undue hardship or change the fundamental nature of the service being provided. However, most barriers to participation can be removed without incurring great expense, imposing an administrative burden, compromising the nature of the activity, or raising health and safety concerns. This month we will go over a few of the steps including checklists to guide you in achieving Access for Everyone.

Step 1: ADA Event Coordinator

☐ A staff person is identified as a point person for accessibility questions and listed as a contact person on all event materials and website.
☐ Contact the Northwest ADA Center-Idaho for assistance with training j, on-site reviews, development of access and policy statements, and ADA requirements.
☐ Review the guide called, “A Planning Guide for Making Temporary Events Accessible to People with Disabilities. Link found on page 4.
☐ Train staff/volunteers about accommodations use of assistive devices, emergency procedures at the venue.
☐ Orientations are included for staff/volunteers on types of disabilities and disability etiquette. ☐ Event staff and volunteers are clearly identified to assist individuals with disabilities during event.
☐ People with disabilities are invited to review accessibility features, location of events, and accommodations months in advance of your event.
☐ The 2010 ADA requirements are followed.

Step 2: Choose an Accessible Site or Location 

☐ An onsite review was conducted with an access consultant or representatives from disability organizations.

☐ The access survey identified accessible routes, parking, and restrooms before the site is selected.

☐ Barriers are identified preventing equal access to venue. A plan is developed to remove barriers or to relocate event.

Step 3: Create Accessible Notice/Dedicated Webpage

☐ Event descriptions include detailed information about access at the event. This is essential to enable potential customers to make informed decisions about buying tickets and planning their attendance. Getting this right on your webpage and informational brochures can cut down the number of direct customer calls you may receive before the event.
☐ Accessible information is included on all of your notices including event agendas, promotional materials, e-mails, social media sites and website postings.

☐ Accessible link is included on your website that goes to a dedicated webpage that includes detailed information about the accessibility at your event.

☐ Promotional and registration materials include a statement that invites persons with disabilities to request accommodations, as well as a deadline that provides sufficient time to respond to the accommodations requests.
☐ All notices and announcements for the event include a description of the accessible physical features, and other programmatic accommodations such as the location of a service dog relief area provided on site.

☐ All notices and announcements for the event include a contact person with their contact information to request disability accommodations such as sign language interpreters, Real-Time captioning, materials in alternate formats, and accessible seating.

☐ A statement is included such as, “We welcome people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please attach your requirements to this form or contact [name] at [voice and/or TTY phone numbers]; [fax]; or [e-mail]. Requests should be made at least [time period] prior to the event.”
☐ If maps are provided, include the location of accessible features, such as accessible restrooms, accessible parking, accessible seating, etc.
☐ All web pages promoting your event are accessible for screen readers and comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/#Guidelines.

Next month we will talk about providing effective communication and staff training along with details about access, parking, seating, restrooms, and more. Lets all work together to make festivals and events accessible for everyone!

Dana Gover copyDana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
Email:dananwadacenteridaho@gmail.com
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 711
Website: http://dbtacnorthwest.org/Idaho