If the needs of all potential students (including those with disability) are taken into account at the planning stage it is more likely that the event will be genuinely accessible and, as such, potential problems encountered by the planning staff will be significantly decreased. Education and training providers are also required by law to provide access for all.
- Ensure that the venue is physically accessible - arrange a site visit to check any potential access problems and whether:
- toilets, lifts, refreshment areas and other rooms are accessible
- lighting is adequate, glare is limited and good colour contrast exists to indicate doorways, level changes and switches
- accessible car parking is available close to venues
- the route and entrance from the car park are accessible
- internal layout is wheelchair navigable and sufficient accessible rooms are available
- induction loops are available and working, or arrange hire, installation and signage
- staff are trained in disability awareness
- emergency evacuation procedures are in place.
- Ensure that promotional material is accessible - see guidelines for print materials and Web Design Guidelines
- Make it clear in promotional material that people with disability are welcome
- Consider inviting a person with disability as a speaker
- Provide venue details early to inform participants of accessibility arrangements
- Invite participants to inform organisers of any individual requirements eg interpreting, access or dietary requirements
- Provide a range of alternative registering options. For example online, telephone, text phone and email
- Provide maps and directions which are clear and include parking, access routes, toilets etc
- Plan for guide dog toileting arrangements and ensure fresh water is available
- Book interpreters and support workers as far in advance as possible and arrange for their seating, refreshments etc
- People with mobility issues may need added time to move between rooms and sessions.
- Support workers, such as sign language interpreters, will require seating and may require regular breaks.
- Diabetic delegates may require more frequent refreshment breaks.
- Make sure speakers are fully informed about possible needs of participants. For example, the speaker may have to use a microphone or sign language interpreters.
- Advise speakers to ensure that the content of slides is communicated to the audience orally, always face the audience to ensure lip readers can understand the presentation.
- Check requirements of speakers and facilitators - they may also have disability.
- Ensure copies of presentations and handouts are available in alternative formats and are provided in advance if required.