View high contrast
Toggle menu
Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training
RSS
Newsletter
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter

Inclusive and Accessible Events on Campus

Events are an integral and inevitable part of life in the post-secondary education sector involving staff, students and visitors to the institution. Events, whether formal or informal, offer an opportunity for an institution to demonstrate its commitment to inclusion and accessibility. Conferences, workshops, student orientation, sporting and cultural events and graduations, however small or large all offer opportunities to model and showcase best practice in terms of accessibility.

Applying inclusive practice principles to event planning and realisation supports not only people living with disability but also those who are not impacted by disability. It is best practice

What should be considered when organising an event on campus to ensure that it is welcoming to people living with disability? 

Planning the Event

Area

Considerations

Promotional Materials and Registration Information

 

Ensure that promotional and registration information is available in a variety of formats including electronic format.

Ensure that participants are provided with multiple options for registration including phone, email and online.  Ensure that online forms are accessible.

At the time of registration, ask about any accessibility requirements that participant may have.

Ensure that registration is available at no charge for carers. The Companion Card and similar services identifying carers and facilitators should be honoured.

Venue

 

Ensure that the planned location for the event is accessible. Check the following:

  • is it close to public transport or car parking or is there a drop off point?
  • is there a clear path of travel to the building? Is it well signposted? Easy entry? Automatic doors?
  • are there stairs and if so, do they have handrails? Is there an accessible lift as an alternative to the stairs?
  • are accessible bathroom facilities in close proximity to the venue and
  • does the venue have capacity to support people with a range of accessibility requirements?
  • are quiet spaces available nearby for participants who may require this?
  • is there a place for assistance animals to rest, be toileted and watered? 


Prior to the Event

Area

Considerations

Accessibility Requirements

Ensure that all requested accessibility requirements are arranged. This may include the following: 

  • arranging AUSLAN interpreters.
  • arranging for any video material to be captioned.
  • arranging for live captioning services.
  • provision of written material in an appropriately accessible format prior to the event.

Maps

Ensure that participants are provided with accessible maps in an appropriate format. This may include visual, text and audio maps.


On the Day of the Event

Area

Considerations

Signage

Ensure that venue, facilities and event signage is:

  • clear
  • utilises accessible contrast
  • is at an appropriate height to be seen
  • includes raised tactile and/ or braille information where required (e.g. on doors and bathrooms)

Maps

Ensure that participants are provided with accessible maps in an appropriate format, which indicate the location of event venues and accessible facilities

Communication

Ensure that access to and location of, venue facilities is communicated to participants. This might include:

  • the presence of a hearing induction loop or infrared hearing assistance system
  • the location of accessible bathroom facilities
  • the location of assistance animal rest areas
  • the location of quiet spaces

Accessible Path of Travel

Ensure that clear paths of travel are provided both outside and within the venue. The venue and environs should be clear of obstacles and trip hazards such as electrical cables should be moved or taped down.

Venue

  • Ensure that the venue is well lit throughout and that glare is minimised.
  • For outdoor events, ensure that shaded areas are provided for people who are sensitive to heat or who experience light or glare sensitivity.

Furniture

  • Ensure that the registration table is at an appropriate height for all participants including wheelchair users and people of short stature.
  • Ensure that buffet lunch tables are at an appropriate height for all participants including wheelchair users and people of short stature.

For lecture style events/sessions:

  • reserve some seating at the front of the venue for wheelchair users, people who lip read or need to be close to the interpreters.

For workshop style events/sessions:

  • ensure that discussion tables are at an appropriate height for wheelchair users.
  • ensure that there is sufficient space between tables and furniture for people using wheelchairs, walking frames and other mobility aids to navigate around.

For standing events, provide some chairs for people who may not be able to stand for extended periods or who may experience fatigue.

For both of the above, ensure that some seating with arms is available.

Roving audience microphones are provided where audience participation is anticipated.

On Stage

Ensure that the presenters and any participants who need to, can access the stage or equivalent. Ramps to the stage need to comply with Australian Standards.

Lapel microphones or adjustable height microphones should be used to accommodate people at different heights.

 

Emergencies

Ensure that there is an emergency plan for the event, that staff are aware of the plan and that emergency procedures address how people with disability will be assisted.


 After the Event

Area

Considerations

Follow Up

Ensure that any written materials from the event (e.g. conference papers) are provided to participants in appropriate accessible formats.

 

Seek feedback from attendees regarding the accessibility of the event and any suggested improvements.

Related Resources

References

Australian Network on Disability Event Accessibility Checklist https://www.and.org.au/pages/event-checklist.html (accessed June 2017)

Meetings and Events Australia “Accessible Events. A Guide for Meeting and Event Organisers” http://www.meetingsevents.com.au/downloads/Accessible_Events_Guide.pdf (accessed June 2017)