s event planners, we have a responsibility to
ensure that our programs are accessible to all
individuals. Hosting an inclusive meeting should
be a basic standard for our industry. While the
below lists suggestions and items to consider, it is always
essential to communicate with your attendees to determine
their individual requirements and not make general
assumptions about accessibility needs and preferences.
CONSIDER ACCESSIBILITY AT THE
INITIAL PLANNING STAGE
Often, when you begin planning an event, you don't have
a confirmed list of attendees and may not be aware of any
One way to ensure
accessibility is always a
consideration is to add a
question to your standard
RFP to determine if a venue is
accessible from the beginning
of the sourcing process.
specific accessibility requirements. That does not mean that
accessibility should not be considered at this stage. In fact,
* Is accessible to the washrooms barrier free?
the venue sourcing process is key to ensure an inclusive
* Does the venue have automatic doors?
event and should be a standard consideration during all
* Are there handrails for walkways?
program sourcing. One way to ensure accessibility is always
* Is there ample lighting inside the venue and outside
a consideration is to add a question to your standard RFP
to determine if a venue is accessible from the beginning of
* Does the hotel have accessible guestrooms?
the sourcing process. A site visit is highly recommended to
* Is there access to the outdoors to walk guide dogs
ensure that accessible requirements are met.
Some key questions during the sourcing process include:
* Is the event entrance barrier free? This includes ensuring
that the venue is not only accessible without the use of
UNDERSTAND YOUR ATTENDEES
During the registration process, provide a question where
steps but also to determine that entrances are wide enough
attendees can note their accessibility requirements. This also
to accommodate wheelchairs and guide dogs
serves to set the tone for an inclusive environment from the
* If the venue is multi-level, is there elevator access
22 * ME ETING | MAY/JUNE 2015
beginning. Asking these questions upfront also provides the
planner with ample time to arrange for any items specifically
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - May/June 2015