InTents August/September 2022 - 42

business | safety
8. Offer tactile and sensory maps of
the overall site as well as braille
information lealets for attendees who
are blind or nearsighted. Wayinding is
an essential element of any site-using
pictorial information beneits everyone
in understanding where places are
located. And if your event is large,
consider color-coding different zones
for ease of identiication.
Studies have shown
that the majority of
American websites
and social media are
not ADA accessible.
9. And inally, pay attention to how
information is being provided to
potential attendees. People with
disabilities need to know in advance
what accommodations will be offered
to be empowered to decide whether
they can or want to attend. But
studies have shown that the majority
of American websites and social
media are not accessible. People with
disabilities are not going to show up
when they can't even access online
ticket sales, never mind information
related to the overall accessibility of
an event.
Universal access
For the majority of Europe, there is
a greater focus on a philosophy of
" universal access " that goes well beyond
the ADA laws in the Unites States. The
guiding principle is that all spaces should
be usable and accessible to all people,
regardless of age, ability or disability, or
any other life factors.
Although the ADA represented a huge
step forward for disability rights more
than 30 years ago, the goal of providing
universal access should be the next step.
These expansions of accessibility will
provide beneits not only for people who
have disabilities but also for our aging
population who experience mobility
limitations, anyone pushing an infant
or child in a stroller, and those who are
temporarily disabled and using crutches
or a mobility scooter.
42 intents aug-sept 2022
If American businesses were to lead
by example and expand their deinitions
of accessibility, a greater number of
people could enjoy events, which would
have a positive impact on the inancial
viabiity and proit of those businesses in
the long term.
When in doubt, ask.
There are countless things to consider
when planning an event, so asking
questions and reaching out to your event's
audience is especially important. Nobody
is a better authority on their needs than
people themselves, so it's worth including
a line in any marketing materials such as,
" Please let us know if you have any access
needs or other requirements. " Be sure
to include the email address and phone
number for a designated contact person.
Events big and small can work toward
universal accessibility if they approach
people with disabilities directly. Change
ultimately comes " from the ground up, "
and knowledge of the issue at hand is
key. As with every other major shift in
attitudes throughout human history,
merely knowing where improvements to
inclusion and accessibility are required
means generating personal responsibility
in organizations that stage public events.
Be part of that change and lead the
pack. Because for every business that
makes the effort, the world becomes
a slightly better place for people with
disabilities, and ultimately everyone.
Steve Dering is operations director of disability
accessibility consultancy Direct Access based in
Nantwich, U.K., with an offi ce in Boston, Mass. He
can be reached at sdering@directaccess.group.
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InTents August/September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents August/September 2022

InTents August/September 2022 - Cover1
InTents August/September 2022 - Cover2
InTents August/September 2022 - 1
InTents August/September 2022 - 2
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