Disclaimer: This toolkit does not ensure ADA compliance. To find standards required by law, please visit www.ada.gov or other similar documents such as: https://adata.org/guide/planning-guide-making-temporary-events-accessible-people-disabilities
Currently 1 in 4 people in the United States has a disability. That means no matter the size, location, or topic of your event, you are most likely serving individuals with a disability. The goal of all organizations should be to host inclusive events that allow all individuals, including individuals with a disability, the opportunity to participate fully in the event. However, organizations often define inclusion and accessibility in many different ways leaving individuals with a disability with an unclear understanding of what will be provided for them and the amount of access they will truly have. This toolkit will provide guidance on how to best serve the needs of all individuals in any event setting.
First, we must define inclusion and have an understanding of what it means.
To transform communities based on social justice principles in which all community members:
- Are presumed competent,
- Are recruited and welcome as valued members of their community
- Fully participate and learn with their peers; and
- Experience reciprocal social relationships.
Creating an inclusive event means creating an event that is free of barriers, engaging for the broadest audience, and goes beyond ADA compliance to universal design. When hosting an event, the goal should be to foster an environment that provides full participation and equitable experiences for all attendees. Planning committees should include individuals with a disability and/or members from local disability organizations.