Accessibility Issues in Event Planning
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According to the Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, accessibility is a right to participate to an event. So it is not an add-on when planning an event. Therefore my premise is that any one of my speakers, vendors, sponsors or delegates may have an accessibility challenge. To that end, I ensure that my planning process includes representative stakeholders who could shed light on special needs. The final result is that the venue and the proceedings will be accessible in all manners.

There must be a way for my delegates to access the meeting rooms and stage (speakers) should they be in a wheelchair So there have to be elevators in the venue, wheelchair friendly washroom facilities and a ramp to access the stage.

To accommodate any delegates with hearing impairments, I hire interpreters. They are expensive and they work in a team of 2 so this cost has to be factored into the budget. The stakeholders involved are the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf; they help me with coordinating interpreters to my events.

The hoarding full day workshops that I have planned for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre over the past 6 years would serve as an example of an event where I needed to take into consideration the needs of the deaf community.

I have never had delegates that are blind, so I have not had to factor that into my planning.