4 September 2019

A quick guide to disabled access at summer events

If you’re planning an event to cater for everyone, you may need to check what your legal obligations are when providing access for disabled individuals.

So what are the key responsibilities you would need to follow to ensure your event is legally accessible for everyone?

The duty to make reasonable adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 provides the legislation for any event organisers duties, when it comes to disabled access.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments states that event organisers must ensure all barriers are removed which may prevent disabled individuals accessing the event.

What is reasonable? Very briefly, ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be determined by the following:-

  • The size of the event and the extent to which it is capable of making changes.
  • Have changes already been made? If so, are further changes necessary or justified?
  • Whether it’s practical to make changes.
  • The cost of making any changes and what impact this may have on the resources of the organisation.

How to prepare for accessibility

Organisers need to ensure they have provided physical accessibility (i.e how individuals move around an event) and event accessibility (has the event been made publicly available and accessible to disabled individuals).

As a starting point, organisers can start with the following four factors:-

1. Content

  • Keep in mind the way products and content is delivered at an event.
  • Consider audio description and the possibility of hearing induction loops, captioning or language support professionals.
  • Providing a calm environment; is flash photography or strobe lighting necessary?

2. Venue

  • Accessible toilets are a must.
  • Ensure the flooring is level and solid.
  • Seating for disabled attendees and accompanying carers could be offered.

3. Publicity

  • There is the possibility of an accessibility guide which can be provided prior to the event to provide disabled individuals with information they need before they attend.
  • Provide a range of booking options to allow disable individuals easier access to booking services.

4. Travel

  • Consider if disabled individuals have access to the event via public transport.
  • Providing blue badge parking spaces, if possible.
  • When to provide access information to visitors.

It hasn’t always been clear what ‘reasonable’ adjustments is and it is therefore always recommended that you consult legal professionals to ensure you have met your legal responsibilities. This will ensure that everyone attending will have been provided with the necessary support and information to ensure that, regardless of their abilities, they can enjoy themselves.

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