The fundamental requirement for an inclusive event is a willingness to provide equal or alternative access for all patrons.
Under Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against people with a disability. If your event, venue or service is not as accessible as possible, patrons may lodge complaints with the Anti-Discrimination Commission, which could lead to legal action if their concerns are not addressed.
The Queensland Government’s ‘Inclusive Tourism – Making your business more accessible and inclusive‘ publication explains legal obligations and strategies to improve accessibility to your event and the benefits of appealing to a wider range of visitors of all abilities and ages. It outlines the kinds of accessibility measures that you could consider in your planning. If a measure seems likely to be important, but your resources do not allow for it, seek out and implement workable alternative solutions.
Tips on creating an accessible and inclusive event (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Consider accessibility when choosing your event location
- Design your event space to allow for wheelchair or scooter access
- Provide accessible washrooms
- Provide ground transport that is accessible
- Consider how you can make your program, signage and presentations inclusive of those who are blind or have limited vision
- Look at real-time captioning and assistive listening systems options, so your event can be more inclusive of those who are deaf or have limited hearing. Ensure any interpreter services are easily identifiable.
- Consider lighting
- Plan for ease of safe movement
- Integrate equally – remember not everyone with a mobility device has to, or wants to, sit in a designated area
- Communicate and promote any accessibility services available at your event
For more information visit Tourism Australia – Accessible Tourism