CAARE- Indoor Events

Many rural community events take place inside community buildings and often these buildings are older and have historical significance. In considering rural accessibility, it is important to find ways to balance the needs of people with disabilities with the desire to preserve community history.

A historic building in a ghost town. People walk in front of building and up the stairs to get inside.

Below are a number of things to consider, with some ideas for how to find solutions to meet everyone’s needs.


One event we visited took place in a historical ghost town.

Although no-step back entries had been created during the ‘90s after the passage of the ADA, only one person we talked to knew about them. Several others shared that they couldn’t go into the buildings and that they found alternatives to enjoying them such as sending a husband in with a camera. The community was resistant to signage because it takes away from the historical nature of the ghost town.

In this situation, an alternative to signage might be having several accessibility ambassadors to let people know about the accessible entries sprinkled across the town dressed in frontier style clothing like the other volunteers.


Parking

A person assists another person using a wheelchair into an accessible van.

Not only is accessible parking necessary for people with disabilities, having a clearly marked passenger drop-off area and clear pathways to entrances makes it easier for older people and for people with small children in strollers to get into your event.

Accessibility considerations:Link for more information:
Enough accessible parking Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Accessible parking is clearly marked Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Event Accessibility Checklist
Passenger drop-off area near accessible entrance Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Event Accessibility Checklist ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Level and unobstructed pathways from parking area to entrances Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities

Bathrooms

Restroom sign for accessible bathroom.

Everyone needs to be able to have a restroom they can easily access and use. Make sure bathrooms have clear signs, and are easy to get to.

Accessibility considerations:Link for more information:
Accessible bathrooms onsite
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist
Clear signage for accessible bathrooms
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist
Path to bathroom unobstructed and wheelchair accessible
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist

Walkways

People walking past vendor tables at an indoor powwow.

Clear walkways benefit everyone, not just people with disabilities. Parents with strollers or small children, older adults, and other groups will also appreciate having safe and unblocked walkways.

Accessibility considerations: Link for more information:
Clear and unobstructed pathways to all activities and services
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist
Ramps at all steps or uneven surfaces
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Handrails on each side of all stairways
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities

Entrances

Ramp to accessible public building.

If people can’t get in, they can’t participate. Make sure everyone can access your event.

Accessibility considerations:Link for more information:
Door handles are levers or u-shaped
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
No revolving doors
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Doorways wide enough for walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility equipment
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Clear signage directing visitors to accessible entrances
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Ramps at doors with steps
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Handrails on both sides of ramps
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Ground signals and braille to help people with visual impairments to find accessible entrances
Make sure nothing is blocking entrances so those using scooters, wheelchairs, or other mobiltiy equipment can use entrance
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities

Event Rooms & Materials

A group of people in a circle in a room. One person is using a wheelchair, one person is using a cane to help with navigation, and the others are standing unaided.

Once people are inside your event, make sure they can easily and safely get to every room. Each room and event needs to be set up in a way so that everyone can access the presentation, vendor booths, or displays.

Accessibility considerations:Link for more information:
Clear and accessible signs leading to rooms with accessible entrances
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Elevators near entrances to rooms
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Accessible seating set up in in a way that is inclusive
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Front row seating for people with vision and hearing impairments
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
ASL interpreters are visible to all attendees
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist
Hearing assistance technology is available
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Microphones for the audience during Q&A sessions
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Electrical outlets near seating areas
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Water bowls for service animals and space for toileting
Event Accessibility Checklist ,

Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Tables are at the appropriate height and have enough space for people using wheelchairs and scooters
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Materials and/or food are at a height accessible for people using wheelchairs or scooters
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities ,

Event Accessibility Checklist

Programming

People listening to a lecture in a classroom. There is an ASL interpreter in the front of the room next to the speaker. Many of the people in the room are using wheelchairs.

If your event has any speakers, videos, or other types of presentations, different types of accommodations need to be made available.

Accessibility considerations:Link to more information:
All video presentations have closed captions
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Interpreters for any needed language, including ASL, available for all activities
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
All media and materials are in accessible formats
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Areas are well lit and have adjustable lighting
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities

Service Animals

Woman and service dog walking down the side walk. She is also using a cane.

Some people who use service animals also use mobility equipment, such as a wheelchair or scooter. Make sure service animal areas are also accessible for mobility equipment users.

Accessibility considerations:Link to more information:
Accessible toileting area
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Water bowls
Hallways and aisles are wide enough to accommodate mobility equipment and service animals
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit ,

Self-assessment tool for ensuring access for people with disabilities
Adequate space in sitting areas for service animals

Meals

Sharon Washington, Housing Specialist for the Supportive Services for Veterans Families, eats a healthy meal at the 2016 APRIL Conference

It’s all about the food! Sharing meals together are an important part of many community events. It’s important to make sure that everyone is included at the table- and that they can get to the table.

Accessibility considerations:Link to more information:
Chairs with arms available
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Specialty diets and food sensitivities are accommodated
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Labels and allergy warnings are clear and obvious, and and are labeled with accessible signs.
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Food that can be eaten without utensils is available
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit
Seating is separate from the food serving area, and able to be rearranged
Planning accessible meetings and events: A toolkit