Community Assessment for Accessible Rural Events

Public events, like annual festivals, rodeos, and hometown celebrations, are ways for rural communities to gather and celebrate community. These events are places for community members to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and ways for people to meet new people and build relationships.

Quote from 'Disability and Rural Events'- "Having moments to recognize others and to be recognized as a community resource helps keep people with disabilities visible and engaged."

Rural community events are important because they create and maintain community resources and promote social cohesion through celebrating community together. They also contribute to economic, social, and political power by providing a physical space for community organizations and leaders to gather and interact.

The processes of planning, developing, and maintaining rural community events are opportunities to be inclusive of all community members, especially those with disabilities.


The Community Assessment for Accessible Rural Events, or CAARE, Toolkit was created to help community members make sure their rural community events are accessible and inclusive. There are resources in the CAARE Toolkit to help with Planning, Indoor, and Outdoor Events. There are checklists of accessibility issues to consider, surveys about accessibility for event attendees, and additional resources where you can find more information, guidance, and resources to help make your event accessible for all.

Note: all of the considerations mentioned in the Toolkit checklists might not apply to your rural event. Every rural community is different and has different needs– there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What may work for one community event may not work for another. This Toolkit is designed to be a starting place for event organizers and attendees to address accessibility and usability issues in their communities.


CAARE Toolkit Table of Contents

Planning

Planning

Two girls ride horses in a parade through town. They both hold flags.

In this section:

  • Who lives in my community?
  • Planning
  • Venue considerations
  • Promotion
  • Organizational policies

Indoor Events

Indoor Events

In this section:

  • Parking
  • Bathrooms
  • Walkways
  • Programming
  • Entrances
  • Event Rooms & Materials
  • Service animals
  • Meals

Outdoor Events

Outdoor Events

Alberton parade

In this section:

  • Parking
  • Bathrooms
  • Walkways
  • Service animals
  • Programming
  • Seating/Tables/Materials
  • Meals

Additional Resources

Additional Resources

A group of youth with different disabilities laugh and smile while posing together

In this section:

  • Quick assessment
  • Attendee survey
  • Sources referenced in this toolkit
  • Additional resources
  • Event accessibility in the news


Community Assessment for Accessible Rural Events

This toolkit was generated as part of a larger project. Read more about this research on the Inclusion in Rural Community Events project page.