Community Assessment for Accessible Rural Events

[outline]: rural community events are important why:
Especially for PWD in rural, because ____.

We visited rural events across Montana and talked to people there about accessibility. {link to book chapter blog post]. Based on that research, we put together this toolkit as a way to help event planners and community members make sure their event is accessible to all.

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.

Rural community events are a place for people to connect and reconnect with family and friends; build and maintain community, and create alternative space for empowerment.

description of toolkit: what is this toolkit? how/when can it be used? who should use it? (Why should you CAARE?)

The accessibility of rural community events is directly tied to participation, and community participation can be tied to the accumulation of social capital. “Social capital is a tradeable resource that exists in a relationship. If you have social capital you can use it to gain other kinds of capital,” said Sage. “It provides opportunities to interact with other people who may have access to resources that you don’t have access to.”

These other kinds of capital could include things like favors, experiences, or a job. Another way to think of it could be as “cashing in” on a friendship or social connection in order to secure some sort of benefit, such as a job at a family friend’s store, or access to a behind-the-scenes space at a public event for someone who needs a place to sit in the shade and rest.

Disclaimer- these might not all apply to your rural event. Or might not be able to do them all. That’s ok. Do the best you can.


CAARE Toolkit Table of Contents

Planning

In this section:

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

Indoor Events

In this section:

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

Outdoor Events

In this section:

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

Other Resources

Section with links to other groups/funding sources– ideas on how to organize community/get $$ to make needed changes

this section could include success stories/quotes, if we have them. or, could intersperse those throughout (at the beginning or after each table of considerations).


Sources

In this section:

links to resources referenced in this toolkit


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.