Event Accessibility

Question: To what extent does your event accommodate those with various accessibility needs?

Description

Accessibility at in-person and virtual events is of the utmost importance. Not only do organizers want an event to be as inclusive as possible, in many locations, it is the event organizer’s legal responsibility to address and to provide equal access.

Objectives

This metric aims to help event organizers present to event attendees and to track, over time, the accessibility of an event, by documenting and cataloging accessibility measures taken by the organizing team. Ultimately, this aims to empower event attendees with specific accessibility needs to make the right decision for them on whether the event is inclusive to their needs.

Implementation

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Depending on the size of the event as well as the financial constraints and implementations may include:

  • Accessibility audit of the event website (e.g. colorblind-friendly contrasts, screen-reader support, etc.)
  • Remote access via live stream
  • Captioning in live stream and in-person settings
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Sighted guides at the event
  • Wheelchair access
  • Quiet room for meditation, prayer, or rest
  • Ensure your registration system allows for dietary needs (multiple if possible)
  • Provide accessible washrooms
  • Provide amenities / feminine hygiene products in washrooms
  • Website and on-site event signage that is color-blind friendly
  • Providing a speaker guide with relevant accessibility guidance (for example, ensuring their slides are color-blind friendly)
  • Providing agendas and other important conference documents in Braille language
  • Asking about any accessibility needs prior to the event during conference registration
  • Providing information on the website with regard to the number of stairs or steps to and from the main entrance, conference rooms, and restrooms
  • Access to the slides and presentations before, during, and after the conference is over
  • Low-bandwidth platform considerations
  • Gender-neutral restrooms
  • Room design (photo rows, strollers)
  • Family Friendliness
  • Using visual cues (e.g. floor stickers, spacers, etc.) to facilitate social distancing in densely populated places or queues, e.g. ticketing, food, etc.

Event organizers should have a comprehensive list of the initiatives they’ve implemented, and should make that list available on their website for attendees and speakers.

Filters

  • Virtual versus In-person event
  • Local, regional, and national rules/laws

Tools Providing the Metric

Data Collection Strategies

There are several different ways to signal attention to this metric which may include:

References

  • Blog posts, websites, academic papers, or books that mention the metric and provide more background.
  • CHAOSS Family Friendliness at Events Metric
  • Open Source Virtual Events Guide: This document is designed for anyone that has some experience hosting events. It is meant to point to existing resources and serve as a guide on how to host virtual events, with a focus on 4 of the most popular event types in the Open Source world: developer summits, community calls or panels, workshops, and working group meetings.
  • Making Online Events More Inclusive: These tips are for trainers and organizations that are transitioning their events online. They aim to mainstream inclusivity across all aspects of design and implementation to make online (and offline) events more inclusive, effective, and impactful.
  • How to Use Color-Blind Friendly Pallettes

Contributors

List of people who would like to be mentioned as contributors to this metric

  • Elizabeth Barron
  • Justin W. Flory
  • Matt Germonprez
  • Sean Goggins
  • Kevin Lumbard
  • Matt Cantu Snell
  • Kristi Progri
  • Kafayah Lawal
  • Katie Schueths

This metric was last reviewed on February 23, 2022 as part of 2022-04 release.