5 Simple Ways to Make Your Venue Disability-Accessible
With almost one in ten of the world's population living with a disability, it has become close to essential to make your venue accessible for people with disabilities.
This can often seem like a daunting task, as there are many things to think about and they frequently involve major structural changes. However, there are some simple things that you can do to make your venue disability-accessible.
Consider different types of disabilities
Not all people with disabilities face the same accessibility difficulties, so you need to think broadly and consider a multitude of potential issues when designing or renovating your venue.
People with visual, hearing and mobility impairments often have difficulty accessing venues in the same way another person would. It is important to consider what you can do to improve accessibility in each of these areas, as each need different solutions.
Arrange accessible transport
It is possible that transport to your venue is a real headache for people with mobility impairments. If you have parking available, reserve some of the closest parking spaces to the entrance for people with disabilities – less than 40 metres to the entrance is optimal.
In addition, is there a bus stop nearby for people relying on public transport? You may be able to talk to the bus company about arranging a stop directly in front of your venue, to assist the people with disabilities that need to use public transport.
Use contrasting colours to aid visually impaired people
For people with impaired vision, bright and contrasting colours are easier to recognise. If there are steps or unexpected turns on the walkways in your venue, it may help if you can highlight these to people who see less clearly.
This can be as simple as lining the edge of each step or corner with a bright coloured tape. It only take a few minutes and certainly won't break your budget, but it could provide an immeasurable difference to some.
Communicate your accessibility
If your venue is accessible for people with disabilities, make sure that people know about it. For example, if the entrance ramp is on the side on the building, it should be well sign posted so that people can actually use it to access the building.
In addition, any information about your venue, such as on your website or information leaflet, should include information about accessibility for people with disabilities. Providing information about what you already have – or don't have – is helpful for people planning to come to you venue.
Your staff are also important tools to help make your venue more accessible. They should know how to use accessible entrances and be aware of all the relevant information. They can also assist people with disabilities to ensure they are able to access the venue as needed.
Ask for feedback
Firstly, find out what you're currently doing well and what you're doing not so well. Simply asking a variety of people – including staff and people with disabilities – is a good way to get the ball rolling and eliminate time doing all the planning yourself. When you understand the positives and recognise the areas to address, the task of you making your venue more accessible becomes much simpler.