Persons with disabilities may be participants as well as employees, volunteers, artists and participants’ family members.
It is vital to appoint an event organizer who has been trained in universal accessibility.
There are 4 components of universal accessibility: architecture and urban planning; programs, services and employment; communications; and awareness and training. All 4 components must be worked on to achieve universal accessibility.
When planning an event, it is important to work on all aspects - before, during and after the event.
Think of organizing in terms of themes: access to information, registration, transport, displacement, participation, security. All elements must be accessible.
People must not only be able to reach and enter the event site; they must also be able to participate autonomously in the event.
For a successful event experience, it is important to pay attention to the reception area. It will make all the difference to have staff trained to welcome those with disabilities.
Event accessibility must be publicized. To reach your target clientele you must inform them of the possibilities available to them.
Make your communications tools “legible” for those with disabilities.
A self-evaluation tool will allow you to identify areas that need improvement.
Remain open to everyone’s comments and give them consideration.
Universal accessibility is evolving rapidly. It is important to keep abreast of developments.
Producing and being known for an accessible event will create a progressive, caring image.
Municipalities are keenly interested in universal accessibility. If you become involved now, you will be a pro-active force as you join this emerging social movement.
Event accessibility provides added value for everyone and improves the experience for all participants.
An accessible event ensures quality for all participants.
Friends and family of persons with disabilities will recognize the human value of your organization.
Your staff will be proud of their role in producing a universally accessible event that meets everyone’s needs.
There are a number of major organizations for persons with disabilities. You will attract a larger clientele by including these groups on your promotional mailing lists.
Making your event accessible will attract and develop new partners and new networks.
Given that persons with disabilities represent 33.3%2 of the population, you will substantially increase your market share by using innovative solutions and extending the influence of your business.
Do not hesitate to publicize your success. Organizing an accessible event is part of moving toward sustainable development and being a good corporate citizen.
Context A universally accessible event conforms to international and provincial laws and regulations.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Article 7, paragraph d: The states parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work, which ensure, in particular: rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The convention was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 13, 2006. Canada ratified the convention on March 11, 2010, and pledged to respect its principles. The first article of the convention states its goal: “to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”
Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 20, 1993, these rules specify “the process through which the various systems of society and the environment, such as services, activities, information and documentation, are made available to all, particularly to persons with disabilities.”
The Canadian Human Rights Act
Article 2. The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.
User’s Guide The AlterGo universal accessibility evaluation chart can be filled out by the event organizer, the person in charge of universal accessibility or by anyone else who is interested in universal accessibility. Here are a few things to consider before filling out this chart.
1. The chart is divided into 3 sections: