Accessibility Considerations

 

In the words of Billie Rain, "...if you really want to be accessible... every person that's going to be involved in the project needs to be individually contacted and interviewed about their access needs, and start there. Then, when you are showing to the public, provide the basics. "

 

If you are planning on maximizing accessibility for the general public, here is a checklist of considerations compiled from my ongoing conversations.  (Please let me know if you would like any others included here:)

 

  • financial accessibility

  • air quality concerns for people with asthma and multiple chemical sensitivity.  Creating more fragrance free spaces (including ones free of perfumes, scented cosmetics, laundry detergants, dryer sheets, air frehsheners, cleaners, etc.) can be a huge step towards overcoming the sometimes extreme isolation confronting people with MCS.  For this to be effective, there needs to be a strategy for enforcing that all event attendees are fragrance free as well

  • stairless entrance with a wheelchair accessible door and bathroom

  • a place to sit if you have a mobility device

  • language interpretation (ASL, specific foreign languages, etc.)

  • cultural sensitivity training(s) for staff

  • captioning

  • being near a bus route

  • consideration of visual impairments (verbal description, etc.)

  • service animal access

  • sufficient lighting 

  • electro magnetic sensitivity concerns (e.g. flourescent lighting, wifi, etc.)

  • timing events to be, in the words of ET Russian, “...not early morning and not late at night.  A lot of people with chronic illness and disability have to go to bed early… late afternoons [are] best…”

  • trigger warnings (letting people know in advance if there's going to be content that has the potential to be psychologically triggering, e.g. violent narratives or image) 

  • peer counselors

  • quiet areas

  • calming and/or focusing activities available (e.g. trampoline, weighted blankets, stim toys, etc.)

  • safe space for all genders, orientations, and/or the lack thereof

  • opportunities for non-normative physically embodied expression

  • structure and/or the lack thereof

 

 

 

Here are some links to some great accessibility information resources:

 

 

 

Radical Access Mapping Project (a Vancouver initiative which offers remarkably comprehensive "Accessibiility Audits")

 

3 Steps to Organizing a Fragrance Free Event

 

Life After Chocolates' "Creating Accessible Events and Communities"

 

In Bed with Frida Kahlo's "Resources for Accessibility Links and Downloads"