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Event Design Tips for Disabled Attendees

2014-09-23

 Are you making sure your disabled attendees are enjoying your event as well? Here are a few ideas you might want to consider.

A meeting is stressful enough, but when the event mainly includes attendees with disabilities, it comes with many more considerations. These differently-abled guests have other needs and desires that should be fulfilled.


Luckily, just making some design adjustments helps them feel more comfortable at an event and enjoy themselves. Here are a few design ideas that you might want to consider:


Play up to other senses


Linwood Campbell, of Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, told us that he was once approached about ideas of how to design a space for an event for the blind. His idea? Use linens with different textures and create scents specific to that room to let attendees they are in a new room for a new experience. In other words, know that your attendees don’t have to rely just on sight to realize they are in a new space. Use their other senses to make the room inviting and exciting.


Use the appropriate furniture


Using tall tables when the majority of your attendees are in wheelchairs just doesn’t make sense. Neither does packing tables full of chairs. In the first case, the table will get in the way of networking opportunities, and in the other, your attendee will need help finding a spot at the table. This is just not welcoming for the attendee. Be sure your furniture is appropriate for your audience and able to be enjoyed with minimal help despite any disabilities.


Create large pathways


For a typical event, it’s not unusual to see tables close together to maximize the number of people in a room. That just will not work when your attendees are differently-abled. Tripping hazards need to be minimized, and there needs to be enough space for any apparatus an attendee may need. That means large pathways should be created, and it means that your event will need a larger space than a typical event that is the same size. But you will have happier attendees that will need less staff-assistance to maneuver through your event.


How have you helped attendees with disabilities enjoy your event?