Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Is your event mobility handicapped accessible? • Post Status

No one should be left out of any part of your event because they cannot physically reach the location. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often.

(I know there’s more to access than mobility. There are essential accommodations for other disabilities, including deafness and blindness, the autism spectrum, and more. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to talk about my experiences with mobility disabilities. I will write.)

This week I spent five days traveling from Rochester, New York to San Antonio, Texas, through Charlotte, North Carolina. To say that I had some mobility struggles is an understatement. Let’s just say San Antonio itself isn’t disabled-accessible. It was thanks to my incredible coworkers who made this week so friendly for me.

I’ve learned a lot over the years about what mobility accessibility needs to be. At events, venues, hotels, transportation, restaurants… well, you get the idea – it matters everywhere people go.

Last week I experienced two major hurdles.

  • The only doors I used to automatically open throughout my week were at airports.
  • The hotel did not provide a shower chair or any way for me to take a shower safely.

Let me combine some of my experiences with your suggestions below.

automatic doors. While I am a free person, I am not so free that I would not ask others to open a door for myself. However, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes you are alone, and there is a door in front of you that prevents you from entering to go to meetings, events, meals or even a toilet. If you are creating an event for the public, or you are in a venue (such as a restaurant) that is open to the public, please make sure everyone has access by installing automatic door openers that can be either a single button Operate by pressing or with the sensor.

I had to get creative this week when I wasn’t with coworkers: using my cane to open doors so I can pass, pushing through the front door of my scooter, and trusting strangers to open doors for me. Stay. I made it work, but someone with less mobility than me couldn’t.

Curb cuts, ramps and lifts#

If someone who has a mobility problem (for example, using a wheelchair, scooter, cane, or walker) needs access to your location, then stepping (actually, even a step) is a problem. Is. Make sure there are curb cuts or ramps in place for this. And if you are in a building without an elevator, please know that anyone who cannot use the stairs will not be able to go above the entry level.

I was lucky this week that everywhere I went there were elevators, curb cuts or ramps, but I’ve been in situations before where I had to go to the back entrance of a place to connect with my colleagues. Trust me, entering from the street doesn’t feel welcome.

Easy Transport#

I used Lyft for this trip, and the app has no way of recognizing that you have a mobility device. My scooter breaks into several pieces that actually fit into the trunk of my car (a sedan). But I made sure to order an XL vehicle every time. A driver misbehaved with me. He actually said “You expect me to She In my vehicle?” When I explained that it breaks down, and took it apart (and the guy at the hotel door helped him load it into his substantial SUV), he got better. But he pushed me. Wasn’t even allowed to sit on the seat. Because my legs don’t work properly, it’s difficult to climb into the back seat of any vehicle, and I had fallen on my knee. By the time I reached for dinner, I had to It was hurting, and tears were coming.

Access to Outlets#

Anyone with an electric scooter or wheelchair needs to make sure it is charged. Running out of power literally stops you where you are. And there’s nothing you can do to remedy this other than ask people to push you to the nearest outlet.

Accessible Hotel#

This should go without saying, but it needs to be said anyway: the hotels you recommend to your event attendees should be fully accessible, They must have all of the above (curb cuts, ramps, elevators, automatic doors) – And They should also have accessible rooms. This means that it should be easy to enter and exit that room. There should be enough room for wheelchairs to move indoors and for roll-in showers with shower seats. Feather Very little They should have shower seats that are accessible to your room.

(Many thanks to my colleagues this week for not commenting on a year of unwanted hair, because I didn’t have the ability to climb into the tub, get out of the tub, or stand in the shower, and wasn’t in my hotel room.) housing for me.)

Accessible and nearby dining, toilets, and other facilities within buildings#

One of the hardest things for me at previous events, when I was only using a cane, was to travel long distances within a venue to attend lunch or sessions. Please remember that not all people with mobility problems are using motorized equipment. People with canes and walkers may find distance to be a deterrent to attending parts of the event.

In addition to the essentials, it would be great to have the following:

  • A list of local restaurants and shops that are accessible and distance from them.
  • List of local stores that are accessible and distance from them (such as pharmacies and souvenir shops).
  • A number to call for assistance in case of any problem.
  • An Accessibility Coordinator designated for each day of your event who can be called or texted in case of emergency.

The most important thing to remember is that All Your attendees should have access to similar experiences. No one should be left out of any part of your event because they cannot physically reach the location.

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