Ask an Expert

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English (adj.) < Latin expertus, past participle of experīrī to try, experience

Every day we live with the need to communicate. We need to rise above simple translation and see the meaning, when we build a website we need to include everyone (not just the sighted) and when we travel we are faced with challenging physical barriers. I know what it's like and think I have the depth and resources to help others make the right decisions.

Each month I will be responding to a question, chosen from a pool of some of the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and continue to be asked. A complete archive of "Ask an Expert" articles can be found here.

Donna Jodhan, a woman with short dark hair and glasses, sits at a table with a laptop in front of her.

This month, I'd like to answer the following question:

Making social events more accessible

Before you say no or turn thumbs down on these suggestions; consider these thoughts.

You can definitely increase your revenue and reduce both your internal and external costs and here's how.

Take it from me! I have been an accessibility awareness consultant and advisor since 1998 and I continue to help companies to increase their revenues, reduce their costs, and reach hidden consumer markets!

Now that it appears that we are going to be living with the Covid virus for a long time, we need to ensure that our social events not just adhere to the restrictions of such things as social distancing, but also to ensure that accessibility continues to be a part of these events.

It may not be as difficult as you may be thinking; it just requires that we make sure that we cover the important aspects of planning for social events. However we also need to keep in mind that the nature of social events have also changed.

For this month I am going to give you some suggestions to help you stay within the lines of acceptance.

So with this in mind, here are a few tips to kick start a very exciting adventure for you:

  • No more huge events for now with lots of people crowded into rooms. Small events will be the order of the day.
  • Check in your area to see how many persons are allowed in an indoor event.
  • Provide hand sanitizers, hand wipes, and masks; they do not need to be reusable. Make sure that guests with disabilities know where to find these supplies. This applies especially to those with vision impairments.
  • If you need to have indicators on floors or carpets to guide your guests as to where to go, where to line up, or anything else like this, make sure that these indicators are brightly coloured and that you provide assistance for those with vision impairments.
  • The same would apply for when guests need to know where to sit; provide assistance especially to those with vision impairments.
  • In the case of the serving of food, you will need to provide extra assistance to those with a disability.

I hope that these suggestions are a good start for you.

To contact me please send an email to info@sterlingcreations.ca!
I'm Donna J. Jodhan (sight loss coach)