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Some tips for meetup organizers who have no budget, a thread!

First off, tell attendees about accessibility of your venue and event ahead of time, even when it's missing. For example, "Unfortunately, there are two steps at the entrance and no ramp."

· Mastodon Twitter Crossposter · 1 · 59 · 39

I mean, also tell attendees about accessibility when the event begins, but for a lot of us, accessibility features are a deciding factor in attending your event. Provide the info ahead of time, just like you would with time, location, etc.

Things to know about your venue:
Are there stairs? If so, is there an elevator or ramp alternative?

Are there accessible restrooms? (Not just small stalls.) Are there gender neutral or single stall restrooms available?

For longer events (over two hours) are there a separate spaces you can designate as a quiet room?

Are the aisles between chair setups at least 3.5ft wide so people with mobility devices have enough space?

Make sure to have seating areas reserved for people with disabilities (with and without mobility devices) interspersed in the seating area so folks have a choice of where to sit.

Related: affirm that service animals are welcome in the venue. (In the US , this is a legal requirements anyways, but affirming it makes it clear that folks are welcome.)

Next: info for your speakers.

If the venue provides you with a microphone, require speakers to use it. Even if it's a small space, even if a speaker says they "talk loud." Do kic checks ahead of time to make sure people know how to use it and that the speakers are loud enough.

Ask all of your attendees of they have any particular accessibility needs beyond what you're already doing, and especially ask your speakers. Make sure speakers know about microphones and presentation setup ahead of time. They might need a chair, space for mobility devices, etc

If you have an interpreter or live captions (hell yeah!) let speakers know ahead of time so they're not distracted.

Make sure speakers don't obstruct their mouths when speaking, either with a mic or their hands. This helps folks who lip read.

If speakers have slides, give them some basic requirements for accessible slide design. I could make a whole thread on this, but basics include having sufficient contrast, large text, no flashing graphics. Check their slides ahead of time if you can.

Tell speakers to describe visuals on their slides out loud. Yes, even the gifs that are just there for a joke. Talks should still make sense for people who can't see your slides.

Remind speakers to speak slowly and clearly. Remind them to avoid casual ableist slurs. More info here:

autistichoya.com/p/ableist-wor

Another major thing: food! Always provide meat, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. Halal, kosher and other dietary needs should always be able to be requested if you don't already provide them. Non-alcoholic options always need to be available.

Tell attendees what food will be available ahead of time. Tell attendees of food isn't available and your event is during a common meal time. Food should always be labeled at the event with ingredients.

If your venue is providing the food, make sure they know all this! Food is an accessibility issue.

There's so much more I could add about inclusion and accessibility at events, but these are the very basics (and all I had time for during my commute, haha). What would you add?

As always, if you learned something, throw some love my way via retweets, checking out my other work (like my guide to pronouns buttons for organizers), and ko-fi.

fenslattery.com

@sublimemarch I once tried to give a talk with a wireless mic provided by the venue. What they didn't know was that the dance studio above them had a class running at the same time as their event, with wireless mics that used the same frequency. So instead of my talk, the audience heard the instructor from above. It was a confusing, embarrassing experience. The person after me got a wired mic.

Lesson? If possible, fix technical problems as soon as they become apparent.

@sublimemarch this is all so good. To be honest, I think all events should only be held at accessible venues. And organisers should check with the venue that the lift is actually working. I was once planning on going to an event at a venue with a lift, but thought I'd check it was working just to be sure. It wasn't...

@sublimemarch I’d add to this that accessible toilets shouldn’t double as your gender neutral toilets.

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