For our events, we strive to ensure wheelchair users (and everyone else) can:
pee, poop, eat, drink, sit down, and access quiet space and outdoor space.
But you’re not doing all this just to avoid litigation, right? You’re doing it because you want people to feel welcome. I encourage you to exceed legal requirements and even people’s expectations.
Of course, making safer spaces is more than a checklist. You have to think both holistically and specifically. For instance, don’t overlook the little things that make up the overall feel of your space.Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather
Five Ways to Welcome all Bodyminds to Your Event
We have detailed accessibility checklists• Progress in human understanding has become increasingly complex and overwhelming.• Checklists help prevent serious but easily avoidable mistakes.• Checklists should be as short as possible, include all essential steps… More and recommendations in our course “Enable Dignity: The Accommodations for Natural Human Variation Should Be Mutual“, but for this piece we reduce down to five things you can learn and do to welcome all bodymindsBodymind: A term used to challenge the idea the body and mind are experienced separately (Descartes). Written in various ways, Bodymind or Body-mind, this usage foregrounds the understanding that experiences… More to your learning event.
Five Ways to Welcome All Bodyminds to Your Learning Event
- Create real access pages.
- Create Cavendish SpaceCavendish Space: psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work, intermittent collaboration, and collaborative niche construction. Since reading NeuroTribes, we think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to… More with caves, campfires, and watering holesFuturist David Thornburg identifies three archetypal learning spaces— the campfire, cave, and watering hole—that schools can use as physical spaces and virtual spaces for student and adult learning (bit.ly/YvRuWC)Australia’s Campfires,… More.
- Provide interaction badges.
- Offer bodymind affirmationsNeurodivergent and disabled speakers, notably Lydia X. Z. Brown and Jonathan Mooney, preface their presentations with an access note and a bodymind affirmation. They encourage people, be it in an… More and provide outlets for stimmingSelf-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects Stimming – Wikipedia Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as… More, pacing, fidgeting, and retreating.
- Ensure there is quiet space and outdoor space that people can access at any time.
General Do’s & Don’ts for Interacting with Disabled People
- Do yield to people with mobility aids (e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes).
- Do not touch, lean on or push anyone’s mobility equipment.
- Do not bend down to talk to someone in a wheelchair. If you find it difficult to maintain the conversation, pull up a chair.
- Do ask before you try to assist someone. What you assume is helpful may not be.
- Do speak directly to a disabledThe label “disabled” means so much to me. It means I have community. It means I have rights. It means I can be proud. It means I can affirm myself… More person (not the ASL interpreter, personal careThe activities that constitute care are crucial for human life. We defined care in this way: Care is “a species activity that includes everything that we do to maintain, continue,… More assistant, etc.).
- Do not pet, feed, or otherwise distract a service dog. Please approach their handler before interacting.
Source: Accessibility Services — Midwest FurFest
Survey venues with this access survey.
We have detailed accessibility checklists and guidelines and philosophy here.
Here’s a detailed air quality checklist.