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Making Your Event Inclusive and Accessible

First things first, what do we mean by inclusive and accessible?

Inclusive {in-kloo-siv}, adjective: aiming to include and integrate all people and groups in activities, events, organizations, etc., especially those who are disadvantaged, have suffered discrimination, or are living with disabilities.

Accessible {ak-ses-uh-buhl}, adjective: easy to approach, reach, enter, speak with, or use. And, suitable for differently abled people to reach, enter, or use, as a result of design.

Second: why exactly is it important to be inclusive and accessible, especially when hosting events for people who might require accommodations or adaptations to make the experience available and fun for them?

Well, the most important reason we can think of is that you want your guests to feel welcomed, respected and accepted in the event space and celebration! And, the best thing is that, if you do it correctly, all of the above will be communicated to your guests without you saying a word. In our opinion it should always be a consideration, as making an event more inclusive and accessible is good for everyone!

Now, how can you bring that spirit of inclusivity and accessibility into reality, and make all of your guests’ event experience exceptional?

Responsibilities as Host

1 – As an event host it is your responsibility to make sure the physical experience of guests at your event is accounted for. For example: Is the photo booth camera height adjustable for guests who may use various mobility aids? Will all the cords be taped down to eliminate tripping hazards? Will there be enough room to safely maneuver around using mobility aids? Are there proper access ramps into and out of the event and the photo booth space?

2 – Further to that, you should discuss the backdrop and prop theme with your photo booth provider before your event. That way your experience can be customized to you; meaning, you could have a rainbow backdrop for a pride event, a custom made step and repeat banner for a charity fundraiser or gala, or maybe a set of non-binary or LGTBQ+ signs and props provided for the photo booth.

3 – Next up, ask your event staff and vendors to avoid binary language like Ma’am and Sir, ladies and gentlemen, she/he and have them use neutral terms like beautiful people, folks, honored guests, they/them. For example: can have your photo booth attendant invite people  into the booth by simply saying “Step right up, and I’ll show you how it works!” The right language can go a long way to making people feel accepted and included! And, in the end, it’s easy to do, it doesn’t imply anything about anyone, and best of all doesn’t take away from anyone’s experience! It’s what you call a win-win-win! 

4 – Recognize that not all disabilities or differences are visible. Meaning if you’re hosting an event for people on the ASD spectrum, or with other learning or sensory processing differences, are there ways to accommodate to make the experience more enjoyable for them. For example: having clearly outlined instructions throughout your event to help reduce social and situational anxiety, making sure that the photo booth lights stay on constantly instead of flashing during photos, and most importantly communicating the scope of the event to the venue, staff and all of your vendors so that they have the knowledge they need to help all of your guests with care and understanding.

Everyone Should Feel Welcome at Your Event!

Period! Full Stop! We believe that everyone should get the opportunity to enjoy themselves at a party! After all, people living with disabilities, those who have suffered discrimination, those of us have been or are currently disadvantaged, deserve to be considered and included and treated with respect! 

After all, in the end, everyone is different and special in the way we all need unique (physical, intellectual, spiritual or emotional) accommodations in our daily lives to allow us to feel supported and valued and included. Needing support to thrive doesn’t make anyone too much, it simply makes us human beings, and that care and consideration can and should extend to experiences like weddings, parties and corporate events!

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