When event professionals think about creating accessible events, their minds likely go to in-person events held in venues, and their need to ensure there are such on-site provisions as ramps on property and captions on screens during presentations. But planners should also consider how to make their digital events more accessible, as not everyone uses at-home devices in the same ways.
Function Central, a U.K.-based music booking agency, has recently created a guide to health and safety for event planning that includes a checklist of accessibility considerations for virtual events. “Accessibility is a learning process, but the efforts you make can have a huge impact on the people who are able to attend virtual events,” the report notes. Here are five questions the agency suggests event professionals ask themselves as they plan a digital event:
1. Does the digital event platform allow computer-based audio listening/speaking and phone-based audio listening/speaking?
2. Have you factored in the costs of captioning, sign language interpretation, and audio description, and other accommodations into the budget?
3. Are speakers aware of the necessary accommodations for a digital event? For example, they should state their name every time before speaking.
4. Are materials accessible? Text should be high-contrast and in a large, easy-to-read font.
5. If sending a care package or swag bag to digital attendees, can you provide answers to questions they may have about food contents and origins in terms of food intolerance or allergy issues?
Visit Function Central to view its full guide to health and safety for event planning.