The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #115029   Message #2465655
Posted By: VirginiaTam
14-Oct-08 - 05:15 PM
Thread Name: Fest sites no help to visually impaired?
Subject: RE: Fest sites no help to visually impaired?
Hi Ron

As an American living in UK, I can only attest that some larger events put on by borough or county councils typically do a better job at accessibility. Or at least give lip service to making event accessible to all.

I think the problem is this. Where ever and in whatever formats events (large or small) are advertised there seems to be a lack of regard as to how "everyone" can access the information. The event itself may be perfect at meeting all needs on the site and on the day. But if a person with specific needs cannot find the info they need in the first place they find it difficult to make plans and decisions about what they want to do and how to go about doing it.

Also one must consider that public transport is not always ideal for those with physical and visual impairments. Heap that energy drain on top of being at an event you know little about and cannot plan for and it becomes too much like work and less like fun. I only have RA, but I want to know as much as possible about location of venues and what the terrain is like getting from site to site and what public transport there is.

We are calling for event planners to make detailed information available in a variety of formats in the first place.   This includes not only descriptions but date/time/location of acts, sessions, workshps, etc. and maps/directions to the various venues. Some can be spread miles apart on opposite side of a town or even across several villages.

As the first post in the thread suggests, full details are not being posted on websites anymore in favour of selling programmes. The big events put on by councils are just as guilty. I understand that this helps to defray the costs of fesitivals. However there should be contact info on the page where people with visual impairment can request an electronic copy of programme in a format they can access through SpeakEasy or other screen reader equipment.

The question now is how do we get them to do it.