Event Leadership Institute Unveils New Certificate Course to Make Events More Inclusive for Disabled Attendees
Understanding how to design events that are welcoming and inclusive for attendees with disabilities has become essential for today’s event planners. According to Forbes Magazine, the disability community is larger than the size of China, with 1.85 billion people, and if you add in their friends, family and caregivers, that adds up to an additional 3.4 billion people.
But creating in-person or virtual experiences that are inviting and accessible for everyone can be a challenge for many event organizers, planners and producers, who may lack the knowledge, tools and strategies to do so.
Enter the Event Leadership Institute (ELI), a provider of progressive online education, training and professional development programs for event and meeting industry professionals. Recognizing the need for standardized accessibility policies and education for event planners, ELI recently launched a comprehensive, multi-week certificate course specifically focused on event accessibility: the Event Accessibility Strategist Certificate.
“Not everybody has equal access to event experiences, and we’ve found that there are limited resources available to event professionals to address this in a comprehensive way,” said Howard Givner, founder and CEO of ELI, which boasts an extensive on-demand video class library as well as instructor-led professional development courses, group training and webinars.
He continued, “Our goal is to support event professionals in planning events that include universal access for the event. A lot of event planners are simply not aware of what’s required to develop a welcoming environment regardless of the disability, and we want to change that with the release of our Event Accessibility Strategist course.”
Designed to go beyond ADA compliance and requirements, the certificate course will raise awareness while providing event professionals in any industry role with the knowledge, skills and know-how to transform their in-person and digital events so they are welcoming, accessible and inclusive for all attendees.
Taught by accessibility expert and attorney Joshua Klipp, founder and principal of Made Welcome, an accessibility consulting firm focused on accessibility at workplaces and events, the course syllabus includes:
· ADA Basics and Intersection With DE&I
· Venue and Vendor Selection RFP Considerations
· Digital Platform Selection and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
· Designing Inclusive and Accessible Event Marketing
· Accessibility for Digital Events and Presentations
· On-site Toolkit Development Focused On:
o Temporary and Situational Considerations
· Best Practices for Room Layouts
· On-Site Logistics, Safety and Registration Best Practices
· On-Site Staff Training to Create Inclusive Environments
· Post-Event Surveys and Reporting
According to ELI officials, each course participant will be equipped to develop or refine an event accessibility policy and checklist for their organization’s hybrid, in-person or virtual meetings and events. Additionally, course participants will have access to a training guide for on-site event staff on best practices for interacting with disabled attendees.
According to Tammy Kockaya, ELI chief strategy and growth officer, the Event Accessibility Strategist Certificate course is a perfect fit for event agencies, corporate in-house event teams, associations and venues that are looking to learn and educate their teams on creating accessible event experiences.
“This course is the first step for us, and we’re also learning how we can make our existing courses, events and resources more accessible,” Kockaya said. “We’ll be working to break down this course into a shorter module for event staff who are on-site and need additional education and support, so all event attendees feel welcome.”
ELI’s five-week Event Accessibility Strategist Certificate course begins on Nov. 14, and participants can earn eight Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) hours. To learn more about and to register for the Event Accessibility Strategist Certificate, go here.