Accessibility Hints

How to make your event accessible and inclusive 

We want York International Women’s Week 2021 to be as accessible and as inclusive as possible in terms of both event organisation and event audiences. Whilst we are largely restricted to online events this year, there are numerous ways organisers can ensure their events are welcoming and inclusive. This includes making events accessible to people with disabilities, to those working shift patterns and with childcare responsibilities who might otherwise miss out, and to marginalised communities. Ultimately, it is up to event organisers to attract audiences and tailor their events appropriately. 

The tips below should act as a helpful starting guide. 

  • Think about the timing and date of your event; does it coincide with possible caring responsibilities/work commitments of your potential audience? 
  • Think about language barriers and consider creating/using translated material and/or a translator. Perhaps your event will be produced in a language other than English. For those wanting to incorporate British Sign Language we have a list of BSL interpreters who would be happy to discuss your requirements – payment can be discussed directly with the interpreter. We want to have a wide range of events which are available to many people so please do think about language requirements and please do not feel your event has to be conducted in English. 
  • Make sure the language you use, whether oral or written, is inclusive and free-from technical jargon (unless this is integral to the event). Engage with your audience in a respectful manner and be aware that we all have different life experiences. 
  • If someone in your audience uses language to marginalise anyone or behaves inappropriately be prepared to ask them to leave your event. 
  • Where relevant, try to use large, clear fonts. Sans serif fonts such as Arial are ideal. 
  • Try to use high colour contrasts in your visual resources. 
  • Try to incorporate closed/live captioning (sometimes known as sub titles) and visual descriptions for videos and live-streams where possible. We have details on how to book a Speech to Text Reporter so please do contact us if you are interested. Please note this would involve an hourly fee. 
  • Also, try to think about the technical capabilities your audience might have. This is likely to be varied and therefore you might want to think about different ways of delivering the content of your event in addition to the above suggestions. 

The following websites can help you assess the accessibility of your online content: 

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 – this document sets the industry standards for accessible web and media experiences 

WAVE Browser extension – helps assess your website and content for accessibility 

Contrast Checker – this lets you do a contrast check before uploading to social media

YouDescribe – this allows you to create descriptive audio for YouTube videos 

Aegisub – this allows you to create and edit subtitles (for free) as well as create transcripts for videos 

Produced by York International Women’s Week coordinating group