Running accessible events

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Whether you are putting on a large conference or a small meeting, virtual or in person, you should consider the needs of the people who may attend with seen or hidden disabilities. When putting on events think about how you make them accessible to all from start to finish.

Some of the content in this guide is focussed on good practice etiquette for virtual meetings, while much of the pre-event and post-event activity applies to good communication practices no matter a virtual or in person event.

Pre-event communications

As with most things, preparation is key, for both you and your attendees. To make an event more accessible, doing a lot in advance lays great groundwork for everyone to have a good day. Not only do you have slightly less to worry about on the day but so does your audience.

Many disabled users, particularly for in-person events need to meticulously plan their attendance, whether this be because of challenges for disabled users with public transport, medication requirements, or things like fatigue or overstimulation. Providing good information in advance can help your attendees plan their attendance easier.

Communications and promotional channels

What promotional and social media channels are you using to promote your event and how are you making that content accessible.

Accessible sign up

Making the sign up process accessible is important as well as pointing out levels of accessibility and support is important to supporting attendees with access needs.

Presentations and slides


Send out travel and parking information with directions on how you reach your venue from major routes car/train/bus etc? For some users, preparation of travel arrangements may be crucial. We try to think about the questions below:

Venue information

Send out venue access information and facilities information in advance. For some users, knowing that there will be their required facilities at the venue may be crucial. We aim for information for the following list:

Post-event communications


If presentations are recorded for sharing afterwards, remember that under the regulations, for new videos you need to provide captions, transcripts and audio descriptions where necessary.

Read our guide on Captions and transcripts for use in content.

If presentation materials such as slides are going to be available after the event, make sure that all materials have been made as accessible as possible. Part of this should be done already if you asked presenters to adhere to accessibility guidelines when creating there slides as part of the pre-event comms.


Where can users get access to photos from the day. Were they shared on a particular hashtag or are they posted on a blog or image library. Let users know and make sure that images that go out in post-event comms have alternative text descriptions.

Post-event written comms

If you are sending out follow up emails, html newsletters or other post event communications remember that these need to follow all good practice accessible content guidance including:


If you are asking attendees to provide feedback on an event, do you have specific questions asking about their experience of the accessibility?

Ideally you should ask as part of the feedback what they thought, good or bad. Were all their access needs met, if not, why not? And then once you have this feedback what are you going to do about it? Can you reach out to the attendee for further comment, or how are you going to incorporate those requirements into future events?

Before you respond effectively to accessibility feedback you need to collect that feedback. Make sure that whatever survey platform you are using can be completed by users with a range of access needs. Most survey platforms can deliver relatively accessible survey forms if built correctly so take the time to test with keyboard only, with a screen reader and dictation tools, and follow best practice for the various survey platforms to try and ensure people can complete your feedback form.

Post-event comms checklist

We use the below checklist when completing events, just to help us remember the accessibility requirements and make sure we have covered everything we want to say.

In person accessibility considerations

On the day you have a number of areas that could cause accessibility issues such as the venue and catering, the content, and guidance from your staff helping on the day.

Most unique challenges for in person events occur around things like physical movement around a space, catering and allergies, health, safety, and hygiene.

Venue and facilities

When picking a venue and planning support for on the day, we like to use the following checklist to make sure we are picking spaces that can support all attendees. This is especially important for larger venues or multi-day events.

Food and Catering


Much of the content work can be completed as part of the pre-event preparations. But there are some aspects for on the day that you need to consider how it will work.

Day support

On the day you have considered the venue, the food, and the content, but there is another important aspect to attendees experience and that is your event staff. We use the following checklist to help ensure that staff helping with the event offer an accessible and supportive experience and properly represent our values.

Virtual meeting accessibility etiquette

We all know about good practice professional behaviour like turning up on time, speaking in a professional way and being required to comment if pets appear on camera. But sometimes expectations for virtual meetings may not always match with what is most conducive to creating an accessible and inclusive environment. The below are a checklist of points we consistently come across in virtual meeting etiquette:

When we start meetings, we always encourage people to engage however they want, cameras on or off, and to talk either with voice or chat. It encourages more engagement.

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