The best way to ensure your event or activity is inclusive of all people is to think about things beforehand! Have a plan about how you will organise everything to be as accessible as possible. If you keep access and inclusion on the agenda, you will set yourself up to run a successful, inclusive event.

It is good to think about specific Changes or adjustments to make a task or job or study more accessible.accommodations a disabled person might need. If you can, ask the participants about their unique access needs beforehand. You can do this by inviting people to get in touch with you or through the registration form.

It is OK to ask for people's access needs! You do not have to ask what disability a person has, and it might even be inappropriate to ask that in some situations. Instead, ask for access needs and explain why and how this can help, for example, "Please tell us anything that will make this event/meeting work better for you," or "To do our best to make sure this event/meeting is accessible, please tell us what you need." Giving a bit more information will help someone who has not heard the term access needs before or does not understand what it means.

You can’t do everything, but you can clearly inform people about access and barriers before they arrive.


Remember, it is impossible to be accessible for everyone. For example, some autistic people often find it easier to read information printed in black ink on a yellow background. People with low vision often find it easiest to read yellow text on a black background!

You can’t do everything, but you can clearly inform people about access and barriers before they arrive. Definitely don’t be afraid to say that something is inaccessible. It’s much better to specify that there is a barrier that can’t be removed than surprise the person when they try to access your venue and cannot. This will help them plan around the barrier, or choose not to attend. Disabled young people will appreciate your honesty and the choice and control.

See how some organisations are publicising this important information in the form of an access key.

Inviting a conversation

Below are two different questions that YDAS asks young people when they register to get involved in activities or programs. Please note we are regularly reviewing and updating these questions based on how useful and effective they are. For example, do they help us meet access needs easily, or could they be clearer for us on what we need to do next? Do we need to mention the impairment or kind of disability, or should we just mention the access tool or requirement?

1)       YDAS is committed to supporting your access needs so please list any that you may have. (Alternative: Please list your access needs. These could be anything that helps you be part of the event.)

2)     This is a list of common barriers and accessibility needs. Let us know if any of these apply to you or if you have an access need that isn’t listed.

  • I need access for a mobility device like a wheelchair or walker.
  • I need large format print or large fonts.
  • I will be using a screen reader or screen magnifier.
  • I need low lighting.
  • I need bright lighting.
  • I need to avoid strobing or flashing lights.
  • I will be using an Auslan interpreter.
  • I will be using a hearing aid.
  • I will be bringing a service animal.
  • I will be attending these workshops with a support worker.
  • I will need support with hands-on activities.
  • I will be using a communication device.
  • I will need support communicating.
  • I need information about the event sent before I arrive. 
  • I need automatic captions.
  • I need live (or more accurate) captions.
  • I need a fragrance or perfume free space.
  • I will need to take breaks.
  • My accessibility needs aren't listed.

Reflection questions

How can the information gathered by questions like these be useful when planning or delivering activities?

What information do you actually need?

What kind of message does it send participants if they see a question like these when they register for an event?

Write a list of pros and cons for the different ways of asking this question. For example, how much is the focus on the access need or the impairment?

Is this something that you could implement in your organisation? What would you do differently?

Read more:

Check out this YDAS blog and printable poster on things to consider when planning events. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to do all these things, but let people know what barriers you can’t remove.

Meetings & Events Australia have developed an in-depth report on planning accessible events you can find here.

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