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Wollongong City Council

Including Everyone

As well as making your venue physically accessible, think about how people with different disabilities can take part in the activities of your event.

Minimum requirements

Event organisers have responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to make sure event activities are accessible and inclusive. 

You should also make sure:

  • Contact details are provided, including telephone number, email and website details
  • People with accessibility needs are invited to make contact to discuss their requirements.

More ways to improve inclusivity

Accessible seating and viewing areas are important so people with disability can sit with their family and friends, can view activities and performances and are comfortable.

Consider the following:

  • Provide a ticketing / booking system so people can book a range of seating to best suit their abilities and allow them to sit with their friends and / or family. Alternatively, provide contact details so this assistance can be provided.
  • Make sure people who are Deaf or hard of hearing can choose seats with a clear view to Auslan Interpreters and any screens with captioning.
  • Make sure people who are blind or have low vision can choose seats close to presenters, stages, or performances.
  • Create enough space between rows of seating for people to manoeuvre and move through.
  • Provide space at the ends of rows for people who use mobility aides, such as walking sticks and walking frames.
  • Make sure there is seating with backs and arm rests.
  • Make sure spaces for wheelchair users are spread out across the seating area and next to non-wheelchair spaces so wheelchair users can be seated with friends and family.

The following is a guide for grouping and distribution of seating:

Number of fixed seats in a room or spaceNumber of wheelchair seating spacesGrouping and location
Up to 1503 spaces1 single space; and 1 group or 2 spaces (mixed)

Communicate this seating guidance to event staff, booking officers, contractors, and security staff so they can assist people to access seating.

Where there is only general spectator viewing, consider providing a 'no standing' section or a designated accessible viewing area or platform. These options can accommodate everyone and will help wheelchairs users, people with mobility aides and people who prefer to sit.

These areas should be:

  • Located next to a continuous accessible path of travel
  • With clear sightlines to the event or screens for alternative communication e.g., Auslan Interpreters, live captioning, and audio description
  • Clearly shown on the event maps and in promotional material
  • Promoted on the event website
  • Available for booking (if possible)
  • Inclusive of friends and family of people with disability
  • Described as “accessible seating or viewing area” or “no standing area” - not disabled or wheelchair area.

Customer service areas, such as ticket booths, reception areas and food and beverage stalls, that can be accessed by people with disability can also help to increase business.

For example, if a service counter is too high it can create an access barrier for wheelchair users to communicate.

Consider the following:

  • Locate customer service areas next to a CAPT
  • If there is a counter, make sure there is a wheelchair accessible section 830 -870mm high for a minimum length of 900mm with leg clearance underneath
  • If an accessible counter cannot be provided, make sure staff are aware and available to help people with disability to access services.

Event organisers should provide the opportunity for people with disability to participate equally and share in event experiences. When planning an event consider:

  • Communication needs of people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision
  • Sensory needs of neurodiverse people.

The following can make your event more inclusive:

  • Assistive listening devices such as hearing loops either within a venue or portable hearing loop at outdoor events and venues.
  • Auslan interpreters for spoken elements such as talks or speeches. Auslan Stage Left can also provide specialist theatre-trained Auslan interpreters and Deaf consultants ideal for theatre, arts and concerts.
  • Captioning of spoken content on large screens including video content.
  • Audio description of elements like performance, dance, art, fireworks, and video content.
  • A Quiet Space for people to take a break and desensitise from the activities of the event for people who experience sensory overload in noisy, busy environments. For example, neurodiverse people, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, people with mental illness. See our Quite Space guide for some tips and examples.
  • A Social Story – which is a brief description of the event and activities which include specific information about what to expect and why. See the 'Information and services' section of our Disability Access Guide for some examples. You can also download our Social Story template DOTX, 84.94 KB or create your own.
  • A Quiet Tour of the event site – offer a tour of the event site before the event for people with neurodiversity or sensory sensitivity.
  • Augmented reality - a creative way to add depth to experience and be more inclusive. For example, this can be provided via phones, QR codes, information displays or recordings.

At events where alternative accessible communication is being used to communicate the formalities, also include accessible communication for other parts of the event. For example, use an Auslan interpreter to interpret a song being performed.

Provide water and toileting facilities for Guide Dogs and Assistance Animals.