When planning your event, it is important to think about physical access to the venue.
If the venue is not physically accessible, or cannot be made physically accessible through treatment/s, you risk excluding many people including people with disability, older people, and families with children.
Your event layout
It's important to think about access when you're planning the layout for outdoor events. Physical barriers like structures, furniture, signage, or stalls on a pathway (continuous accessible paths of travels, or CAPT) can all create access barriers.
When planning your event layout:
- Use existing paths and kerb ramps as much as possible. Place important infrastructure on or near existing features, such as drop off zones, accessible toilets, food stall, stages, and emergency egress.
- Do not block any existing CAPTs or kerb ramps.
- Provide temporary access matting to get to key event infrastructure where there is not a CAPT. The pathway must be continuous, without any breaks or gaps.
- Provide an alternate accessible path of travel, such as a ramp, if there are stairs.
Minimum requirements for physical access
An accessible entrance needs to be:
- A flat level and step free path of travel
- Clearly marked with signage
- As close as possible to designated accessible parking (ideally not more than 100m).
Continuous accessible paths of travel (CAPT) must be provided from the property boundary to the event, from accessible parking and throughout the event to all activities. This means the path/s need to be:
- Free from steps, turnstiles, signage, stalls, furniture, bins, bollards, or temporary infrastructure like power cables or installations
- A minimum width of 1000mm
- A minimum height clearance of 2000mm
- A level, firm, slip-resistant surface in wet and dry conditions. Avoid surfaces like grass and coarse gravel.
- Where outdoor events are held on grassed areas, portable matting can be used to create a CAPT.
- Where temporary ramps, stairs and matting are used, make sure they comply with Australian Standard 1428.1.
All events should provide an accessible toilet. This can either be a permanent facility that exists in the event area or a temporary facility (portable accessible toilet).
There are various portable accessible toilets available for hire, but not all comply with current access standards. Where possible source an accessible portable toilet that complies with the Australian Standards. Ask the supplier to confirm that the toilet meets these Standards.
At a minimum an accessible toilet must:
- Be provided at a minimum ratio of one accessible toilet for every 15 standard toilets
- Not be locked or used as a storage area
- Not have a foot pump operated sink
- Provide good circulation (minimum 1900mm wide and 2300mm high)
- Be located next to a CAPT
- If located on a ramp, the ramp must not be more than 1:14 gradient and have a landing at the top for a wheelchair user to rest, stabilise and manoeuvre.
Equitable dignified access should be provided to temporary structures where event activities are being held. This includes providing access ramps. If an access ramp is needed, it should comply with Australian Standard 1428.4.2 Design for Access and Mobility means to assist.
- As far as possible, the ramped entry to a temporary structure is provided at the main entry point
- The ramp has a gradient of not more than 1:14. Steeper ramps can be used where the rise is no more than 190mm
Where the accessible entrance is not the main entry point it must be:
- Not more than 50m from the main entry point
- Clearly sign posted at the main entry point
- Clearly sign posted at each accessible entrance.
Where it is not practical to provide ramp access, an alternate means of access such as a platform lift should be provided.
Wayfinding signs and maps allow people to understand the layout of an event and be confident about attending and participating in the activities on offer.
Signage should be clear, concise, easy to read and show the international symbol of access where an accessible service is being provided.
At a minimum, wayfinding signage should:
- Use a minimum 18-point sans serif type font (eg, Arial or Helvetica)
- Avoid using all capital letters (use upper and lower case), with no underline text or italics, and make sure text is horizontal and straight (not vertical)
- Use the highest contrast between text and background
- Use access icons
- Be printed on a non-reflective surface
- Use directional arrows
- Be located at decision-making points such as entrances
- Provide direction to key event destinations such as performance spaces and food service areas
- Provide direction to accessibility elements such as accessible toilets, accessible seating and viewing areas
- Be located at the key destination points to mark them
- Include directional signage at a height that can be seen from a distance (consider the expected crowd density at your event and wheelchair users)
- Not block continuous accessible paths of travel, and provide a 2000mm height clearance.
More ways to improve physical access
It is important to consider how people will get to your event. The key things to consider are:
- Accessible public transport options.
- Walkability between accessible public transport and the venue. Identify the continuous accessible routes to your event (step free with no steep gradients) and ideally have some rest points along the way. The Navability Map shows footpaths, shared pathways, and trails accessible by wheelchair in the Wollongong CBD.
- Offering accessible shuttle services for people with restricted mobility.
- Accessible parking and drop off points. Aim for 1% of onsite parking to be accessible and two designated accessible car spaces within 200m of the event.
- Where it is not possible to provide accessible parking onsite, provide information about the closest accessible parking options available. You can find a map of Council's accessible parking spaces on our Accessible Parking page.
- Provide information about the accessible public transport, parking and drop-off zones on the event website and promotional materials.
- People who use mobility scooters may need access to power points to recharge their scooters.
- Where temporary seating is being used, aim to provide a minimum of 25% of the seating with backs and arm rests.
- Use furniture that has good colour contrast to surrounding surfaces.
Planning the evacuation in the event of an emergency is an important part of event planning.
As well as general event emergency procedures, you can consider including:
- Accessible communication strategies such as:
- Visual alerts for the Deaf community or people who are hard of hearing
- Calmly using easy English to let people with intellectual disability know what to do
- Designated event staff or emergency services personnel to provide additional assistance as required
- Multiple evacuation routes and assembly points, and making sure event staff are aware of these.
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