Increasing Accessibility at the LaDIYfest Weekender

In the last couple of LaDIYfest meetings the issue of providing a quiet space at our November weekender has been raised and we are interested to hear what other people think. It’s really important to us to find a balance in making our events as accessible for people as possible and last year we wrote a policy specifically about this.

We are currently planning to use rooms at the Quaker Meeting House next to the Cathedral (as we did last year) but to be able to provide a designated quiet space, we would need to hire an additional room at extra cost which would be separate to the whole first floor area we used last year. As a reminder, the first floor had two large rooms we used for workshops, a small room which was our supervised creche, a lobby area we used for stalls, a kitchen and a small outside garden area.

So, is having an additional room downstairs something people feel would be very beneficial or are there other things we could do to help support people if they feel they needed a breather?

More generally speaking, is there anything else we could do to improve accessibility at our weekender (such as trying to find BSL signers? producing braille / large print / contrasting versions of our printed materials?) or providing more detailed descriptions of the facilities in advance of the weekender and other LaDIYfest events?

This article on the F Word by Philippa Willits has some really great things to think about if you need any starting points.

We are really keen to hear your thoughts if anyone wants to send us an email or leave us messages on our Facebook or Twitter, or you can leave comments on this post without being required to leave any personal details if anyone would rather say anything anonymously.

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3 Responses to Increasing Accessibility at the LaDIYfest Weekender

  1. Thanks very much for the comments Emily – to confirm, our day of workshop events at the weekender has been alcohol free although we haven’t made much of a point of this in the past as a feature but it is a good suggestion to clarify!

    In previous years we have had activities on the second day but have considered spreading the workshops out – the possible issue there is having to hire spaces for a second day rather than taking over a pub/cafe as we have done so far. Will raise this again though as we have wondered about changing the structure of the weekend..

    Cheers for taking the time to reply 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    *I meant LaDIYfest Sheffield in the last para, sorry! x

  3. Emily says:

    Hi there, my facebook is down so thought I would reply on here. In terms of making the space accessible, one thing that is sometimes good if the event spans over more than one day, and if alcohol is available, is to have a designated alcohol free day. This happened with the queer film fesitval in Leeds earlier this year, and was really successful, and hopefully encouraged people to attend who might have been put off by there being a bar at every event. Within the queer community especially there are high levels of alcohol use and for some people who have problems with their alcohol use, it is not enough to just be told there will also be a selection of soft drinks available, a designated alcohol free space where alcohol is not available and other people will not be drinking is needed.

    Not sure if this applies to LaDIYfest Leeds as I can’t remember if there was alcohol for sale at all events at the last one I attended, so if it’s already in place, great! If not maybe something to consider.

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