Is building XYZ accessible for my aunt who uses a wheelchair? Will there be a family restroom available for my adult son who may need changed? Is there designated parking near the event location so walking in the winter weather isn’t a challenge?
All of these, and more, are potential barriers that individuals with disabilities, their families, and caretakers must consider (and face) when attending events and environments with which they are not familiar. In addition, from a universally designed perspective, they are also questions asked by anyone who uses a mobility device, has limited walking capability, or has additional support needs to comfortably be in a location for any period of time.
If you are a business owner, how do you know what to look for? Who can you ask for assistance? As a potential participant or audience member, how can you find out, BEFORE you go somewhere, whether the facility will meet your needs? Consider starting by reading the self-assessment information in Patti’s article in this newsletter. Hopefully, that will lead you back to the opportunity to participate in our upcoming work outlined below.
If you are an organization that is not primarily disability focused and currently works with AWS Foundation, in the next two weeks you will be receiving a self-assessment survey that includes several categories for consideration. We are asking that you complete this survey within the timeline designated (found when you open the survey). This is an opportunity for you to take an honest look at some of the critical areas of both accessibility and universal design within your organization. There is no downside to completing the survey and certainly no funding repercussions. It will allow us to look at the community needs for both potential education and support. From this information, we will be able to work with organizations on a plan to move forward toward more accessible and universally designed spaces, events, and facilities. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to facilitate finding supports throughout our communities and beyond to continue our quest to become a fully inclusive region.
If you are reading this and you are NOT a current grantee AND you want to complete the survey for your organization, please email me at email@example.com and we will send you the link.
Please join us in learning more about how we can all become more accessible and universally designed.