If your event is inaccessible, it is neither radical nor revolutionary
I spoke with various members of the Deaf community about how events could be made more accessible. Here are their top tips:
- “The first crucial thing is to give easy and ample opportunities for people to request accommodations,” says Kerri Radley of Deafula zine. “The second crucial thing is then to provide the accommodation.”
- “It is really important to reach out to individuals who are part of these communities to inquire about their access needs, because it varies with the individual,” says Deaf Spectrum founder and artist Sage Willow.
- Jessica Leung, a zine maker from Vancouver, says including Deaf creators and learning about Deaf culture is key to improving accessibility. “Learn what is Deaf etiquette, Deaf culture, Deaf history and language,” says Leung. “Some of us may not speak English. Some of us may not lip read. Some of us may not have the luxury and the emotional energy to have assistive devices.”
- “Definitely the number one thing would be providing ASL interpreters,” says Carlisle Robinson, a comics creator. “My experiences at zine fests and comic cons are greatly improved when there are interpreters present. It allows us to network more easily. Allows us to meet new creators and to catch up with old faces. Allows us to share our ideas with others and to be inspired by others’ ideas.”
- “And, of course, having events in well-lit, easy to move around venues helps a ton, too,” adds Radley who, in the first issue of her zine Deafula, wrote about how she cried on the way home from her prom because “it was dark and I couldn’t see anyone’s face, and no one would help me understand what was going on.”
This post was a part of the Issue 79 Feature, which you can read here!