I dream of an app that will provide me with audio description for any place I go: museums, theaters, public transit, grocery stores, all of it. It would chatter along as if a mini version of my sister or my husband sat on my shoulder and informed me of my environment. My fingers would do the walking in the directory, selecting general layout information or schedules or fun facts. So many possibilities.
While I wait for this universal guide app, I take advantage of accessibility options available to people with disabilities like descriptive audio devices, large print items, and tours with intense verbal description. Here are some ways I make events more enjoyable:
- Research: Before the event, I hop onto the website or call the box office, etc. to inquire about accessibility options. Tours and equipment and seating may have to be arranged ahead of time. Other options like large print maps and programs may be available upon request.
- Pack: Bring items that make you comfortable and engaged. I pack items like tinted lenses, my white cane, and a magnifier.
- Check In: Present yourself to pick up reserved equipment and to ask about options you might have missed or the website didn’t list. Follow up when necessary if equipment isn’t working. (Like I did at the movies)
- Appreciate: Thank a staff member for accommodations. Feeling included makes me want to revisit places. I realize a lot of effort goes into producing, distributing, funding, maintaining, and training staff about accessibility. I say thanks or send a note–it can’t hurt and it might encourage greater availability of accessibility options.
Are you aware of accessibility options at events? How do you make places more accessible?