Five Important Accessibility Reminders for Community Rallies and Vigils

October 11, 2023

We continue to grieve with the global Jewish community and are grateful to all of the organizations hosting and sponsoring rallies and vigils. Gathering together reminds us that we are not alone and provides some degree of healing during the most challenging times. To ensure that everyone in the Jewish community has the opportunity to benefit from that support, please remember accessibility in your planning. Here are five important reminders to help you ensure your event is accessible:

1. Consider any limitations to physical access that may exist in the location of the rally/vigil.

While we always advocate for spaces that are fully physically accessible, we understand that on short notice with large numbers of people, there may be limitations. Tell people in advance about areas that may be inaccessible (stairs, unpaved surfaces, etc.). Onsite, provide clear information/signage about alternate entrances, use of elevators, accessible bathrooms, etc., as well as how to exit in case of an emergency.

2. Provide American Sign Language (ASL) and/or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioning at all live and virtual events.

There are many companies around the country that provide these services. A search on the internet should provide you with local businesses in your area to help with both ASL and CART services.

3. Confirm that all marketing includes any accommodations that will be available. 

You may have thought of everything in order to be inclusive, but people won’t be aware of that and therefore will assume the event is not accessible to them.

4. Include a short statement on marketing materials to enable people to feel comfortable reaching out regarding access needs.

An example of this type of statement might be: Meaningful inclusion is a priority. As we strive to meet the diverse needs of our community, please contact ABC at 555-555-5555 so that we understand your access needs.

5. If you are co-sponsoring an event but are not the “primary organizers,” you may be more available to notice and resolve accessibility concerns. 

We know there are many logistics to be coordinated for these important community events. It may be most effective for someone not responsible for the overall planning to specifically focus on looking at the event from the perspective of accessibility.

You are not expected to have all the answers, particularly in this moment when large-scale events are being planned at a moment’s notice. Please reach out to our Matan team at info@matankids.org with any questions. We are here to help.

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