Accessibility and inclusion strategies should always be considered before, during, and after an event. Yet, many planners are at a loss for how to create accessible and inclusive events.
Consider that one billion people, or 15 percent of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. And in the U.S. alone:
- Twenty percent of the population is deaf or hard of hearing.
- More than 1 million are blind, and more than 12 million have low vision.
- More than 5 million are English language learners.
- The LGBTQ+ community makes up an estimated 4.5 percent of the U.S. population.
- More than 40 million Americans likely have a learning disability, although many remain untested or unaware.
Despite ramped-up efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion to respond to warranted social and cultural pressure, organizations are still lagging in ensuring their events are accessible and inclusive to all.
In this webinar, we bring together a diverse set of voices for a frank conversation about the state of accessibility and inclusion. We discuss ways to make events more welcoming and how planners can lead the way in becoming accessibility champions within their organizations for their events.
- Understand the intersectionality of accessibility today and the crossovers from in-person to digital
- Learn key steps to take to improve digital accessibility
- Discover important planning considerations to address a wide spectrum of participants’ needs – from mobility and transportation, to hearing and vision, to race and gender identities and more
Josh is the Founder and Principal of Made Welcome, an accessibility consulting firm focused on accessibility at workplaces and events. Prior to founding Made Welcome, Josh practiced law for 16 years, specializing in the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is also a Certified Access Specialist (CASp No. 812) through California’s Division of the State Architect and is certified to provide guidance on accessibility in the built environment.
After practicing law for nearly 2 decades, Josh left litigating to do all things disability for one of the world’s largest tech companies, Salesforce. At Salesforce, Josh set up and implemented the reasonable accommodations process for Salesforce’s 15,000 employees in the United States and Canada. He also created and implemented the first accessibility initiative for Dreamforce, the world’s largest tech conference – an accessibility strategy that Dreamforce continues to implement today. Because of his experience in workplaces and events, Josh understands the challenges and nuances faced by employers, event producers and venues. On nights and weekends, Josh moonlights with his band, the Klipptones, and is a volunteer Planting Leader with Friends of the Urban Forest.
Amy is a teacher for students who are blind or visually impaired in Normal, Illinois. She has served on the state board of her professional organization and been the conference chair, both in person and virtually, for their 300 attendee conference 4 times over the last 6 years.
Paula is the Product Marketing Manager for Webex Events. A marketing and customer enthusiast, she has made her way to the events industry after over 12 years in the retail marketing and cloud communications space. Although an unconventional path, she has found that event technology is right where she belongs. Born and raised in New Jersey, Paula has two kids and loves spending time at the beach, cooking, and being a member of the Peloton community.
With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard is a widely recognized expert and innovator in the field of special events, meetings and small business growth strategy. Howard is the Founder and Executive Director of the Event Leadership Institute, provider of best-in-class training and education for the events industry, through online, on-demand video classes, interviews with industry leaders, white papers, webinars and live events.
Howard is the founder of Paint The Town Red, Inc., and the former CEO of North America for Global Events Group, the 13th largest event agency in the world, which acquired Paint The Town Red in 2008. During his tenure the company won over 30 industry awards. He is a Past President of the ILEA (International Live Events Associate) NY Metro Chapter; has served on the board of directors of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Greater NY Chapter as VP of Education; has served on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine; been a judge of the Gala Awards & HSMAI’s Adrian Awards.
He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of topics. He currently writes the monthly In Business column for Event Solutions magazine. He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, The Apprentice, and USA Today, in addition to numerous trade media.