When planning an event, ensure those involved have the opportunity to fully participate and enjoy the event. Make sure every component of the event is accessible to all participants, no matter their ability.
Key accessibility and inclusion factors
To ensure the event is accessible and inclusive, consider the following:
- Begin with an Indigenous Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country.
- Avoid, wherever possible, scheduling conflicts with cultural or religious holidays.
- Creative marketing - think about where to advertise and the language and imagery used.
- Staff the event with a diverse group. This will bring richness and varying points of view to the event. It also sends a message to attendees that the group is invested in diversity.
- The venue or venues, for the event or project is accessible including accessible parking.
- Outdoor venues are held on areas that are as level as possible with a firm ground surface, and indoor venues have a ramp or elevator access.
- Ensure there is enough seating and personal space for people who may have a disability or use mobility aids, in some cases reserved seating may be required.
- Catering meets diverse dietary requirements.
- Promotional materials and invitations include an access and inclusion support statement, and organisers are responsive to requests.
- Use an RSVP form to gather attendee needs ahead of time.
- Send an email about accessible transportation options.
- Book an Auslan interpreter if you have attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing and use Auslan to communicate. Venues which use a microphone should have a hearing loop installed for people who use hearing aids, check whether the venue you are using has this available. Remember to include this on the website and marketing materials so that potential attendees are aware of the accessibility aspects which will be provided.
- Consider any likely demand for facilities such as a quiet room for people who may need to access a prayer space, a family room or sensory quiet time space.
- Promotional and written materials are in plain English and are in fonts and colours that are easy to read, and images reflect diversity.
For advice on how to achieve any of the above points refer to our Accessible Events and Projects Guide.
Most inclusive events will provide food based on dietary restrictions to ensure people feel included and have a meal to choose from. Accommodating requirements including Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan and food allergies ensures dietary and cultural inclusiveness.
- Provide a variety of meal options and include items that are easy to eat. If there are food trucks, try to ensure there’s a cross-section of foods on offer.
- Ensure catering staff are briefed and available to assist attendees with serving items where required.
- Ensure special meals (for example, vegetarian, gluten-free, halal) are clearly labelled and easily accessible.
- Consider inviting people to inform organisers of any other allergy or dietary preference they may have (for example, include an “Other” category on invites for them to nominate the preference).
Consider contacting ‘food van’ services. These work well for outdoor events as they are fully self-contained and supply the staff and materials required. As event organiser, you will be required to receive proof from the food business that they have submitted a Statement of Trade to us. Visit Statements of trade - A quick start guide-external site for more information.
If the preference is to self-cater the event and there is no sale of food, a permit or food safety course will not be required. If, however, there is a fee for entry (or any other type of fee) which goes towards the cost of food, that will be considered a sale and permits will be required.
Community and volunteer groups do not require a Food Handling Certificate when they are catering for events.
Refer to the checklist on the Boroondara website for organising events on public land. For detailed information on food permit requirements, visit step 6 of Organise an event on Council land, Check if the event complies with food and alcohol regulations.