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Tech-Driven Inclusion: Enhancing Event Accessibility for All

By May 13, 2024Projection

Events are for everyone.

If we are truly passionate about creating the best event experience possible, we have to ensure that everyone is part of the conversation, including individuals with disabilities. In making room for everyone at the table – and using the technology and design tools at our disposal to create inclusive, positive events – we can accommodate diverse audiences, allow the maximum number of people to participate and design an exceptional experience for all.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), requires meeting planners to treat individuals with disabilities equally and make reasonable adjustments in order to provide them with the same opportunities for participation and access as individuals without disabilities. To accomplish this, event organizers often turn to third-party vendors who can help set up systems that meet (and exceed) the standard.

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 4 adults in the United States are living with a disability. That means a significant percentage of your attendees will experience an environment in unique ways. So, let’s explore some of the key accommodations that will help create an inclusive event, improve access to live meetings, and build a better community within your organization.


Live meetings are full of audio elements. Presenters, video elements, music, audio transition cues and announcements are all part of the experience. For those individuals who are hearing impaired, this heavy reliance on sound can present a challenge.

To create an accessible experience, be sure to provide some form of captioning. Captions provide real-time text on screen, either displayed live within the room or delivered directly to personal devices, conveying what a speaker is saying. Various methods for delivering captions have become commonplace in meetings and events, including:

AI Captioning

AI Captioning employs software to convert audio into text. This technology is both cost-effective and straightforward to integrate, making it suitable for events with multiple simultaneous tracks.

CART Services

CART Captioning relies on a live individual to transcribe audio into text. Because there is a person behind the captions, CART is more accurate than current AI capabilities. This is particularly important for meetings involving specialized medical, scientific, or technological terminology and phrases.

Hybrid & Virtual Tools

Technology for remote attendees has exploded in recent years. Hybrid tools, which can be activated or deactivated based on viewer preference, are perfect for live streamed programs and webinars.

ASL interpretation is another vital service for some audience members with a hearing impairment, particularly when displays/screens are not present. If an ASL interpreter is available in an environment with screens, be sure to project the sign language on the big screen along with the speaker or their slides so that everyone can see, regardless of their position in the room.

Whatever captioning or interpretation system you choose, don’t forget to make those services available in all of the native languages of your attendees.


Visual elements at a live event play a significant role in enhancing engagement, communication, and overall experience. Exciting features like virtual reality, touchscreen kiosks, live demonstrations, video walls, art installations and of course the stage design itself make a huge difference in the way that the audience experiences the show. Because the visual components play such a vital role in the attendee experience, it’s crucial that you consider those who are blind or have visual impairments in the planning stages.

To begin with, ensure that you offer a variety of immersive experiences that rely on senses other than sight. Consider tactical art displays, immersive presentations that allow the audience to engage and make choices that affect the outcome, and haptic technology as alternatives to more traditional visual displays.

Where multi-sensory experiences or presentations are not feasible, be sure to use presentation tools that support accessibility features, such as built-in screen reader compatibility and compatibility with accessible document formats. The event app and website should also be accessible, with visual descriptions as well as captions, high-contrast modes, scalable fonts, and voice navigation options to ensure that attendees with visual impairments can easily navigate schedules, maps, and other event information.

Finally, make sure that all of your meeting signage has large print, high contrast colors, and tactile elements so individuals with visual impairments can easily locate key areas, exits, and amenities within the event venue. Wayfinding technologies such as beacon systems, audio guides, and indoor navigation apps add another layer to assist individuals with visual impairments in navigating event venues independently and safely.


Technology can play a crucial role in making venues more accessible for individuals with mobility impairments by providing innovative solutions that enhance navigation and overall accessibility.

Start with a virtual venue tour available online, so attendees can effectively plan their visit. Mobile wayfinding apps utilize GPS and indoor positioning systems to provide step-by-step navigation instructions within venues. These apps can guide individuals with mobility impairments to accessible entrances, restrooms, seating areas, and amenities, helping them navigate the venue independently and efficiently.

Your event app should also include directions to accessible parking, highlighted wheelchair routes, the option to reserve accessible seating, and ridesharing options to help make getting around easier.

Finally, consider using design software and tools that incorporate principles of universal design and accessibility to create a barrier-free environment that accommodates individuals with mobility impairments. These tools facilitate the design and implementation of accessible features such as ramps, elevators, and tactile signage.


Easily one of the most important things to do when it comes to accessibility is to focus on consistent and clear communication options so that everyone can access the full experience.

Every form of communication between event staff and attendees, from the signage you choose to the end-user mobile app, should be designed in a way that is accessible, easy to use and timely. Consider digital displays, so options like high-contrast text, screen reading or captions can be used when needed. Setting up information desks equipped with staff trained in accessibility and equipped with assistive technologies ensures that attendees can receive assistance and information in various formats, including spoken, written, and visual.

Finally, always offer an accessible live chat mechanism, so attendees can ask questions, request assistance, and receive real-time support from event staff or volunteers.


By incorporating practical and technological solutions, event organizers can improve communication and accessibility within their venues, ensuring that all attendees can access information, receive assistance, and fully participate in the event experience.

When you are planning your event, plan for accessibility by talking with the people you are trying to serve, so you truly understand their needs. Then, implement the technologies that will help them navigate your meeting in the best possible way.

Inclusivity is no longer something aspirational; it is an appropriate expectation in our society. We can all do better at thinking outside of the box, engaging diverse senses and creating an occasion that truly is for everyone.