Creating Neuro-inclusive Events

Planning the event

  • Think of how big an event you want and whether it can be split into smaller units for some people who find noise, people, or lights challenging.
  • Choose a place where there is good access – parking and public transport if possible.
  • Ensure you have people available to help on the day to signpost and assist.
  • Consider a ‘hybrid event’ to allow people who want to participate but find getting to the event or being at the event too challenging.
  • Plan so people can watch from another space if they want to at the event.
  • Have tables available where possible for some people who may need a surface for writing/using laptops.
  • Provide guidance for speakers on how to make accessible presentations.
  • Ensure sessions are not too long in length to aid focus and concentration.
  • Consider speakers delivering virtually as well as live. Some amazing speakers may find the anxiety of presenting in front of a large audience too much but can do that from their home setting.

 

Before the day

  • Let everyone know it is going to be a neuro-inclusive event so people try to be aware of different needs.
  • Provide as much information about the event as possible. Pictures or videos from previous events, where possible can be helpful to know what to expect.
  • Be clear about start times, break times and finish times. Place – any building markings are helpful to direct people to the event.
  • Allow standing space in conference rooms and explicitly state that people are welcome to stand, move around and leave as they see fit.
  • People – provide names of who is speaking and for how long so people can choose specific sessions.
  • Describe what the food options are and what happens at break times.
  • Transport – provide information about public transport and if there are parking options too.
  • Create waymarks/signage to ensure people can find their way to the event from the entrance.
  • Let people know what’s being offered in terms of support e.g. sensory space, and quiet eating areas.
  • Make it explicit how to ask for assistance or adjustments before the event and on the day.
  • Describe any expected dress code or if there is not a dress code. Business dress is often too vague and can be interpreted differently by different people.
  • Create an online group (LinkedIn/Whatsapp) so people can ‘meet up’ before the event.
  • If you can provide a video of the space being used this can also be very helpful.
  • Advance information about any exhibitors can be useful too, and how they can be approached in addition to the usual conversations at their stands. Contact details as well.

Ref: for more information go to:
https://www.koganpage.com/product/neurodiversity-at-work-9781398600249

On the day

  • Provide name badges with options to ‘Talk to me’, or ‘Don’t talk to me now’.
  • Have color-coded stickers on name badges or specific lanyards to identify those attendees not wanting to
    be photographed.
  • Have people on hand to signpost to different parts of the event.
  • Create a quiet space so people can easily go there at any time if needed.
  • Ensure good waymarking to rooms and from rooms.
    Encourage people to be able to stand, sit, and move as they want.
  • Closed captioning on presentations.
  • Encourage speakers to describe their hair, outfit, and about themselves to aid those who may be visually
    impaired.
  • Add small breaks in between each speaker.
  • At break/lunchtimes create conversation tables about key themes as options to aid conversation. Have a quiet space for people to take food to as well.
  • Have a place where people can sit to eat/place plates and glasses. It can be harder for some people to balance food and drink.
  • Check dietary needs.
  • Decide on different options for maximizing participation- online polls, Post-it notes; as well as question times.

 

About the sessions

  • Provide information about how sessions work- Q and A at the end of the session, online polls (and if an app needs to be downloaded beforehand), and Post-It Notes on a board to comment.
  • Information for login for virtual meetings.
  • Notes are available for sessions where possible.
  • If hybrid – any rules of logging in – cameras on or off; sound off; how to ask questions; whether ‘chat’ will
    be monitored.
  • Offer different ways people can ask questions such as writing them down and passing them to a moderator if the attendee doesn’t feel comfortable speaking on the microphone or sending a private message online if you don’t want your name being shown.

 

After the event

  • Gain feedback on what went well and what didn’t for the next time. We can all improve our approaches each time.
  • Exhibitor information and contact details.
  • Notes from presentations where possible.

 

Ref: for more information go to:
https://www.koganpage.com/product/neurodiversity-at-work-9781398600249
For more guidance, training, tools or consultancy go to www.doitprofiler.com

 

 

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