The Blueprint for the Event

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An event should be planned keeping in mind the purpose of the event, the needs and characteristics of the participants and the capabilities and resources of your agency. Before leaping into consideration of the obvious question, “Where should we hold the event?” you will need to answer several things about the event in question. These include determining what type of location will be needed for the types of activities and events you plan to offer. You will also need to estimate approximately how many participants you expect, and what special needs they may have.

Here are some things to consider

For every event, you should plan for and expect to accommodate individuals with special needs.

For example, if your event is primarily designed for children, you will have to look at the location with a special eye toward active, busy, inquisitive kids. You might even need to determine if there are ways to limit access to various parts of the facility. Take care to avoid locations with access to bodies of water and rugged territory, unless you have adequate supervisory staff available and means to limit access to these areas. Many nonprofits make the mistake of only planning to meet the needs of known attendees with disabilities. While it is appropriate to ask people signing-up for your event if they have any special needs, it is not appropriate to ignore the importance of holding an event at an accessible facility. Before you decide on a location, take care to determine what features of the facility may make it inaccessible to someone with special needs. If you need some guidance on these issues, we suggest you contact an organization in your community that specializes in addressing the needs of the disabled. Following is an example of what could happen if you do not plan appropriately: A Chamber of Commerce planned a special outing at a park for the local community. They did not notice that the only entrance to the park was a path that crossed a narrow gauge railroad. An individual in a wheelchair was unable to cross the railroad tracks and filed a lawsuit alleging that the nonprofit discriminated against persons with disabilities.

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