Making events more accessible for neurodiverse participants is crucial for fostering inclusivity and ensuring everyone feels respected and included.

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term which includes (but is not limited to) Autism (ASD), ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.  Every neurodiverse person is different with different requirements but there are some general things we can do to create a more inclusive environment.

Here are a few simple things we can do to make our event more accessible for neurodiverse delegates.

  1. Pre-event Communication:
    • Clearly communicate event details, including schedules, locations, menu and any potential sensory triggers, well in advance. Make sure any changes are updated.
    • Provide multiple channels for communication, such as email, social media, and phone, to accommodate different preferences.
    • Use video’s, info graphics and shorter bullets, rather than large paragraphs.
    • Use accessible fonts such as Arial or Verdana.
  2. Venue Selection:
    • Choose venues that are easily accessible, with good transport links, good lighting, and have minimal sensory distractions.
    • Consider the acoustics of the venue to minimise auditory distractions and provide quiet zones for individuals who may need a break from noise.
    • Consider virtual event options for those unable to attend.
  3. Registration and Check-in:
    • Simplify registration processes to minimise stress and confusion. Providing clear instructions.
    • Ask delegates what support they need.
    • Train staff to be understanding and accommodating during the check-in process, recognising that some participants may require additional assistance or time.
  4. Sensory Considerations:
    • Be mindful of sensory stimuli such as bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells. Whenever possible, mitigate these triggers or provide solutions that help.
    • Have quiet rooms that participants can retreat to if they become overwhelmed, equipped with comfortable seating and sensory tools like fidget toys or noise-cancelling headphones.
  1. Visual Aids and Signage:
    • Use clear and easy-to-read signage throughout the venue to help participants navigate the event.
    • Provide visual schedules or agendas to help individuals anticipate what will happen next and reduce anxiety.
  2. Flexibility and support:
    • Be flexible with event schedules and activities to accommodate diverse needs. Allow participants to take breaks or leave and re-enter the event space as needed.
    • Don’t make sessions to long.
    • Allow delegates to choose where to sit.
  3. Training and Awareness:
    • Train event staff on disability etiquette, including respectful language and interaction techniques.
    • Raise awareness among attendees about neurodiversity and the importance of creating an inclusive environment for all participants.
  4. Feedback and Improvement:
    • Ask for feedback from participants after the event to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments for future events.
    • Continuously strive to enhance accessibility and inclusivity based on feedback and evolving best practices.

For many neurodiverse delegates attending an event can be a very stressful experience and maybe one they try to avoid. Events mean a change of routine and entering the unknown, but with good communication and a few simple strategies we can create a more welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment where neurodiverse participants feel valued, respected, and fully supported to participate and engage in the event.

If you need support in creating a Neurodiverse production, then why not contact us at hello@mediamaker.co.uk