Accessibility Print
Meetings

1. To include individuals with physical disabilities, hold meetings in ramped buildings (sloping 12 to 14 feet for every 1 foot rise), with entrances and bathroom stalls at least 32" wide. There should be grab bars on the sides and/or in back of the toilet.
2. Set up the room with wide aisles and leave spaces for wheelchairs among the other chairs. Make sure there are sturdy wide chairs for large people.
3. For visually disabled people, make available any written or visual materials on tape (or in Braille) or minimally, be prepared to have any written materials read aloud. This accommodation will also be useful for people who can't read or have difficulty reading.
4. Arrange for a sign language interpreter to be present.
5. Plan and facilitate meetings with an effort to avoid draining people's bodies and spirits by providing food, adhering to time limits, and taking breaks.


Marches

1. When planning the march route, bear in mind accessible transportation. If accessible public transportation is not available, make arrangements (including financial compensation) with agencies or individual owners of vans with lifts. This accessible vehicle can be used as a shuttle from march start to demonstration site.
2. For those who do not wish or are not able to walk the whole route, places along the route should be designated where they can join.
3. Plan routes that are flat or gently sloped and solid (not muddy, rocky).
4 ' Research accessible public restrooms along the route and point them out on a map.


Demonstrations

1 - Make sure the stage is accessible by renting a set of portable ramps (to ramp a few steps only) or a truck with a lift.
2. Designate a specific space in front of the stage for people with disabilities and their friends/affinity groups to guarantee the best visibility for deaf and hearing-impaired people, people with visual impairments, and people who use wheelchairs.
3. Provide sign language interpretation and publicize this fact on your publicity. A program longer than two hours requires at least two interpreters.
4. Remember to maintain wide aisles where possible and to provide tapes of any written materials (e.g. programs).
5. Provide accessible portable toilets.


General Communication

To facilitate communication between hearing people and people with hearing disabilities where there is no sign language interpreter, have only one person speak at a time. Further, hearing people should face the person with a hearing irnpairment, and move their lips naturally, and remember not to shout. Even though lip-reading is only about 30% effective, it is better than nothing. If you don't know sign language, you can still use gesture and facial expressions to emphasize your meaning. Also, have paper and pencil available in case you get stuck.

People who cannot speak clearly need their listeners to slow down and pay close attention. Ask the person to repeat or spell what he or she said rather than pretending you understood.
People with visual disabilities need verbal descriptions to provide missing information.

People who learn slowly or differently need concepts to be organized and simple - summarize frequently. This will help clarify issues for everyone.


Arrest and jail Concerns

jail is an especially stressful situation where everyone, including people with disabilities, has no control over her/his daily routine. Each person should assess whether going to jail is the most appropriate role for her/him and, if so, what s/he can do in the jail situation to minimize the stress.

Both prior to, and once in jail, each person should assess all available options, including the option to post bail. If the jail situation becomes too stressful and a person chooses to "cite out," that decision should be understood and accepted by those choosing to remain in jail.

Affinity groups should strategize ways to remain together when the jail authorities try to separate out the disabled people and ways to handle inaccessible jail buses and jail living quarters.

Individuals with hidden disabilities should have special dietary and/ or medical needs put into prescription form by a medical doctor. Plan with affinity group supporters a means to guarantee that these prescriptions will be delivered in jail.