The guide is a resource targeted at fundraising professionals on how to include accessibility elements to create an event experience that meets the needs of all participants
TORONTO, ON (November 28, 2023) – Leading up to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) releases an Accessible Fundraising Events Guide to support fundraising professionals on how to include accessibility elements in their events so that the experience meets the needs of all participants. The initiative was led by the Holland Bloorview Foundation as part of the hospital’s ongoing commitment to disability inclusion and knowledge sharing to help build a world where everyone’s abilities and contributions are valued.
“The clients and families that we serve are a natural extension of our teams and the input and suggestions they provide through their lived experience are invaluable and instrumental to the success of everything that we do,” said Sandra Hawken, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Foundation. “Many traditional events often exclude people with disabilities. Our hope is that the Accessible Fundraising Events Guide prompts event organizers to consider any and all of the possible needs of its participants, so that everyone can meaningfully engage in the experience, regardless of whether it’s a gala or charity run.”
As leaders in childhood disability, Holland Bloorview regularly partners with its clients and families to co-design and inform all aspects of the care, services and programs it provides – including the ways in which it can make its fundraising events and initiatives more accessible and inclusive. The Accessible Fundraising Events Guide was reviewed by clients, families, volunteers and people with lived experience of disability.
“I value how the physical and emotional safety of guests are embedded in this resource as it provides concrete strategies on how to create an inclusive setting that is accessible to everyone,” said Andrea Haefele, Holland Bloorview parent who helped review the guide.
The guide is organized to outline what accessibility elements to consider before, during and after an event, whether it is a fundraising gala, business meeting, outdoor event, or any type of gathering. Below are some examples:
- Determine if an ASL interpreter or transcription service is required.
- Consider incorporating a virtual component to your event. Hybrid events – via live streaming, pre-recorded material, webinar style – allows you to extend your welcome to more guests.
- Investigate the venue in advance and assess it for accessibility e.g. check for nearby parking options and accessible parking spaces, or ensure volunteers are stationed by the front entrance if the venue lacks accessible doors.
- Consider designating a separate room or area for those with sensory sensitivities.
- Use large-print, high-contrast signs to mark and give directions to areas of your event.
Holland Bloorview acknowledges that this resource is a culmination of best practices and suggestions and that it is ultimately the event planner’s responsibility to ensure they are meeting the needs of their participants. The Accessible Fundraising Events Guide is a living document that will be updated with emergent learnings, along with links to additional resources for further education.
To access the Accessible Fundraising Events Guide and accompanying Accessible Events Checklist, visit hollandbloorview.ca/AccessibleEventsGuide.
About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital believes in creating a world where all youth and children belong. We are the only children’s rehabilitation hospital in Canada focused on combining world-class care, transformational research, and academic leadership in the field of child and youth rehabilitation and disability. We are a top 40 Canadian research hospital that is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Providing both inpatient and outpatient services, Holland Bloorview is renowned for its expertise in co-creating with clients and families to provide exceptional care and is the only organization to ever achieve 100 per cent in three successive quality surveys by Accreditation Canada. Holland Bloorview is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, consistent and coordinated approach to pediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. Together we dream big. Together we champion a world of possibility. For more information or to donate, please visit hollandbloorview.ca or connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and the parent-blog BLOOM.
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