25 November 2020

Press release: New publication shares best practices in organising accessible events

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Brussels, 25 November 2020 – Today the European Foundation Centre (EFC) launched a new publication featuring eight case studies by European foundations, who each share their insights and lessons learned from organising accessible events that are inclusive for persons with disabilities. Also included is a checklist for events planners to use when organising accessible events.

The COVID-19 pandemic has massively changed the way we meet and connect with one another and has all but extinguished traditional in-person events. However, for many around the world, attending traditional events was never easy in the first place, with various issues related to access, inclusion, and participation severely inhibiting their attendance. This new publication sheds light on how these issues can be fixed to ensure that event experiences are inclusive to all.

Key highlights from the publication include a series of case studies, each containing valuable lessons, and insights from foundations working with persons with disabilities, based upon their experiences in organising accessible events, both pre-pandemic and through it. A checklist compiles the key elements in creating an accessible event, both offline and online, covering everything from initial planning, through to communications around the event, venues, and sessions and also features a set of recommendations on how to make the process easier and more efficient.

In his foreword, Michael Fembek, Chair of the EFC Disability Thematic Network and Director of the Zero Project, ESSL Foundation welcomes the publication but reiterates that “If there is one main take away on event accessibility, it is this: It is a journey, not a goal. But you never get anywhere if you do not embark on the journey.”

The report, itself designed to be fully accessible, is available to download from the EFC website.


Press contact

If you would like more information please contact:

Catherine Lennon  |  EFC  |  tel.: +32.2.512.8938  |  email: clennon@efc.be


About the DTN Disability Thematic Network

Since the mid-1990s, EFC member Fundación ONCE has worked with the EFC on an array of projects and programmes revolving around the area of disabilities. The DTN emerged from this

engagement and has become more and more active over the years, especially after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May 2008. In 2009 the European Consortium of Foundations on Human Rights and Disabilities was created under the DTN to encourage ratification of the Convention. The work of the Consortium has now been merged into the overall activities of the DTN. The network’s members have also increased their engagement on a European level with their input into the Disability Policy Agenda – collaborating with an array of stakeholders – and the DTN has focused more on incubating philanthropic organisations’ pilot projects that can be scaled up or replicated.

Currently, the DTN facilitates learning from experience and sharing knowledge between peers; acts to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by adopting a mainstreaming approach; and disseminates results to multiply impact at local, national and European level.

Focus areas are building inclusive communities; enabling social equality and justice; and empowering through access to leisure and culture.

Members of the network include the Essl Foundation, Europe Foundation, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Fundación ONCE, Genio, Light for the World International, Pro Victimis Foundation and the Sabanci Foundation.