Prepare your event staff and volunteers

Know how to prepare your staff and volunteers so that they are ready to make your event inclusive.

Preparing staff and volunteers

All staff and volunteers should have a basic awareness of how to include people with disabilities in your event. Make it clear to staff and volunteers that they need to treat people with disabilities like all other event attendees. Prepare staff to:

  • View an individual as the whole person and not their disability.

  • Avoid being anxious or overprotective; people will let you know what they need.

  • Some people will need extra time to move, speak, perform a task, or take part in an activity. The behavior of some people with disabilities may be troubling for those who are untrained. There is no need for fear, simply be respectful and patient. 

  • Use respectful language. It is generally better to use person first language such as “Person with a disability,” NOT “disabled person”. Use disability pride language such as “wheelchair user,” NOT “confined to a wheelchair”

  • Provide good customer service to everyone.

View an infographic on disability etiquette here 

View tips and resources for communicating effectively with people with disabilities here  

View a guide to interacting with people with disabilities 

Resources to support you and your team


  • Accessibility Coordinator: One way to manage accessibility efforts is to choose an “accessibility coordinator.” They will oversee the event from start to finish. This role is especially important for larger events.  
  • Advisors: Invite people with various disabilities to help with site selection, planning your event, and event logistics.  
  • Disability Organizations: Local and national disability groups are excellent resources for information and advice. 
  • Architectural Accessibility Consultants: Accessibility consultants are a source of advice and information. They can often find solutions to specific architectural barriers. 
Last updated May 15, 2023