Making events accessible
Planning the event: Support staff
- Book support staff as early as possible.
- Let people who use services know you will pay for support staff.
- Check you have the right support staff for the person requiring support.
- Ensure language support staff have adequate breaks.
- Ensure all support staff are given refreshments and food.
People with disabilities need support staff at events for a range of reasons. Personal assistants can help people with physical or sensory impairments with getting from place to place; with drinks and food; going to the toilet; taking notes or minutes; turning pages and holding things. People with learning difficulties often need support to understand reports and papers before and during the meeting – people doing this type of work are usually referred to as support workers.
Some people will bring their own personal assistants or support workers. For events with large numbers of disabled people/people who use services, it can be useful to have support workers available to provide assistance to anyone who needs it.
Language support professionals can support deaf people and people with hearing impairments. Language support professionals can include:
- BSL interpreters
- relay interpreters
- speech-to-text reporters/palantypists
- note takers
- lip speakers.
Support staff attend events solely to provide support to the participant with disabilities/who uses services. They are not there to contribute to the event. You should clarify this at the start of the event.