This document was created in the spring of 2015 by members of Accessibilize Montreal as part of the “By and For Us: The Community at the Head of the Organization” project, organized by the Center for Community Organizations (COCo). This event brought together community organizations who center the leadership of people who work and organize on issues relating to their own lived experiences. The goal was to create mutual learning spaces and to reflect on how best to center marginalized communities in community organizing.
Accessibility must be integral to event organizing, and thus organizers must consider how to set accessibility norms before an event is launched. Organizers should aim to create a framework where people’s autonomy can be cultivated. This work must be premised on the idea that people know their needs best and must be empowered to make their own decisions with regards to how they move in and out of spaces, react to their personal experiences, and engage with the material.
The goal of this document is to help facilitators and event organizers create more accessible spaces, in the broadest sense of the word. This means working to create events that take into consideration people’s diverse needs and lived experiences. Concrete strategies can be used to ensure that people who are so often excluded are able to attend and participate more fully. Ultimately, accessibility is a constant work-in-progress based on the community and individuals involved. Please keep in mind that this list does not include everything that might need to be taken into consideration.
Further, we hope that this is a dynamic document. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, edits or suggestions for improvement. Thank you for your time and energy!
– Accessibilize Montreal & the Centre for Community Organizations