Let’s face it: we are well past the point in which things like inclusion and diversity can be treated like an afterthought. In a world where 1 in 4 people live with some form of a disability, accessibility is essential in ensuring that everyone can play an active role in our society. One vital but often overlooked aspect of inclusivity is ensuring that events, such as conferences, are accessible to people with disabilities. By fostering an environment that accommodates the needs of all attendees, we can create a more enriching event experience that benefits everyone involved, from hosts to panelists to attendees. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of increasing event accessibility, a few ways in which events can be made more accessible, and the groundbreaking role that Lazarillo has played in pushing event accessibility forward.

Benefits of Increasing Inclusivity in Events

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of improving event accessibility. First, the obvious:  more people will be able to attend and enjoy the event. People with disabilities might be hesitant to pull the trigger on registering for an event if they aren’t able to know ahead of time that it will be accessible, due to the potential presence of accessibility barriers. Physical obstacles, such as lack of ramps or elevators, can deter individuals with mobility challenges from participating. Communication barriers, such as insufficient sign language interpretation or a lack of captioning for presentations, can exclude those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Additionally, individuals with visual impairments may find it challenging to navigate large venues without adequate wayfinding support. 

By removing these barriers to accessibility, all attendees benefit. Attendees with disabilities can fully participate, enhancing their sense of inclusion and fostering diverse perspectives and ideas. The host of the event improves their brand image, showcasing their commitment to inclusivity, and expands their audience base. The panelists involved also benefit from a broader range of audience engagement, ensuring that their messages reach a more diverse and appreciative audience. Overall, accessibility initiatives in these spaces not only promote a more inclusive society, but also create a more enriching and successful event experience for everyone involved.

So how do we go about making events more inclusive and accessible? 

Physical Accessibility

Improving the physical accessibility of events like conferences requires a proactive approach with detailed planning and organization. First, event organizers should ensure that they select venues with accessibility features like ramps, elevators, wide doorways, and accessible restrooms. Additional features can also be added for the event like tactile flooring if necessary. When setting up the event, providing designated spaces for wheelchair users and ensuring unobstructed pathways are essential. Clear signage and Braille information can aid individuals with visual impairments in navigating the venue. Additionally, offering assistive listening devices and sign language interpreters can enhance communication for attendees with hearing impairments. Training event staff to be knowledgeable and sensitive to accessibility requirements is also crucial. Prioritizing physical accessibility while planning your event will make sure that things run as smoothly as possible day-of.



Digital Maps

Offering interactive digital maps of the event is another great way of increasing accessibility and building a more inclusive experience. Digital maps like those offered by Lazarillo give users a clear view of the event space so that they can find their destinations as quickly, independently, and efficiently as possible. They come complete with a full directory of locations throughout the space that people might need to find, from conference rooms to restrooms to stages to specific booths or vendors. Once a guest locates their destination in the directory, they can easily create a route from their current location to get detailed directions. Wheelchair users can also use the maps to find accessible routes that use elevators or ramps rather than stairs. Anyone can access these maps easily from their smartphone or pull them up by scanning a QR code, giving every guest the ability to navigate with ease. 

Real Time Wayfinding

Real time wayfinding is a huge game changer for people with blindness or low-vision, as it allows them to hear directions in real time as they navigate through a space. Not only can they create a route using the digital maps, they can also receive turn by turn guidance audibly as they move along their route. By offering digital maps that come equipped with real time wayfinding functionality, event organizers can offer the most accessible possible experience to their guests, increasing their independence and overall enjoyment of the event.

Lazarillo: Revolutionizing Event Accessibility

Amidst all the barriers to accessibility mentioned previously, Lazarillo has emerged as a groundbreaking solution, redefining the accessibility landscape through the creation of interactive digital maps with turn-by-turn real-time wayfinding capabilities. Our maps offer a full directory of locations within an event, and can be customized with the branding of the event to offer the most elegant and seamless experience possible. They can also be explored in real time with turn by turn wayfinding using the Lazarillo app, which is a free and fully accessible app designed for people with disabilities. This revolutionary technology addresses some of the most pressing accessibility concerns faced by individuals with disabilities attending events.

Use Case: The City of Tampa’s Boom by the Bay

Most recently, Lazarillo partnered with the City of Tampa to map their annual 4th of July Celebration “Boom by the Bay” offering visitors interactive digital maps that they could access using a link or by scanning QR codes throughout Julian B. Lane Park. We created a complete map of the event, including the location of food trucks, event areas, concert stages, and more. People were able to use the maps to find locations at the event and then create routes to their destination with ease. People with disabilities were able to create wheelchair accessible routes or navigate with turn by turn audible guidance as well. This created a more inclusive environment that allowed everyone in the community to come out and enjoy the fireworks.


An inclusive event attracts a diverse range of attendees, each bringing their unique backgrounds, experiences, and ideas along with them. When people with disabilities are included, it facilitates an environment that celebrates diversity and enables the exchange of innovative concepts that can drive progress in various fields. Accessible conferences enable people with disabilities to network with professionals and experts, fostering potential career opportunities and partnerships and contributing to a more level playing field. By leveraging technology like Lazarillo’s interactive digital maps with turn-by-turn real-time wayfinding capabilities, event organizers can create an environment where individuals with disabilities can participate with ease and dignity. In breaking down barriers, we pave the way for a more enriched and progressive society that truly celebrates the contributions of all its members. Let’s continue to champion accessibility in events and work collectively towards a future that leaves no one behind.