To increase the standards of accessibility at live
music and recreational events by bringing together
like-minded organizations and working to create
equality for people of all abilities.
Accessibility is a fundamental right for all people of all abilities and throughout every facet of life. While various efforts are made by governments, organizations and individuals to provide accessible accommodations for infrastructure, education and employment, not much has been done to make live music and other entertainment and recreational events accessible. The ADA has very limited language surrounding this area of need; yet it can be just as important as any other aspect of accessibility. Thus, Accessible Festivals strives to close this gap and focuses on providing resources within the live entertainment and recreational field. By bringing together like-minded organizations and individuals, sharing knowledge and resources, and aligning our vision with one another, we can take the next step in ensuring people of abilities are able to have the quality of life they dream of.
Six months after a car accident that severed his spinal cord
and took away his legs, Austin Whitney attended his first
music festival. For the first time since his spinal cord injury,
he was able to smile and simply enjoy life.
While the accessibility of the festival was limited and didn’t
fully provide the necessary accommodations, he was still able
to enjoy the live music experience. Realizing how much better
of an experience he could have had with the proper accommodations, he decided to devote his life to ensuring people of all abilities can have an equal opportunity to experience live music and recreational activities to the fullest extent possible.
Combining his legal education from UC Berkeley School of Law and his own personal experience with disability, Austin assists some of the nation’s largest event promoters to ensure they are fully accessible to individuals of all abilities. During the course of his work, he realized that personal interaction is the single most important component of a successful accessibility program. Understanding the true nature of disabilities, and the corresponding needs that arise is essential for providing the ability to have an amazing, life-changing experience, regardless of the situation.
Our vision is to provide the tools necessary for understanding disability on a societal level and ensure no one feels stigmatized due to something that cannot be controlled. A fulfilling life includes having access to choosing one’s own experiences; our focus is to make experiences possible through the majesty of live music, entertainment and recreation. Read more about what we are doing to reach this goal!
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