You know, one of the many things I love about the handmade space that it's a celebration of diversity. Each of us has a unique vision, a unique approach to creation, and our own special flair that we pour into our work. When we gather to share these creations with the world at craft fairs, we want our offerings to be accessible to everyone. And that, my friends, includes our dear craft lovers with disabilities.
To ensure we're including everyone in our creative bubble, I'm here today to guide you through some essential steps to making your craft booth disability-friendly. It's easier than you may think, and not only will it open your business up to more customers, but it will also enrich your overall craft fair experience.
1. Make Room for Movement
The first step in making your booth accessible is to ensure there's sufficient space for people with wheelchairs or mobility aids to navigate. Aisles should be at least 36 inches wide, and there should be a clear, unobstructed path to all the items in your booth. Display tables should be no higher than 34 inches from the ground, to make it easy for people in wheelchairs to view and reach for items.
2. Consider the Display
When displaying your crafts, remember that not all customers can see your products from the same height or angle. Display your crafts at a variety of levels so they can be easily seen by all. Using bright, contrasting colors on your display can also help those with low vision. Similarly, clear labeling and price tags in large, bold fonts can make a world of difference.
3. Offer Assistance
Always be ready to assist your customers if needed. Offer to describe your items, guide them through the booth, or help with transactions. Signage indicating your willingness to assist can make a huge difference for customers who might otherwise hesitate to ask.
4. Sensory Considerations
Sensory sensitivity can affect people in a multitude of ways. This can include being overwhelmed by certain sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or textures, which is common in conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). However, anyone can experience sensory sensitivity at different times and to varying degrees. When designing your craft booth, it's crucial to remember that what seems 'normal' or 'mild' to one person can be overwhelming to another. We have a hard time with this, as we leave the tops of our jars off our candles. We do this to make it easier for customers to smell the candles and not have to unscrew every candle. This makes it easier for people with dexterity issues be able to smell our scents, but it does fill our booth with smells. We never light candles and ask customers not to spray our room sprays, that way the booth doesn't get to pungent.
5. Train Your Helpers
If you have friends or family helping you at your booth, make sure they understand the importance of accessibility, too. They should be aware of how to assist customers with disabilities and how to treat everyone with the respect and kindness they deserve.
6. Payment Accessibility
Consider adopting accessible payment options. Some people with motor disabilities may find it hard to handle cash, coins, or small credit card machines. Digital payment options like mobile apps can make transactions smoother and easier. Make the payment options signage so customers know what payment options they have. A lot of customers prefer apple pay as it limits the interaction time and is simple to use.
7. A Personal Welcome
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, greet all customers with a warm welcome. For customers with disabilities, craft fairs can sometimes be a challenging environment to navigate. A friendly smile and a welcoming attitude can turn a potentially stressful experience into a joyful one.
Remember, accessibility isn't just about doing the bare minimum required by law. It's about making a concerted effort to ensure everyone can enjoy your creations. With these tips, you can make your craft booth not just accessible, but also welcoming to all customers, regardless of their abilities.
As always, keep creating, keep sharing, and keep inclusive.
Please note that the information contained within this blog is intended for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to replace professional counsel. We encourage readers to consult with a qualified professional or legal advisor for specific advice tailored to their unique circumstances. Ghost Poppy assumes no responsibility for any actions taken based on the content of this blog.