The Festival of Lights is a magical night that will create memories that will last a lifetime. It is an event that allows people to let go of their inhibitions and dreams and experience the joy of the season. To ensure that everyone can participate in the festivities, it is important to make sure that the event is accessible for individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that most buildings, except for privately-owned residential facilities, built by the United States, in its name or leased by it, or buildings fully or partially funded by the United States, must be physically accessible to people with disabilities. The City of Colorado Springs offers services and accommodations under the ADA to ensure that individuals with disabilities can participate on an equal footing in City programs, services, and activities. For events aimed at a specific audience, the number of accessible spaces may have to increase beyond the minimum if the event is aimed at a population consisting of a large number of people with mobility disabilities.
For example, a seller may need to take items from an inaccessible area to an interested person so that they can evaluate and select the merchandise or participate in an offered activity. The availability of the listening system must be indicated by a sign with the international access symbol for people with hearing loss. Additionally, it may be necessary to provide information about the location of accessible features, such as accessible parking or restrooms, or where to obtain other aids or services, such as materials in accessible formats or hearing aids. Access to performance areas is a problem when there are artists or presenters with disabilities or when members of the public are expected to take the stage and participate in the performance. Carnivals and traveling fairs can include exhibits completely contained in trailers that are accessed by climbing a set of three to five steps. Examples include signs, fire extinguishers, lamps, drinkers, valve controls, vertical pipes, parts of exhibits, sculptures, partitions, tree branches, and tent cables. The City of Colorado Springs takes great care to ensure that everyone can enjoy the Festival of Lights parade.
With accommodations provided under the ADA and other measures taken to ensure accessibility for individuals with disabilities, everyone can join in on the fun and create memories that will last a lifetime.