Making Your Market More Accessible to All

Problem areas are circled in red in the images. Items like signs, hanging baskets, and open car hatches can be strike hazards for people with visual impairments.

Accessibility at the Market

At the 2018 Maine Farmers’ Market Convention (1/11/18), Ketra Crosson, OTL, and Jill Johanning, AIA, gave a presentation about accessibility at farmers’ markets. Jill and Ketra discussed the importance of topics such as secure footing, providing “handicapped accessible” parking (when the permanent blue parking spaces may be obscured by the farmers’ market setup itself), ensuring pathways are wide enough, avoiding protruding objects in market stalls, and making sure counters are no higher than 36 inches. See the slides of their presentation here: Making Your Farmers’ Market More Accessible

 

Website & Social Media Accessibility

Is your website or social media platform usable by a person with a visual impairment, hearing impairment, or someone using assistive technology to access a computer or tablet?

Some things to consider regarding visual impairments:

  • If you have a picture, provide a text equivalent – either part of a narrative or an actual picture descriptor
  • Consider font type and size (12 or greater)
  • Consider using contrasting colors
  • Add audio descriptions to videos
  • If something is offered in a PDF format, also offer it in a text based format

    Signage with small text, unusual scripts, or smudged writing can be a challenge for many shoppers.

Some things to consider regarding hearing impairment:

  • Add captions to videos

Some resources for site design:
http://www.washington.edu/accessibility/web/

https://www.facebook.com/help/141636465971794

https://www.siteimprove.com

Use your website to describe the accessibility situation at your farmers market.
For example, provide a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, with information such as the following:

Q: Is the Market wheelchair accessible? Are there wheelchairs available?
A: Handicapped parking is available in front of Moultrie Middle School. The paved pavilion is ideal for wheelchairs, and there are ramps. We do not have wheelchairs available

Q: Is the market accessible to wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers?

A: Yes. There is a wooden floor throughout the pavilion and vehicles can let off people with disabilities right next to the main entrances. You may prefer to come on Sundays when it is less crowded and more leisurely.