SightCity fair as best practice for accessibility and inclusion
SightCity (www.sightcity.net), Europe’s largest trade fair for aids for the blind and visually impaired, was for the 14th time held at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center from 18 to 20 May 2016. More than 3,800 visitors attended the exhibition and over 138 exhibitors from more than 20 countries showcased a wide choice of established and new aids that enable more accessibility and inclusion.
Once again, SightCity was a meeting point for professionals from the fields of medicine, optics and rehabilitation as well as for associations, blind and visually impaired people and everyone interested in the subject matter. Numerous aids that make it easier for people with visual impairments to participate in daily life were presented, including high-tech solutions, such as screen readers with integrated functions to read out loud the content on the screen, or online banking.
In order to ensure inclusion for blind and visually impaired visitors, the organisers had to consider a number of aspects in the event’s preparation phase: “This made it quite special for us, in particular in the planning phase, and you start looking at the hotel from a different perspective,“ explains Andy Bielz, Convention Sales Manager at Sheraton Frankfurt Airport. The Sheraton took great care to ensure that visitors were able to easily find their way from the airport’s train station to the event and also that it was easy for them to find their way around the venue itself. In order to achieve this, the organisers worked with inclusion (www.inclusion-barrierefrei.de), a company that fitted the Sheraton with a 1,000 metre guidance system. This system was installed within only one day and remained in the Sheraton for the duration of SightCity. In addition, there was also a pick up and escort service at the fair to assist visitors. As a result, SightCity was a well attended event that fostered vivid exchanges between visitors and exhibitors. Organisers and participants look forward to the next SightCity exhibition, taking place from 3 to 5 May 2017.
To see what SightCity is all about, take a look at a video of this year’s event, showing how the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center made sure to provide an inclusive and accessible venue.
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