Welcome to summer! One of the biggest and most exciting seasons of the year is happening! It’s PRIDE SEASON! Lots of events, lots of fun, lots of love, and lots of things to include in your event planning in order to make sure everything is accessible for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community! We’ve put together a list of important tips and things to remember while pulling out all the rainbows for this year’s celebration!

When it comes to setting up a space or figuring out the best ways to provide access to such large moving groups of people, here are some things to consider:

Deaf Interpreters Center Stage

Part of providing access for Deaf attendees at Pride events includes making sure they get to enjoy the music and performances with equal capacity to the rest of the crowd. Including Deaf Interpreters not only adds an extra layer of representation to your event, but it also ensures that everyone will receive the top quality of performances Pride is known for!

Ensuring Proper Coverage at the Festival

With so many people in one place, it can be hard to get information spread to an entire audience. We’ve found that the best solution to having extra coverage is to add on a 3rd interpreter to your typical team of 2 for platform events in order to maintain an extra set of hands for casting a wider net of accessibility. This is also life saving in the event of speeches or panels with Q&A portions because it allows for the third interpreter to float in the crowd to interpret for members of the audience as well.

Stationing Access Around Parade Routes

When it comes to long spread out events like parades, it’s a great idea to have interpreting stations set up along the route so that access isn’t only limited to one area of such an important part of Pride season! With multiple interpreters stationed around the route you can ensure that any shade being thrown is accessible to all. It’s also a great idea to staff additional interpreters at the judging booths for all contests, crowd participation activities and critiquing of the floats!

Representation at Pride

Cultural knowledge and lived experience should always be at the forefront of scheduling for pride. Who knows better how to interpret and provide access to events and information about the LGBTQIA+ community other than actual members of said community? When at all possible, the best request you can make when looking for interpreters would be to work with interpreters who are also members of the very community you’ll be hosting these celebrations for!

Accommodations for the Interpreters

We can’t forget that the interpreters are people too, with basic needs in order to work in peak performance mode for long periods of time in the hot days of summer. Here are a few tips to help take care of any interpreters working your event-

  • ●  Access to Water- This may seem like a given, but in many situations with so many people, and especially as interpreters may be needing to move around a lot in order to cover each other and those needing access, providing water sometimes falls to the wayside. Interpreting requires a lot of brain power and uses a lot of movement. Staying hydrated is imperative to good brain, muscle, and joint function, and of course just overall health when sweating on hot days!
  • ●  Adequate Shade- Speaking of hot days, working long hours in the sun can really make fatigue and exhaustion hit much faster and harder. Having a place for the interpreters to access shade during breaks or really anytime that’s possible will help to ward off some of the extra strain that comes with working in the heat.
  • ●  Breaks- Another reason for providing a little larger of a team as mentioned before is so that there are enough people to rotate out and give breaks while keeping everything covered. Especially in the world of interpreting, breaks are important for mental health and the avoidance of mental fatigue with all the brain processing that’s going on. Breaks including protection from the sun, breaks for water, and breaks for eating can really help prolong someone’s energy over the course of these long lasting and high energy events.Be Prepared for Surprises

With every large event, variables change at a moments notice. Things happen in every situation that are out of our control, and the bigger the events are and more people involved, the more room there is for life to step in the way sometimes. Here are some more things to think about to avoid as many of these surprises as possible-

  • ●  Plan for Access- This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure success in your endeavors for full access during your event. Simply just make a plan. Plan how many service providers you’ll need, where they’ll need to be and when, and what they’ll be doing and who they’ll be working with. The simple gesture of providing a schedule or itinerary, or even a brief meeting with the agency or contractor providing interpreters can make all the difference in the outcome of your accessibility needs being a triumph or less than hoped for.
  • ●  Schedule Breaks- This really goes hand in hand with the last two tips, but it bears repeating that scheduling breaks can easily ensure you don’t run into anyone getting burnt out or not having enough people available to maintain access throughout the whole event. Making sure breaks are in your schedule really allows for interpreters and their team to keep things in order and meet their personal needs as needed without added confusion.
  • ●  Security and Safety- When it comes to events like Pride that involve the civil rights of other people, we know things can become passionate and even sometimes a little violent. In the case of any heightened-energy related events like protests, rallies, or riots that may escalate the emotions of other groups, causing violence and/or danger, it’s best to already have a plan in place for the protection and safety of those working with you and your event. It’s a must that you have a safety and security plan in place in the case that interpreters need to be pulled to a safe location or protected from any violence or danger that may happen during any events.We hope this quick guide provided you with some good information and insight for your next celebration of Pride during the summer months at your next event! Just paying attention to the points touched on above can really make all the difference in a smooth, accessible, peaceful, and enjoyable Pride experience for everyone.

Building in access as an organic part of your event is central to what it means to be apart of a community. Many of our values surrounding diversity and inclusion aren’t referenced in regards to Disability access which is something Flamingo Interpreting works every year to change. We want to improve access to our heritage, our community and our culture for everyone in the community.

This year, you can find some Flock favorites in Prides happening in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago and more! Flamingo Interpreting will be sponsoring services for New York City Pride in Manhattan during staged events happening in the last two weeks of Pride month! We hope to see you there!