Action Kit: Organizers of public activities and events


Ensure that the design of public activities and events supports full community participation by persons with HMD, including the ability to use cars in order to be mobile.

Main message:

Millions of people have functional limitations in the distance they can walk and the time they can stand unsupported. Recent initiatives that focus on walking and biking while disadvantaging the use of cars can result in the creation of public events that require too much walking and standing for persons with HMD who have the following limitations:

  • Short distances to walk:  35-50 feet, but no more than 70 feet.
  • Brief periods to stand:  1-2 minutes, but no more than 5 minutes.

Types of accommodation needed:

  • Pedestrian-only areas (like neighborhood centers) designed with no more than a 150-foot radius, with benches to rest every 50 feet.
  • Community consultations designed as sit-down rather than stand-up (open house) events.
  • Events like festivals designed to minimize walking and standing for those with HMD.
  • Car use and parking close to services supported and protected.
  • See suggested accommodation guidelines.

Sample email:

Because of [the reasons for writing], I’m writing to share with you highlights of research on the lived experience of persons with hidden mobility disabilities – those who are able to walk but only a short distance and able to stand unsupported but only for a short time. The specific findings, which are detailed at are that:

  • Short distance = 35-50 feet, or at most 70 feet
  • Brief time = 1-2 minutes, or at most 5 minutes

Requirements to walk further or stand longer have serious health consequences and prevent persons with hidden mobility disabilities from engage in community activities.

Please share these findings with colleagues and other interested parties. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what changes you can effect to improve the ability of persons with HMD to participate fully and effectively in community life, particularly with regard to [the specific changes you are requesting].

Resources to use:

Examples of people to target:

  • Park managers
  • Urban staff charged with organizing community events
  • Community groups that organize community events