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This image says "2023 Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Ceremonial Celebration" with "Accessibility Measures" below it.

Accessibility Measures 2023

Indigenous Peoples Day Newton has implemented several measures to ensure our Ceremonial Celebration is as accessible as possible for attendees with disabilities.  


For inquiries about accessibility or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Christa (she/her) at


We also welcome feedback on our accessibility efforts to continuously improve our event experience for all attendees.

1. Accessible viewing & elders’ area.

There will be a designated accessible viewing area in front of the stage. Some folding chairs will be provided, but feel free to bring a chair or blanket to sit on to ensure you have a place to sit. Please click here for a site map (subject to change) indicating the location of this area. 

2. ASL interpreters.

There will be ASL interpreters on stage throughout the event with a designated accessible viewing area.

Click here to meet our interpreters!

3. COVID-19 safety.

We are following CDC & MA Dept. of Public Health guidelines to ensure a safe event. While not required, we encourage the use of masks for the safety & wellbeing of our community.


Masks & hand sanitizer will be available at the IPDN information table.

5. Hydration station.

There will be a mobile water filling station that provides clean, cool potable water & promotes energy efficiency & sustainability. Please bring your own reusable water bottle to fill up.

The station is ADA/AODA-accessible.

7. Parking.

There are 250 on-street parking spaces including mobility device-accessible spaces. Parking is first come, first served.

9. Sensory-friendly/quiet zone.

There will be a sensory-friendly/quiet tent distanced from the stage for those experiencing overstimulation or needing respite from the general event environment.


Please note: we cannot guarantee a noise-free environment, but there will be disposable, individually wrapped earplugs available.


Please refrain from using the phone in this space & keep talking to a quiet minimum. Please do not leave children unattended.

12. Venue navigability.

This event takes place outdoors on mowed grassy terrain. While mostly flat, this terrain may present challenges for some mobility devices. The event area is roughly a rectangle of about 500’ x 900’.

For attendees who are blind or have low vision, a volunteer can offer a one-time guide service of the venue. Please contact Christa (she/her), IPDN Committee Member, at to request this service in advance.

4. Food & beverage.

Please consult with individual food vendors regarding ingredients & nutrition facts. There will be gluten-free, vegetarian, & vegan food options available.

Attendees with disabilities & health conditions that prevent them from waiting in line may skip to the front of the line.

While we hope you are able to enjoy the food offered & support our vendors, if you need to bring your own food due to a health condition or food sensitivity, you are welcome to do so.

Please note: this is an alcohol-free event.

6. No tickets needed.

This event is free & open to all. Attendees are expected to follow all etiquette guidelines, which will be posted at the event & online in advance of the event. 

8. Porta potties.

An accessible, all-gender porta potty will be available.


Please note: this porta potty is reserved specifically for attendees with disabilities, children, or who otherwise cannot use the non-accessible porta potties. 

10. Service animals.

All service animals & well-trained emotional support animals are welcome. Please bring your own food & water for them. Animal handlers are responsible for any damage or injury caused by their animal.

11. Social story.

Click here to check out our social story, a tool to help adults communicate with children about what they might expect & do at the event.

13. Volunteer support.

A dedicated volunteer will oversee the accessible viewing area & can offer support with navigating through crowds, locating the accessible porta potty, & purchasing food & drink. A volunteer will also be present in the sensory-friendly/quiet zone to offer assistance as needed.

15. First-aid.

We can offer our program book in alternative formats, including large print, braille, & dyslexia fonts. We will also make it available online.

Please contact Christa (she/her), IPDN Committee Member, at to request a book in an alternative format.

Volunteers will be available at the First-Aid tent throughout the event. Please note that these volunteers have varying levels of training with administering first-aid. They are only expected to provide treatment for minor injuries & connect attendees with more serious injuries or health concerns to emergency medical services. 

14. Program book.

Meet our ASL Interpreters

A photo of ASL interpreter Janice Evans
Janice Evans

Janice Evans, NIC, is proud to identify as first-generation Japanese, CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), & Multicultural/ Multilingual child of Deaf & Hearing parents. Japanese Sign Language & Spoken English were her first languages; ASL became her second after moving to California as a young girl.


Achieving her bachelor’s degree in Business Management, she decided to switch professions & found a beautiful life in interpreting for the last 21 years & earned her NIC certification through RID. Interpreting provided the diversity she was searching for.


As a freelance interpreter, she has interpreted in the fields of Business, Medical, Education, Legal, Theatre, OES, Government, etc. Honoring her late Deaf mother’s love of music, theatre, & movies, she is credited with interpreting the following plays: Best of Broadway (two years), Drood, Cats, The Cymbeline Project (OSF) & The Little Mermaid to name a few.

A photo of Sharon Mendes
Sharon Mendes

Sharon M. Mendes, CI & CT, is a Nationally Certified Interpreter & has been an Independent Contractor since 2001, interpreting for Deaf, Hard of Hearing & the Deaf-Blind communities. She specializes in a variety of settings: medical, educational—post-secondary, theatrical, religious, conference level, & remote assignments. 

Whenever time permits, she moonlights as a theatrical interpreter. Previous credits include: The Producers, The Lion King in 2004 & 2010, Taming of the Shrew, Coming Up For Air, & The Color Purple, as well as numerous plays for Non-Profit organizations & numerous performances at Boston's Premiere visual performing art high school, the Boston Arts Academy.

Furthermore, Sharon serves the interpreter community by serving as a mentor and role model to proteges in the field and is an adjunct professor at Framingham State College. Finally, Sharon is proud to be joining Indigenous Peoples Day Ceremonial Celebration here in Newton on October 9, 2023.


Thank you so much to Jini Fairley & Ima Jonsdottir from the Newton Commission On Disability & the incredible volunteers charged by Nancy Smith from Boston/National CERT & Office of Emergency Management to conduct a safety audit of our 2022 Ceremonial Celebration (Tom Clareson, Matthew Ché Kowal, Laura Grunfeld, & Stephanie Fortunato).

We greatly appreciate your support in helping us make our Celebration more accessible!

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