Organising Inclusive Meetings & Activities

When considering an accessible and inclusive meeting, there are 3 aspects you need to think about:

  1. Planning and preparation
  2. The equipment and information
  3. The conduct of the meeting.

Remember:
There have always been disabled people engaged in political activities but never to the extent that they are today.
It is not possible or practical for organisers of demonstrations or certain other political activities to consider the access needs of all the disabled individuals who may want to take part.
Disabled people for their part equally need to understand that with Rights come responsibilities and this includes their own safety.
Nevertheless in order to be able to make informed choices as to whether or not they can participate, disabled people require as much information as is possible to give.

Disabled people would find it useful to know for example:

1. Planning - Choosing a venue

When considering whether a venue is accessible, the first obvious thought may be to avoid entrances with steps.  There are however, many other things to watch for or that you can provide to make the venue accessible:

Consider:

If you have been unable to get an ideal venue, plan how you will overcome issues to accommodate individuals, e.g. arranging help to get people down slopes.

Always:

2. Providing Information and Equipment

Planning
Publicising
Prior to Meeting
  • If using a loop, check when booking, the area that the loop covers. Check before the meeting that the loop is working.
  • If Sign language interpreters, lip speakers and deaf blind interpreters are needed check well in advance for cost and availability.
  • It is useful to hold a briefing meeting for speakers to remind them to use microphones/talk through slide presentations etc.

  • 3. Conduct - During the meeting

  • Ensure those at reception are briefed on issues.  If sighted guides are available they should be dedicated members of staff and should be on hand.
  • If using PowerPoint presentations or other visual information, ask if people can read it.  Don’t assume people will read the slides: talk through the information.  Have printed copies available.
  • At the start of the meeting, raise your hand to attract people’s attention.  Check access e.g. whether people can hear; if the loop is working; if the people can see and read the OHP; if they can see the sign language interpreters.
  • When using a microphone, speakers should generally speak close to the microphone and preferably have an opportunity to practice using microphones prior to the event.
  • If using a loop, then all speakers must use the microphone including those responding to questions.  If the questioner is not within the looped area then the question needs to be repeated using the microphone.
  • Even when a loop is not being used, it is good practice to employ a roving microphone. This might seem to slow down proceedings however often it enhances the authority of the Chair and aids the discipline of the meeting thus saving time.
  • Allow time for breaks in the meeting. This is important for individuals but also for signers and lip speakers. It is extremely important if a meeting is longer then 75 minutes a break of 15 to 20 minutes is required for accessibility needs especially deaf rebels lip reading and BSL interpreters.
  • Time keeping is essential. Many groups of people need to know when breaks are and the finishing time. This is an access issue.

  • Revision #4
    Created 26 August 2020 12:36:19 by raenyah
    Updated 6 March 2024 17:50:15 by raenyah