Venue for public participation:
When planning public participation events, forums, a learning exchange, training event or conference, as disability sausage media we opine that they should be accessible for all.
This isz to say organizers should ensure all formsz of access measuresz are put in place.
Its on record that when people here the term access the most obvious thing is the built environment, of whichi is not the case.
As disability sausage media we expound this meaning to also include access to facilities, communications and support services.
covers approaches, entrances, floor surfaces, lifts, speaker platforms, lecterns, catering and toilets, as well as providing extra time, interpreters and communications support, braille versions of notes, captions, large-print programmes, accessible slide decks, easy-read versions of documents, auxiliary aids such as portable hearing loops, sufficient space for personal assistants and supporters, and more.as enshrined in the UNCRPD and public policy studies it is prudent to
Consult persons with disabilities and their organisations to ensure that events are as accessible and inclusive as possible.
• Ensure that every step of the journey from arrival to leaving the venue is barrier-free for everyone. As a policy, inaccessible venues should simply be avoided.
• Ensure your registration process and form is accessible to people using assistive technology and is in plain language.
• Always ask for information in advance regarding individual support needs and access requirements, to include personal assistance, transport, subtitling or captioning, interpretation etc. Do not ask people to state their disabilities.
• Consider providing transport where public transport is inaccessible or stressful to navigate.
• Provide contact details – emails, phone number etc – so that people can request support at any stage of their journey to your event, and while participating and giving feedback.
• If you think there may be accessibility problems, either give advance warning to attendees or preferably, find a better venue.
• If there are specific topics to be discussed, circulate agendas in advance so that people can prepare with their supporters in advance if needed.
• Ensure the programme includes rest breaks – this is important for sign language interpreters, translators, people with intellectual disabilities or anyone who finds it hard to concentrate for extended periods of time.
• Advertise that the venue is fully accessible and describe the range of supports available, or people with disabilities may not risk attending.
• Make sure reception and security staff know you are expecting guests with disabilities.
• Ask your well-recognised OPDs to help with ‘welcoming participants with disabilities training’ – which should be mandatory for everyone involved in making the event a success.
• Advise front of house to anticipate guests who have registered particular requests. Create a welcoming and accessible registration area.
• Ensure that all materials are available in a number of accessible formats, e.g. large print and easy to read or plain language, as well as in different languages if appropriate. Plain language also helps visitors who are not fluent in the conference language.
• If the meeting is open to the public to drop in, recognise that people with disabilities might attend. Automatically ensure that it will be accessible.
• Captions are similar to subtitles on screens. They enable deaf people and people who are hard of hearing to read on-screen what is being said. Captions can be provided by human captioners typing or dictating remotely as people speak, or via technology
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• The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
• Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
• Australian Chief Minister Award winner
• “Excellence of making inclusion happen”