Are you getting the right communications to your Inclusive members or users?
Posted: Wed, 15 Aug 2018 14:46 by Mr Tom Harwood
Club Matters top tips on inclusive communications:
The number of disabled people playing sport regularly has risen significantly, but barriers still remain. Right now, disabled people are half as likely to be taking part in sport compare to other groups. This means there is still a long way to go to improve this imbalance and inclusive communications can play a vital role in ensuring sport is accessible to all.
The communications you send are a fundamental component your club. The way in which disabled people access your communications may be different to non-disabled people; and people with different impairments have different needs or experience different 'barriers' to accessing your information. Your communications should ideally be written, produced and distributed in a way that means they are inclusive to all. Check out our guide below to improve the inclusivity of your comms.
Embedding inclusive communications
The best way to embed inclusive communications across your organisation is to develop an inclusive communication policy that clearly sets out your commitment to inclusion. We have outlined some things to think about to get you started:
- What type of comms do you already issue as a club and how frequently?
- Who do you usually reach with your comms?
- Who do you want to reach?
- What channels do you use?
- Do you provide your comms in a range of formats?
- Do you use plain English?
Messaging & Wording
Using the wrong kind of language can itself create a barrier. Below are some quick do's and don'ts when choosing terminology
DO NOT USE
The disabled, handicapped, crippled
Person or non-disabled person
Able-bodied person, normal person
Person with a certain condition or impairment
Deaf people / hearing impaired
Blind people / visually impaired
Where possible your communications should be accessible and inclusive to all, but sometimes the type of communication means that it will not be accessible to certain groups. For example, a deaf person is not going to be able to listen to the voiceover on a video, so you can either ensure that the video is captioned from the beginning or provide a transcript of the voiceover, so anyone can read what has been said. Examples of accessible formats can be found below:
- Accessible PDF documents
- Accessible Word documents
- Audio versions
- Easy read and Makaton
- Braille and Moon
- British Sign Language
- Hearing / Induction loops
- Large print
- Text to speech / speech to text
Using design to improve accessibility
This does not mean you need to pay a professional designer to improve the accessibility of your comms. In fact, there are a number of simple steps you can take yourself:
- Text is ranged left or left aligned (most people in the UK read from left to right)
- Choose clear and easy to read fonts such as Arial or Verdana
- Larger fonts sizes make text easier to read
- The use of simple graphs and pictorial diagrams can help people grasp key messages and understand the points being put across quickly
- Any document or communication should be laid out clearly and simply in order to ensure the information is accessible
- Use plain English, avoiding jargon and abbreviations where possible
- Microsoft Office has a built-in accessibility checker (File – Check For Issues – Accessibility Checker)
- Add alternative text to images in documents, online and on twitter – (Settings and Privacy – Accessibility – Compose Image Descriptions)
- Plain English – Use Drivel Defence tool to check for long sentences and alternative words. (plainenglish.co.uk)
Hopefully this quick guide will help you get started on improving the accessibility and inclusivity of your communications. For a more comprehensive overview check out the Activity Alliance's Inclusive Communications Guide or if you prefer you can view it on YouTube