Tips for consulting with people living with disability
There is a lot that can be done to remove barriers and promote inclusive consultation and engagement. Three main areas to consider are:
Physical accessibility of the venue
For example, having accessible toilets, appropriate access for wheelchairs or walking frames.
Appropriate and affordable transport options may remove barriers for people getting to a public engagement forum.
Information in many formats
Presenting information in a variety of formats provides for people who are blind or have low vision, people who are Deaf or hard of hearing and people with intellectual disability.
Ways to communicate
There are many different communication options available that will enable your engagement to be inclusive for people living with disability.
Think about using a variety of ways to communicate and promote your engagement and be aware of the various communication options you can provide upon request.
More information on accessible and inclusive communication can be found on the Online Accessibility Toolkit.
This toolkit contains information on:
- Accessible print
- Easy read
- Video and multimedia.
Reimburse any transport costs and consider arranging payment or honorariums in recognition of people’s time, expertise, lived experience and knowledge. This is particularly important if you are facilitating a co-design group, meeting or workshop.
Remuneration is subject to a number of factors and should be discussed with your organisation’s business or human resources area.
Ask people if the venue, presentation style and information provided met accessibility needs as part of your evaluation/feedback.
Recognise people’s contribution. This can include sharing with them how their ideas have been incorporated into the project, providing updates and including a formal recognition in the acknowledgments at the final product.
Promotion of your consultation
It is important to consider a variety of ways to promote your consultation. The ‘Report it Right’ Media guidelines have some useful tips to consider for any marketing campaigns.
- Social media and web postings – promote through disability peak bodies, community groups, government and corporate.
- Mainstream media, like local papers, community radio (including culturally and linguistic diverse groups) and Aboriginal community radio.
- Engage with disability-specific media that is published by disability people bodies and advocacy organisations.
- Include community organisations that are not associated with disability (for example, Aboriginal community groups, children’s centres and/or CALD community groups).
- Contact regional and local government.
- YourSAy is available for State government departments.
Think about how your engagement or consultation is conveyed and include welcoming and inclusive messaging. Consultations and engagement don’t necessarily have to be promoted as having a disability focus. Highlight your agency’s other attributes, such as being an inclusive organisation, and emphasise all members of the community are welcomed and encouraged to provide contributions and ideas or be involved in co-design workshops.
Inviting people with disability to notify the organisation's contact person to request any access requirements — such as an Auslan interpreter — shows your organisation is inclusive and accommodating of access requirements. Provide information and materials in readable print and offer accessible formats upon request.