Disability Equality Scotland At 20: Inclusive Communication Spotlight

During our 20 years as a national Disabled People’s Organisation, we have made sure that ‘accessibility’ is considered in the widest possible sense. This includes making sure that there is an awareness and understanding of having information available in accessible formats. It is also about having communication support available when required.

This approach is known as ‘Inclusive Communication’.

It is a way of ensuring that as many people as possible can be included in an interaction. It allows people to use whatever ways of understanding and expressing themselves which they find easiest. For example:

  • Some people may need information in alternative formats, including Braille, Easy Read or large print.
  • Some people may require the support of a British Sign Language interpreter or an electronic notetaker.
  • Some people may prefer a one-to-one meeting with communication support instead of a telephone call.

Therefore, you should presume that every group you are working with, or expect to work with, includes people with different strengths, support needs and preferences. This may change depending on where you are and who you are with.

There is also a strong legal case for Inclusive Communication. All people who use public services have the right to access them on an equal basis. The Equality Act 2010 requires businesses to provide information in accessible formats and communication support as part of its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

At Disability Equality Scotland, we host the Inclusive Communication Hub, a resource to help individuals and businesses with improving their communication practices: www.inclusivecommunication.scot

Throughout the Hub you will find a range of helpful resources, including guidance on communication support and producing information in accessible formats. We also have tips on how to host inclusive events and reach your target audience. The case studies that we have published are perfect examples of how we should all adopt Inclusive Communication in our ways of working and general day-to-day communications.

Most recently, the Hub has hosted details of our #JoinTheDots Braille Labeling campaign.  We are working with Sight Scotland and Oban and District Access Panel to call on the Scottish Government to introduce new requirements on retailers to provide braille labelling on food products. Ensuring information is available in braille is vital for the inclusion of visually impaired people. It would certainly be fantastic if we can make meaningful progress with this campaign during our 20th Anniversary!

For the latest updates on the campaign, please visit: www.inclusivecommunication.scot/braille-campaign

We warmly welcome new ideas for content to be featured on the Inclusive Communication Hub. If you have information and guidance that you would like to have shared, or if you are interested in submitting a case study, please get in touch with us!