Creating accessible engagement solutions for your community

Omi Koulas

Omi Koulas

We engage with people from all walks of life across Australia, often on sensitive or technical projects. At Struber, we strive to have accessibility and inclusivity at the forefront of delivery to make sure our work is genuinely influential.

Engagement can be achieved by the traditional face-to-face method, a completely digital approach or through indirect channels. There is myriad ways to connect with an audience—that’s why it’s crucial to understand how people can participate, in order to be a specialist in accessible strategies.

Here are a few of tips to get you started.

Meet people where they want

We can establish a strong relationship with stakeholders by meeting them on their terms. Whether it’s easier to meet a community member near their home or if an overseas client wants to convene over a video call, make sure it’s the best option for them. A great way to lessen the gap between disadvantaged people who can’t always access information is to simply bring it to them in a way (and in a place) they can understand.

Clear and concise

Another straightforward rule is to make the sure the language in all communications is short and readable. Unless you’re a Technical Engineer who loves the nitty-gritty details, nobody wants (or has the time) to read an eight-page construction update or an information sheet unless it’s absolutely needed. Simple language, correct use of grammar and punctuation, minimal jargon and easy to follow writing are essential.

Plan for accessibility

We develop thousands of different communications materials, so ensuring that anything public facing has an accessible version is necessary. Use preferred pronouns or identifiers in letters, create informative videos with clear captions. Something as simple as making sure your community event has disability accessible entrances, parking and wayfinding is also crucial.

Digital standards

Let’s admit it—digital engagement is the most preferred way to reach stakeholders. Websites and electronic content need to abide by W3C Accessibility Standards to be readable universally. Use suitable fonts, colours, blocking, styles, interfaces, everything. Screen readers and translators benefit from high-accessibility rated content and it makes life easier for those who need it. Struber Consultants are experts in this field.

Concern and learn

The number one thing we can do is show concern when there may be an accessibility issue and learn to find a solution. At Struber, we often identify Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities on major projects for our clients and implement the necessary strategies necessary. Additionally, it’s great practice to contact Disability or Cultural Consultants to review plans. Our renowned stakeholder mapping and engagement is shaped by our learnings that can only come from our diverse project experience and has helped deliver many impactful outcomes for our clients.

Creating accessible engagement solutions for your community
Omi Koulas
January 24, 2022
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