Many members with accessibility needs have been contacting me regarding some of the barriers they wished to be removed so they can participate fully as they are entitled. They are predominately issues I can and am raising through the CAC. However, one area not covered by the Party is fringe events not held by the party.
Today I am launching the FRINGE Campaigning, asking organisations holding fringe events at National Labour Party Conference to voluntarily sign up to 12 steps that would improve inclusivity.
The 12 steps are:
- Ensuring disabled access at venues (lifts/no steps)
- Queue checking – someone checking queues and letting those with mobility issues come to the front and be seated as soon as possible (even before the event starts – i.e. if you’re setting up).
- Reserved seating closer to entrances and exits for people with access issues
- Being mindful of use of presentations for visually impaired (size of writing, colour clashes with texts and backgrounds).
- Being clear on publicity if there are any barriers.
- Giving exact address with full postcode (for those who use electronic maps and/or cabs).
- Details of parking and/or transport
- Clear signs to the entrance of your event (especially if you’re in a building used by others like a bar or the space is not obvious i.e. it’s around the back)
- Mics used for verbal presentations
- Hearing loops (you can hire these quite cheaply)
- Space for mobility scooter and/or assistance dogs (if needed)
- Phone number of an organiser if there are any questions
These are improvements rather than fully ensuring all access issues are met, there are still things that can be done (i.e. large print handouts, subtitles to videos etc.) but if fringe event organisers can make the above, low/no cost changes – it could make a lot of difference and its a start.
Thank you to all of the members with access issues who helped me put this together. I will update what organisations sign up to this voluntary 12 step pledge. If you are holding a fringe event and would like to sign up please let me know below