occurring in our work or private lives. However, in some cases it may be due to a lack of focus or motivation.
Inclusive communications is one area where a lack of clear purpose and understanding of potential benefits often results in limited motivation and incomplete actions. We frequently see inclusion as an
ideal rather than something to make happen. We play lip service, doing only part of a job, rather than making a true commitment.
Common Inclusive Communications Fallacies
* Style guides: Advocate fonts that are broadly unsuitable for people with vision impairment. Recommend word use that is outdated, complex or potentially offensive for some audiences.
* Translate information: Poor quality translations including verbatim without cultural context or use visuals that are culturally irrelevant. Print materials that never get to their targeted audiences.
* Information available via a website in alternative formats or languages- but one needs a high level of English literacy and computer skills to find out they exist, let alone access them.
* Enquiry and contact options: Take days to respond to emails. Whilst this is relevant for all people, it is critical for those who have hearing or speech limitations and are unable to effectively use a telephone.
* Presume everyone can use a computer or has regular access to a
* Presume everyone uses SMS, a smart phone or social media- especially facebook!
* Commit to providing information in alternative accessible formats and failing to be realistic and timely with what is supplied. (Earlier this year, I request public transport information for someone who has limited vision. Some weeks later, it arrived in the form of A3 blow ups of each of the 10 page timetable!)
Human nature is such that we constantly need reminding, inspiration and to be given reason to take actions. We also need to have the resources to empower ourselves and create a case to inspire our
employers, funders and organisations.
So what tangible incentives exist to motivate us to actively take make our communications inclusive?
* $$$: Without effective Inclusive Communications, potentially 40% (See Blog 22 May 2012) of your audience or market will have a reduced likelihood of taking notice of your information, buying your
product or using your services.
* Develop loyalty: be seen as a genuine organisation, amongst those who benefit from your inclusion actions.
* Be recognised as an organisation with ethical beliefs, in support of human rights. In larger organisations this will also contribute to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
* Opportunity for personal progression through recognition for championing and effectively reaching a wider audience and market.
So then what are the five steps to motivate and empower yourself for Inclusive Communications?
1. Identify the benefit to you of advocating for Inclusive Communications?
2. Specify the potential advantages for your organisation.
3. Build your case by doing (or having done for you) a needs analysis. What is the nature and needs of your audience, what do you already do, what can you do better or should you be doing?
4. Stop thinking- act! Take the small steps with immediately actions, ie those that can be done without any significant additional budget or
5. Use the knowledge you now have to build your case for further authority, empowerment and budget.
Of course, I can’t resist a plug. ComAbility’s services include conducting Inclusive Communications Audits and Needs Analysis.
Also a reminder about ComAbility’s current training program.
Limited places left- Wednesday 31 October - A Professional Approach to Inclusive Communications Introducing disability & multicultural communications for communications professionals.
Also book now for Wednesday 28 November- Plain English Made Plain; Easy English Made Easy What do these terms mean? What are the benefits of these writing styles & how to use them?
Finally, if you’re not near our area (Melbourne Australia), we are happy to help you find suitable local training. You can also put your name down to receive information when we commence our 2013 Webinar training series. Contact Us