People with a disability are no longer expected to be Out of Sight Out of Mind. They are members of our community and consumers just like the rest of us. Nor should people from diverse cultures or
religions, be treated separately from others. Though differences exist, often these are not as great as we might perceive.
In recent weeks I have been contemplating one example. This year the Muslim time of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish three weeks of mourning. Though the religious and historical backgrounds are quite unalike, the spiritual impacts are not so different. In both religions these are times of reflection, including fasting, looking into ourselves and our relationships. For Muslims this intense month long period is also a time for family gatherings, whilst for Jews it is the start of a several week spiritual build up to the New Year. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the similarities with the Christian Lenten period and other ‘special’ times for Buddhists and Hindus.
Consider similarities, rather than differences, bring people Into Sight and Into Mind.
An Inclusive Communications approach is a key tool to create harmony and respect. If we don’t enable communications how can we
interact and share?
So here is an update of some of my previous blog comments.
The A- L of Inclusive Communications
Attitude and Awareness
* Open your minds, show respect.
* Conduct an Inclusive Communications Audit, what do you do?
* Learn and understand the most common needs for enhanced
* Identify Benefits and opportunities.
* Affirm your commitment, seek buy-in and resourcing from those who
fund and commission your work.
* Consistently communicate the advantages of inclusion.
* Reduce confusion by systematically introducing new approaches.
* Consider how your information is Distributed. How effective are your channels in reaching diverse audiences?
Engage and Empower
* Seek new responsibility and build inclusion into your strategies
* Involve your targeted audiences to create Effectiveness.
* Draw on the many evolving communications platforms. Personalise
them to meet specific communication’s styles, interests and needs.
* Build Flexibility into your approach.
* Audiences are not homogenous – balance is essential and often
difficult to achieve.
* Create an Inclusive Style Guide to assist.
* It’s estimated that almost 20% of people have hearing loss. Many
don’t realise they have a problem. Though some wear hearing aids
and others also use AUSLAN, more needs to be done.
* Honour and respect people, even if you don’t fully understand
* Misunderstands can easily happen- use appropriate language and
formats, context is critical.
* Identify similarities and also barriers, use this information to inform
* Make your case, all people are consumers- irrelevant of how they
* Don’t Judge- communications differences don’t mean people are
unable to comprehend information or have their own views.
* How will your key messages be received?
* Keep to the main points, think of the KISS principle.
* People who know what you are about and feel respected are more
* Stop each day and take time to Listen to the views of others.
Now with this food for thought, you might like to scroll down to view some of my previous blogs. These include my earlier more detailed versions of: A-F on 26 July 2012 and G-L on 18 October 2012.
Or you might like to contact me at ComAbility directly to present some practical thoughts or assistance to you and your team for Inclusive Communications.
PS: Watch for M-Z in coming months.