Many of these technologies are great for Inclusion. However, the dynamics of available communications options challenges
and generates pressure. To cope communications practioners have had to become more pragmatic to manage the volume, targeting broader audiences profiles rather than considering the individual. A true contradiction as we supposedly move closer to true one-to-one, two-way communications.
In a month’s time my city, Melbourne (Australia) will be the meeting place for professional communicators from around the globe, at the World PR Forum. Though the excellent program is true to theme ‘Communications without Boarders’, it considers audiences in a wide context. There is little opportunity to explore meeting the communications and information needs of the individuals that make up an audience.
This brings me to the continuation of my ABCs of Inclusive
Communications. Blog - 26 July
Audiences are not homogenous – balance is essential and difficult to achieve.
* People have different ‘degrees’ of limitation / disability.
* A cultural grouping often involves more than one language/ heritage.
* People are not automatically literate in their first language.
People with sensory limitations/disability are a natural part of every audience, yet rarely catered for in mass communications.
* It is estimated that (in Western societies) almost 20% of people have
* Many people who are Deaf use a sign language. In Australia, often
AUSLAN often, has been learnt fom a young age and for some
English is a second language.
* The majority of Australians with all degrees of acquired hearing loss
are not familiar with AUSLAN and need to rely on other assistive
* Don't be deceived- people who use hearing aids still don’t hear
* A person who is deaf/ hard of hearing often has no idea that they
have missed hearing something!!
Can be easily misunderstood.
* Use appropriate language, context is critical.
* Alternative formats & languages are great- BUT frequently the
people who might benefit from these, need to access mainstream
information, to find out about the existence of options!
* Remember to plan how specific audiences will know information is
available for them.
Make your case for Inclusion- there are many benefits.
* All people are consumers- irrelevant of how they communciate and
* Use available demographic data eg census & from expert
organisations eg VicDeaf & Vision Australia.
* Build your case to gain empowerment & resources to deliver
* Seek professional advice & training to make your communications
How will your key messages be received?
* Are your key messages concise?
* Will all audiences ‘understand’ your message? Are you expressing it
in a relevant way?
* Do you need to present messages a little differently for some
* Will multiple but similar messages pose a problem within your
Inclusive Communications supports the development of loyalty.
* People know what you are about & feel respected by your efforts.
* Perception of your organisation becomes more positive.
* Future choices are more likely to be made in your favour.
Yes it’s difficult! Realistically one can’t cater for all possibilities. The challenge is first to make the commitment, then work out how much can be included in your core communications attributes (eg style
guide) and actions.
A reminder again about available places in 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?
Also 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