dilemma of global vs local.The communications technological explosion both widens our reach and increases our options to deliver messages and receive responses,.
Technology is a boon for Inclusive Communications, especially in terms of accessibility.
Yet, this every expanding choice of media formats creates dilemma. How does one cope with preparimg information for so many
individual media platforms. It’s easy to succumb to temptation and pragmatically prepare ‘generic’ content, ignoring the information and access needs of those with a disability, from diverse cultures and or with low English literacy.
In the FECC Access and Equity Report 2011-12, Opening the door to access and equity there is a call for a more sophisticated understanding of the concept of cultural competency. This is to go beyond ethno-specific support and also include structural shifts in attitude amongst service providers.
I believe that this need to expand our approach is equally relevant when communicating with all audiences, including people with a disability.
This study also refers to issues related to service delivery and the conflict of the individual centred model that is dominant in Australian verses the community and family focus amongst many people
from differing cultures.
Again, another contradiction for communicators seeking to ensure their messages and work for clients meets the intended audiences.
Global vs Local
Community & Family vs Individual
Against this backdrop, there has also been the release of the Australian Government’s Australian in the Asian Century White Paper. This looks at Australia’s relationship and future interaction with Asia. It includes is acknowledgment of the advantage created by Australia’s
culturally diverse population.
Yet, another new report is a study into Telecommunications and Health Information for Multicultural Australia. The research in this
report demonstrates that those of CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds, even if long term settlers, are less likely than the mainstream Australian population, to seek health information via the internet or through a phone call.
Overloaded with all this?
I don’t blame you. More complexity than ever. How do we start working through these issues and apply relevant approaches to our
1. Start by respecting people, even if you don’t knowing/
understanding their perspective, situation or culture
2. Develop a clear idea of who your target audiences are.
By this I mean-
a. How they physically obtain access to information?
b. Can they understand and comprehend this?
c. How do they prefer to get information.?
3. Only with this knowledge can you start to look at how you
4. Now take your message and work to deliver it!
Of course at this point this is where some professional expertise might be useful, to help you take the first practical steps.
This is also when you can stop reading if you’re not interested in my blatant plug for ComAbility’s services.
We can offer a fixed price quote for-
* A review from a cultural competency/accessibility perspective
of your current communications activity.
* An inclusive communications review of your style guide.
Special prices are current for work to be completed between now and end of January 2013.
Also there are sill a few places available for our writing workshop ‘Plain English Made Plain, easy English made Easy’ on Wednesday 28 November.
PS I’m looking forward to catching up with a few people next week at both the World PR Forum and ECCV Annual Conference
Also another recent report worth reading Mapping Social Cohesion National Report 2012.
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