An important aspect of making sure that the wellbeing of your members is being considered is thinking about who can access that activity, and who cannot. There are many barriers that can stop potential members from engaging in an activity, these include:
- Physical access needs
- Mental health issues
- Learning disability
- Language or communication barriers
- Financial difficulty
- Religious or cultural practices
- Perceived (or real) prejudice or stigma
Take a moment to think about one of your regular group activities
- how might these barriers apply to it?
- What could you do to reduce the impact of them?
Discuss this at your next committee meeting, and see if there is anything you can implement to make your group more accessible and attractive to new members.
Easy accessibility wins
- Nominate a committee member to be the point of contact for accessibility concerns - usually your wellbeing secretary
- Identify this person in your group’s SU webpage, and any social media bios
- “If you have any access needs or concerns, get in touch with X through … ”
- Make sure any videos you share have captions
- There are loads of free software available online that can do this!
- Make use of “alt text” functions on social media
- this is where you provide a written description of an image you’ve shared for screen readers to read
- When booking rooms, consider how easy they are to access for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility
- could you book a ground floor room instead?
- Use content warnings where needed if you anticipate there being discussion of sensitive or triggering topics
- these should always be advertised in advance
- Make sure that for longer events, regular breaks are scheduled in and communicated to attendees beforehand / at the start of the event
- Consider whether, for in-person events, you could also have the option for people to join in virtually from home