Awareness raising is required for different stakeholders engaged in organising the consultation to become familiar with disability inclusion and how best to facilitate the participation of persons with disabilities.
Awareness raising of organisers and other stakeholder
It will allow organisers to have a better understanding of:
- disability inclusion;
- accessibility requirements of persons with different disabilities so that they can make sure that the selected venue is appropriate;
- inclusive facilitation and ways of presenting by considering the pace, language and methods to adopt, to ensure that participants with disabilities engage equally. For example, put in words everything visible but also use digital tools that are accessible to all.
In addition, the sensitisation of the venue staff on how best to assist persons with disabilities is important. The language used to address persons with disabilities and the manner of interacting with them is important.
Awareness raising of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs)
Persons with disabilities are experts in the area of disability inclusion but may require awareness raising and information on the topic at hand to ensure they can provide valuable feedback on disability inclusion in the context of the topic. Such efforts are also important to ensure that persons with disabilities and their organisations are not at a disadvantage to provide inputs during the consultation.
Therefore, organisers must offer to hold pre-consultation meetings for participants with disabilities to give them an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the topic of the consultation. Such meetings may be organised well in advance to allow adequate time to understand the details of the consultation material. This is important to enable meaningful participation. Pre-consultation meetings also give an opportunity to the organisers to test, assess and adapt materials and make sure that full accessibility is provided.
Pre-consultation meetings must be planned like any other consultation, ensuring accessibility and taking into account reasonable accommodation requirements of the participants with disabilities. Similarly, post-consultation meetings may be organised for those persons with disabilities who may not be comfortable actively participating in larger groups or to provide feedback on the consultation.