If you are organising a workshop at King’s, on campus or elsewhere, take note of these ten tips to ensure your diverse audience can participate fully. While inviting participants to request adjustments is welcoming, not everyone feels confident or comfortable to do so. So, here’s some tips, co-created by members of the Access King’s network, to help you create an event that’s welcoming for all.
- Share information in advance, including details of the venue, contact information, and any access features (e.g. step-free access, hearing loop available etc). You could also signpost to more information such as an AccessAble guide, if there is one.
- Share contact information for questions, adjustments, and companion tickets (if available).
- Be explicit that attendees (neurodivergent folk especially) are welcome to make themselves comfortable, move around, fidget, stim etc.
- Provide an overview of the session and an agenda in advance, with any preparatory work required of attendees clearly indicated, and indicative timings. Clearly state the expectations of attendees, as well as any rules of engagement. This is particularly helpful if it clarifies unstructured or social expectations (“15 minutes’ informal mingling to start”, “finish time is 4pm but conversations may continue after this point”, “we may continue the breakout room discussions if these are fruitful”, “People are welcome to come and go” or, “People are expected to stay for the duration of the session.” etc.).
- Schedule sufficient breaks and let attendees know when they will be.
- At the start of the event, check the lighting in the room e.g. are fluorescent lights needed, is daylight adequate?
- Incorporate multisensory learning. Engage participants through diverse sensory experiences by using visuals, interactive activities, demonstrations, sensory-friendly spaces/activities in the workshop and group discussions to cater to different learning styles.
- Use clear and concise language. Ensure that the language used during the workshop is clear, concise, and free from unnecessary jargon or complex terminology, making it accessible and understandable to all participants.
- Allow time for participants to engage, respond to questions, or write answers or contributions.
- Feedback questions to include targeted questions, for example:
10.a. Did you feel that the workshop materials and activities were accessible and accommodating to individuals with diverse abilities and disabilities? Please provide specific examples or suggestions for improvement.
10.b. How well did the workshop incorporate the principles of universal design and accessibility? Were there any missed opportunities or areas where improvements could be made in terms of disability inclusion?
10.c. Were the communication channels and formats provided during the workshop helpful in facilitating your understanding and engagement? If not, what alternative methods would you suggest to improve accessibility for neuro-diverse participants? etc.
There is also some guidance available on the Content Editors Hub for delivering accessible face-to-face sessions.
Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?
- Found out more by visiting our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s pages.
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