Top Tips for an Inclusive Melbourne Cup

Mon 6 November 2017

Decorative image of horses racing

It’s the race that stops a nation. A day when many Australian workplaces take the opportunity to bring their colleagues together for a social afternoon. It’s on days like these – when business-as-usual is thrown out the window – that it becomes even more important to consider the varying needs of those we work with. Let’s do some last-minute checks to make sure everyone’s included in our Melbourne Cup festivities this November 7.

Hosting an internal event?

  • Before the event, ask attendees if they have any accessibility or other requirements.
  • Provide more than one way for staff to participate in planned activities, e.g. circulate information about sweeps via internal noticeboards and email.
  • Consider access: Is the event being hosted in a part of the building everyone can get to easily? Is it easy for people to move around within the event space?
  • Make sure it’s easy for people to watch and/or listen to the race: Test audio visual equipment prior. Make sure there’s no screen glare from sunlight. Ensure the TV has captions turned on. 
  • Check the event space prior to ensure it's clear of obstacles. Tape audio-visual cables down.
  • Encourage staff to get involved in activities, such as ‘best dressed’ competitions, but be clear that taking part is optional. You don’t want anyone to feel pressured or embarrassed.
  • Think of ways everyone can be involved in activities, e.g. the outfits worn by contestants in a ‘best dressed’ competition could be described to everyone for the benefit of someone who is blind or whose view is blocked.
  • If catered, make sure a range of foods and beverages are easy to access, and suitable for those with dietary needs.

Check out our Event Accessibility Checklist for more tips on how to plan an inclusive event.

Heading out?

  • Give staff the option to attend. Some people may not be comfortable heading out, especially if they’re not familiar with the venue.
  • Ask the venue to ensure all TVs have captions turned on.
  • Prior to the event, circulate information about the venue’s location, facilities, food and beverage options, and a designated meeting point.
  • Find out and let staff know about public transport and parking options, drop-off and pick-up points, and taxi ranks near the venue.
  • If catered, make sure a range of foods and beverages are easy to access, and suitable for those with dietary needs.

Off to Flemington?

For those lucky enough to attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival, information about accessibility is available on the Flemington website.

Discover more ways to practice inclusion

Australian Network on Disability (AND) is a national, membership based, for-purpose organisation that supports organisations to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business. Visit our Resources pages for more great tips on how to enhance inclusive practices in your workplace.

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