Top tips for an inclusive Melbourne Cup

Thu 3 October 2019

Decorative image of horses racing


It’s the race that stops a nation. A day when many Australian workplaces bring their colleagues together for a social afternoon.

It’s also a prime opportunity for you to show your organisation’s commitment to access and inclusion. A chance to make sure every one of your colleagues feels part of a culture that encourages and enables everyone to participate.

With one month to go until the big event, here are our top tips for an inclusive Melbourne Cup.

Hosting an internal event?

  • Before the event, ask attendees if they have any accessibility requirements, e.g. someone who is deaf might feel more confident to socialise if they have an Auslan interpreter with them.
  • Provide more than one way for staff to participate in planned activities, e.g. circulate information about sweeps via noticeboards, intranet and email.
  • Consider access: Is the event being hosted in a part of the building everyone can get to easily, e.g. via ramps or accessible lifts? Is it easy for people to move around within the event space? Are accessible restrooms available?
  • 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 TVs have captions turned on. 
  • Check the event space prior to ensure it's clear of hazards, e.g. make sure audio-visual cables are taped down.
  • Encourage staff to get involved in activities, such as ‘best dressed’ competitions, but be clear that participation 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 by the host over the microphone, for the benefit of those who can’t see them.
  • If catered, make sure a range of foods and beverages are easy for everyone to access, and suitable for those with dietary needs.

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.
  • Contact the venue beforehand to discuss the accessibility of their premises, e.g. do they have lifts, ramps, wide corridors and accessible restrooms? Are they familiar with the laws surrounding service animals in Australia?
  • Before the event, ask attendees if they have any accessibility requirements, e.g. someone who is deaf might feel more confident to socialise if they have an Auslan interpreter with them.
  • 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 for everyone 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.

About us

The Australian Network on Disability (AND) is a member-based national powerhouse of more than 260 private, public and for-purpose organisations actively committed to inclusion of people with disability in business. Our services, programs and tools make it easier for you to build confidence and capability to welcome people with disability as employees, customers and stakeholders. As part of our network, we’ll support you to build understanding and expertise, connect with others and check your progress on access and inclusion.

Find out more about what we do.

 

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