Tactics for access and inclusion shared at roundtables

Mon 7 May 2018

A large group of business people sit in front of a presenter and Auslan interpreter, looking at content on projection screens

Generously hosted by the Attorney General's Department in Canberra on 23 March, icare in Sydney on 27 March, and ANZ in Melbourne on 28 March, there were plenty of useful tactics to improve access and inclusion shared at this year’s first Member Roundtables.

Canberra roundtable

In Canberra, discussions centred around the value of an effective employee network/resource group to build a culture of inclusion.

Engaged in a discussion about what makes an employee network effective and how to reinvigorate a tired network, a number of ideas were shared. These included:

  • Setting up a disability employee network as part of a broader diversity committee
  • Defining focus and key priorities by setting yearly themes
  • Gaining executive support to drive the agenda
  • Making sure the group is self-sufficient and has a depth of membership
  • Having an action plan in place with a focus on outcomes
  • Providing opportunities for network members to connect and talk candidly about their personal experiences
  • Offering learning and development opportunities to network members
  • Outlining commitments to the network in individual performance agreements
  • Recognising the contributions people make as individuals, and the wider value of the network itself

Expert insights into how to grow the effectiveness of disability networks/resource groups will be shared by Kate Nash OBE, the world’s leading authority in ‘Networkology’ and keynote speaker at the Australian Network on Disability’s 10th Annual National Conference.

Sydney roundtable

In Sydney, icare unveiled a suite of new accessibility enhancements on their website. The result of a highly iterative and user-centred accessibility project, the enhancements were launched to ensure people with disability and members of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities enjoy an easy online experience.

Next, Australian Museum confronted some of the many challenges faced by organisations when trying to engage colleagues in inclusion, by sharing a range of tactics they found effective in driving behavioural change. These included:

  • Commitment from senior management
  • Creation of an internal steering committee
  • An executive leadership champion as part of the steering committee
  • Establishment of an advisory panel
  • Incorporating responsibility for access and inclusion within individual roles
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to network
  • Expert support from Australian Network on Disability (AND)
  • Benchmarking access and inclusion to identify areas of opportunity
  • Refreshing their Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan (AIAP) to make it more engaging
  • A fantastic speech by their CEO at the launch of their new AIAP 2018-2021

Melbourne roundtable

In Melbourne, a panel discussion about the importance of a robust, achievable accessibility and inclusion plan (AIP) was the primary focus.

In a wider discussion about how to create an effective AIP and use it to gain momentum, the group identified some key tactics. These included:

  • Gaining insights and evidence from AND’s Access and Inclusion Index to inform the plan
  • Making sure the plan encompassed customers, employees and stakeholders
  • Aligning the plan to the broader business strategy
  • Establishing targets to work towards
  • Ensuring accountability and ownership
  • Engaging employees who could and wanted to help, but making sure their contributions were part of ‘business as usual’ processes rather than being an ‘add-on’
  • Asking about general accessibility needs – not necessarily specific to disability – on a day-to-day basis, across every area of the business, from recruitment to professional development to events

Opportunities to connect

This article is a mere glimpse into the topics, strategies, insights and examples explored during our roundtable meetings. We encourage all our members to take advantage of these valuable opportunities to connect and learn from each other.

Keep an eye on our Member Roundtables page or sign-up to our e-newsletter to keep abreast of future events.

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