Inclusion Advisory Group develops Accessible Meetings Toolkit

Six persons with disabilities in a meeting

A new toolkit on accessible meetings and events has been developed by CBM Global’s Inclusion Advisory Group. The toolkit provides practical guidance on organising accessible and inclusive face-to-face events, conferences, and meetings, with tips on issues to consider in the planning, delivery, and follow-up stages.

The accessible meetings toolkit was initially prepared for and funded by the Department of Foreign and Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia in May 2020. The reason for the toolkit was to ensure that the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2020 was fully inclusive and accessible to all persons with disabilities. The toolkit aimed to be a guide for the conference organisers to ensure universal accessibility and to address some of the barriers that had been identified in previous conferences, including the lack of real-time captioning and sign language interpretation.

The content of the toolkit used materials gathered from consultations with various organisations of persons with disabilities over the past few years. The toolkit includes definitions and explanations of accessibility, inclusion, reasonable accommodations, and universal design. It also emphasises working with organisations of persons with disabilities globally and locally where events take place. The toolkit includes guidance on communication, materials, venues, hotels, transportation, programs and presenters, and provides checklists for event organisers to use.

The toolkit ties in nicely with the advocacy efforts led by the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities to ensure that UN meetings and conferences are fully accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities. To learn more about these efforts, please click here.

In 2021, CBM Global published the toolkit for a wider audience. Since its publication, the toolkit has been shared to ensure other UN conferences are fully inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.

CBM Global’s commitment to accessibility

In 2020, CBM Global adopted an accessibility policy that adopts a whole of organisation framework; with a governance and accountability mechanism to monitor and improve our practice on accessibility across all areas of our work: from internal systems and practices to our support of partners in the delivery of accessible development and humanitarian programmes.

To support the roll-out of CBM Global’s accessibility policy, working in partnership with the World Blind Union, we co-developed Accessibility Go! A Guide to Action which gives guidance on how to take a whole-of-organisation approach to accessibility to have systemic change. This resource provides the advocacy case for accessibility to help lobby for change with governments, local municipalities, donors, civil society, and the business sector.

Download the Accessible Meetings Toolkit

Main Image: Representatives from various Organisations of Persons with Disabilities from the Philippines present during a meeting.  

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