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Organising successful, inclusive and accessible consultation and involvement

Organising consultation and involvement

• Getting beyond the usual suspects
• Developing contacts
• Working with partners
• Accessibility
• Feedback
• Dealing with consultation fatigue

Inclusive consultation and involvement – things to think about

• Accessibility – venue, location, transport, means of consultation (paper, electronic etc), provision of child care
• How you use language and which language(s) you use (including literacy and numeracy issues & computer literacy)
• Social exclusion
• Diversity e.g. requirements of religious observance, cultural norms
• Impact of participation e.g. on benefits (see People on benefits)
• Modes of consultation / involvement – personal, written etc

Involvement

Some ways to involve:
• User / advisory group
• Representative(s) on committee
• Advisor

Involvement might include:
• Sharing information
• Asking for guidance
• Feedback on actions from guidance

Challenges in consultation and involvement

Below are some challenges which we may face in ensuring that any consultation or involvement work is fully accessible.

Physical access
Poverty
Valuing contributions
The role of language – how you phrase things is important
Cultural challenges – religious observance, cultural norms
Language challenges – if don’t speak English
Literacy & numeracy challenges
Digital exclusion

How to address the challenges?

• Equality Impact Assessment e.g. audit venue
• Use plain language, provide translation etc
• Valuing contributions – provide payment/benefits in kind and feedback
• Provide support – childcare, attendance allowance, carer support
• Understanding and valuing diversity
• Be aware of how payments might affect State Benefits (Job Seekers Allowance, Disability Living Allowance etc) (See People on benefits)

Consultation fatigue

• Don’t consult unless you need to
• Use other people’s data
• Don’t consult the usual suspects / use same people all the time
• Joint consultation

Feedback

How can you effectively feedback?
• Local newspapers / newsletters (articles, adverts etc)
• Fliers
• Electronic – emails, your website
• Word of mouth
• Banner from the roof…..

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