What Does ‘Inclusive Communication’ Mean?
Heritage organisations employ, serve and support diverse groups of people. The people within those diverse groups have intersectional characteristics e.g., age, race, faith, gender, sexuality or disability. Anyone whose job involves communicating with colleagues, members or visitors should be mindful of the different educational, cultural, socio-economic backgrounds and access needs of your audience. This guide to inclusive communication in heritage will help you achieve that goal.
Ultimately, an effective piece of content whether that be digital or print, should make it easy for different groups of people to:
• Find the information they need as quickly as possible
• Read the content in an accessible format
• Understand key messages through plain, conversational language
• Recognise themselves and their communities in stories and images
• Identify positive, unbiased, and anti-discriminatory language
As well as considering the tone, look and feel, inclusive communication in heritage should also factor in accessibility for disabled people.
Accessibility means considering any environmental, physical, digital or policy barrier that could prevent people from accessing your communications. For example, captioned video content will help both D/deaf and hearing-impaired people and those who are learning to read or to speak.
By following a good practice approach on inclusive communications and anticipating barriers which may make it more difficult for the public, including disabled people to access your information or communicate with you, you are more likely to meet your duties under the Equality Act 2010.
This short guide provides links to useful information to help you to communicate more inclusively with diverse audiences.