Communication and information

Consider whether you communicate and provide information in such a way that makes it easy for people to know their way around and find out what is going on without asking too many questions


Consider signage as well as the ways you communicate with participants and reflect on how you would respond to specific communication needs, particularly from people with sensory impairments or communication difficulties.

Meeting areas / Training rooms / Reception

Hearing enhancement solutions such as Induction loops, radio aids or infrared systems support hearing aid users and others to communicate. Remember lots of people use hearing aids who would not consider themselves deaf or hearing impaired.

Signage and Maps / Guides

Clear and logical but not excessive signage helps people get around without asking too many questions – it should be consistent throughout the building. Safety signage is a legal requirement. Signs should contras visually with their background and letters must contrast with the sign colour. Reflection from natural or artificial light can cause legibility problems. Capital letters should be used for the first letter only and san serif typefaces can be easier to read (Helvetica, Futura, Arial, Avant Gard). A guide or a map of the venue can help people identify what is going on and where.

Easy read and large print menus and other information regularly made available should be created.

Colour schemes and tactile surfaces

Colours schemes, use of contrast, changes in surface texture and can guide people around the venue.

Social media, websites and newsletters

It is worth testing your communication methods for accessibility – considering legibility (text size / colour contrast) and ease of use with assistive technology (for people who can’t see or hear very well, those who find words difficult, or a keyboard or mouse hard to use.

Members, participants and users may reasonably request alternative formats for information or specific communication support (e.g. interpreter), so consider how you will respond?

Checklist questions

  1. If you have a public address system is it clearly audible? Is the system supplemented by visual information?
  2. Do you have hearing enhancement solutions (induction loops / radio aids / infrared systems) and if so, where are they located?
  3. Does signage use colour, font, text size and contrast to ensure it is legible?
  4. Do the buildings and facilities use colour schemes, use of contrast and changes in surface texture to guide people around?
  5. Do you provide information boards / a guide / map of the venue with information about the facilities and activities?
  6. Is there a need for any braille information or signage?
  7. Is printed information (including menus / activity lists etc) available in large print and other alternative formats in response to reasonable request?
  8. Have you tested digital and online communication (websites, social media and e-newsletters) for accessibility – either by asking participants or seeking professional advice?
  9. Would communication support (e.g. sign language interpreters) be provided for training, meetings, events or other public occasions if requested?
  10. Are positive images of disabled sailors included in your publicity material?

Accessibility statement

State you want information (in print and online) to be accessible but invite people to let you know if it isn’t and reassure you will try to do something about it.

If you can or do make information available in different formats, or you would provide communication professionals / interpreters in some circumstances – state this.

Engage disabled people who are already involved to promote it to others.

Next - a number of sources which contain further detail should you need it.

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