Talking disability: Exploring inclusive communications, language and disability

23 March 2021Bond Disability and Development Group

In this webinar, we want to facilitate an open discussion about how different organisations approach the language of inclusion and disability in their communications with the media and supporters.

In this interactive online workshop, we want to identify a common understanding of inclusion and rights-based approaches, and the importance of cultural context. We will explore how these intersect with authentic representations of disability and public engagement.

This workshop is part of a series organised by the DDG and Bond in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund. At this event you will:

  • hear from media and NGO communications specialists on approaches to language and positive representation of disability.
  • identify good and bad practice to help shape an alternative approach enabling communicators to confidently change the narrative around disability within the challenges of the current audience landscape.
  • contribute learning and experience, which we will use for a guidance document that will include resources and tools on how organisations can embrace more inclusive approaches to disability language and representation.

The session will start by setting the scene on what inclusive communication and language means in today’s media landscape, as well as and the effect of inaccurate communications and inappropriate language on the lives of people with disabilities and other marginalised groups.

Participants will then take part in one breakout session related to one of the following presentations:

  • How can we embrace authentic voices for inclusive storytelling and journalism? This presentation will focus specifically on amplifying the missing voices of advocacy through people-led journalism.
  • Is it possible for fundraising campaigns to be truly authentic? This presentation will discuss marketing challenges, mapping the journey for donor and supporter groups, and will share learning from successful disability campaigns.
  • Are the charity and rights-based approaches the right model for the language we use? This session looks at the specific challenges of language used by NGOs to identify an agreed or preferred list of disability and inclusion terms for their work.
  • What makes a “good disability story”? This session will focus on the challenges of gaining media interest and not losing the integrity of a person’s story for the sake of getting media coverage.

The breakout sessions will explore in more detail participants own experiences and what works, while having an opportunity to have a more in-depth exchange with speakers in a safe space. The breakout sessions will be under Chatham house rules. We will record the sessions for our learning document, but the recording will not be shared publicly to encourage participants to share their experiences and opinions in confidence.

What you’ll get:

  • information and lessons on what works and doesn’t work
  • knowledge and skills on communication style and language that you can practically apply to your work
  • connect with colleagues and learn from peers about their work in this area

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