True Accessibility Goes Beyond The Home – The Melbourne Cup
24 August 2022
Accessibility does not only refer to the act of designing and building wheelchair-friendly homes, but it is a much more complex conglomerate of inclusion solutions, actions, and policies meant to provide equal accesss to all types of community facilities and services. With the Melbourne Cup fast approaching, and the event considered the race that stops the nation, it is important to get a deeper understanding of the need to ensure high levels of inclusiveness and accessibility at the workplace during the big day.
The Melbourne Cup & The Zero Project Conference Accessibility Guidelines
The Australian Network on Disability has been responsible for providing a number of insightful inclusion tips for managers and employers that can be put into practice for the big event. Zero Project has also released the Zero Project Conference Accessibility Guideline, which is a helpful and comprehensive guide that offers the necessary support to those organisations that plan on setting up social gathering events and conferences that are fully accessible and 100% inclusive of people with all forms of disability.
These guidelines are periodically improved and updated with each new event that is held on a yearly basis, and they are meant to support those organisations that wish to increase the degree of accessibility for their own conferences and events.
The Need For Inclusive Solutions & Enhanced Accessibility During The Melbourne Cup
More than 2 million Australians of working age are suffering from a form of physical disability. Most of them will be getting ready to watch the much-anticipated Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November from the comfort of their workplace. Accordingly, there is a need for workplace managers to use a variety of inclusive solutions and run accessibility tests so they can ensure a safe, comfortable, and fun social gathering for all of these employees. Everyone must feel part of a healthy culture that encourages everyone to participate, cheer for their favourites, and have a blast while feeling protected, respected, and part of a whole.
While there are many organisations that have already started to display their honest commitment to better inclusion and improved access for employees during the Melbourne Cup and other similar social gatherings at the workplace in recent years, more involvement and changes need to be embraced by others.
Tips For Organising Inclusive Internal Melbourne Cup Events At The Workplace
- Prior to the event, make sure all attendees have informed you about any particular accessibility requirements they might have. For example, if any of your employees are deaf and they might feel the need to socialise while having an Auslan interpreter joining them at the event, see that you can cater to their exact needs.
- Make sure your employees are informed about all the activities you have planned for them using a variety of mediums, including email, noticeboards, or intranet.
- Provided the social gathering will be hosted in a particular area of the building, see that all employees will be able to use ramps and lifts to reach it.
- Ensure that the venue where the social gathering will be held is fully accessible to everyone. Make sure any level access options, braille signage, or enough Tactile Ground Surface Indicators are in place.
- Evaluate the ease at which a disabled employee will be able to move around within the designated space for the event. Make sure there are accessible restrooms they can use.
- Ensure all your employees will have an easy time watching and listening to the Melbourne race. Run sufficient audio-visual tests using your equipment and take the needed measures to prevent the sunlight from causing screen glares. Turn on the captions on our TV sets and ensure the space is free of hazards by taping down any loose cables.
- Figure out the best ways of encouraging all employees to get involved in your planned activities. For example, plan a “best Melbourne Cup hat/outfit” contest, but do make it clear that participation is optional. The main focus should be on not making any of your employees feel embarrassed or pressured to do something they are not entirely comfortable with doing in public.
- Be sensitive about the special dietary needs of your employees when using a catering service that will provide food and drinks during the event.
All in all, remember everyone should play a role in ensuring the inclusion of all employees with disabilities. There are a series of useful courses online that can provide support to managers as well as employees and promote better access and inclusion in the workplace during the Melbourne Cup, as well as on a regular, daily basis.