An inclusive welcome! Some top tips

Inclusivity is about how people feel as well as physical access

Inclusion isn’t just about lifts and ramps, it’s about how we make people feel from their first interaction with us. It’s about love, respect, curiosity and creativity and problem solving!

If you run activities – indoors or outside – try our top tips for a truly inclusive welcome.

1. First impressions start early

Begin from the moment someone hears about your activity. with clear, readable printed and online communications. Use simple language and check for clarity – Hemingway Editor is fun to use –

2. People know themselves best

Let people make up their own minds whether they can access places, and use short simple descriptions for getting in and around your place.

  • ‘Unmade path’, ‘Sloping ground’, ‘5 steps with handrail’, ‘Big Loo’, ‘1st Floor, no lift’, ‘Narrow doors’
  • Offer a phone number for people to chat it through and find out what they need to know
  • What to expect – tell people as much as you can so they can decide if it’s for them – quiet or noisy, number of people there, what the space is like
  • How to find the place – name bus routes and landmarks nearby

3. When people first get there

The first few seconds on arrival can affect how someone feels thereafter, so it is important to get that first welcoming moment right.

  • Good signage outside with welcome, instruction where to go if needed (upstairs etc), and a description of activities on offer
  • Someone with the single role of meet and greet is available and ready to say ”Hi, come in!” and to
    • Introduce themselves first and then ask people for their name
    • Tell people who they can ask for help if they are not sure
    • Lead people into the space, tell them where everything they might need
    • Pass them to someone who can help them get involved in something straight away
  • Sometimes people might hang around outside because they are not sure about what to do or what is going on inside – go out and have a chat.

For specific information about creating an inclusive space for disabled people have a look at You’re Welcome Gloucestershire – its great stuff!

A word cloud showing key words from Space to Connect research about inclusion - the most prominent words are Transport, Money, Isolation and Depression.
A word cloud showing a Creative Sustainability organisational review of what we mean by Inclusion and what barriers there might be to feeling included