When we think of inclusive facilities we generally focus on accessibility. By making sure your physical space is accessible and inviting to many, you will open up your hub to a broader range of people from the get-go.
Spaces can create a positive or negative experience for people operating in your hub. Without conscious and intentional design, your space may be awkward or intimidating for certain groups.
Instead of designing different experiences for different users, inclusive design uses the same system to meet everyone’s needs. Think of accessibility as akin to user experience, great design is a system which meets all the needs present, seamlessly regardless of whether they’re permanent, temporary or situational (Read more about this concept here).
There are different ways to think about ability. This site takes a very high level categorised the impairment needs people can have by;
- Mental/Perceptual/Learning Disability
On this page you’ll find
Signage and accessibility
Tips to help you do the best you can within the confines of our space.
Suppliers & Vendors
Tips to help you leverage your influence as a customer to start the D&I conversation with our suppliers/vendors?
Inclusive Physical Space
This short section has succinct checklists and guides which can help get your hub up to speed with basic inclusive accessibility and planning.
Your focus should be to create a physical space that allows for the free movement of differently-abled people through the hub space as well as creating an inclusive environment for your community members or visitors to flourish.
Steps for Creating Inclusive Spaces
- Take the Survey for Inclusive Physical Hub Space (below)
- Once completed, map the gaps and solutions for closing them
- Meet with your Community Team to discuss next steps
Survey for Inclusive Physical Hub Space
Use this quick survey to review the facilities within your hub and factors affect access to your hub.
Public transport, childcare options signage and physical layout are all considered.
Addressing the Gaps
Use the results from your survey to
Use this guide to help inform your planning and decisions
- Space Dimensions – search 4.13, 4.14, 4.3, 4.5
- Ramp Dimensions – search 4.8
“Achievable Barrier Removal Checklist for Existing Facilities” Section
- Elevator – search 4.1.3(5), 4.3
- Podiums – search 4.2, 4.32, 7.2
ADA Accessibility signs & labels site to purchase replacements
Guide of your space
- Get a member of the community/operations team to give the person a full tour of the space
- Create a clear short onboarding video with audio and subtitles which gives a tour of your hub (you can put this on your website too!)
- Purchase a 3D printed a map of your hubs space
- Provided they can lip read – Get a member of the community/operations team to give the person a full tour of the space
- Create a short subtitled onboarding video that gives a virtual tour of your hub (you can put this on your website too!)
- Provide them with a map of the space
- Quiet Space: Take a look at this article on creating quiet spaces for visitors/community members who are on the spectrum (The room could also double up as a meditation space)
- Lighting and Air Conditioning Control: People with sensory conditions make be perceive stimuli in an under-sensitive or overly sensitive way. Having technology that allows the facilities team to modify levels of brightness, sound, the temperature can help make your space more comfortable for everyone.
If your facility is small you might not have the capacity to allocate a room to this full time. Instead, you can block off a regular time slot in a specific room and designate it to prayer.
A Mother’s Room
Women who are breastfeeding need a safe, quiet, clean and private space to pump breastmilk several times a day.
This should be as comfortable as possible, not in the restroom. Some key features of this room should be
– A locking door
– Drinking water
– A comfortable seat
– An outlet
– If possible, place near a source of both hot and cold water for washing hands, pump attachments and milk collection containers.
A Prayer Room
A space like this gives people a safe space to practice their religion and can act as a breakout space for non-religious people to rejuvenate.
Use the link below to think about whether your hub might have the capacity to create a space a multi-faith room
Gender Neutral Bathroom
While many restrooms traditionally have been male or female, providing gender-inclusive restrooms can help create a safe and supportive environment in your hub.
Not only does it allow transgender and gender non-binary people to safely use the restrooms, but it also allows people with disabilities to have a caretaker of a different gender to assist them in restrooms. It takes a little getting used to at first, but many will find it a huge relief.
The Journey To Your Hub
- Public Transport: If there isn’t accessible public transport to your hub, consider whether your hub can subsidise their travel costs.
- Parking and Drop Off Areas – 4.6
- Clear pathways – 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7
- Call for Assistance: If you don’t have Disabled Access Buttons at your doors then people with limited mobility will have no way to enter if they are on their own. Consider your own space and what your reception area can do to facilitate a seamless entry into your hub. Call for Assistance buttons should also be at every door within your space that can’t be opened automatically.
Meeting with the Community Team
What to cover in this meeting
1. Discuss the accessible facilities you have available in your space and the gaps you have identified.
2. Work with them to prioritise your next steps based on your communities needs (e.g. if you have a community member who is in a wheelchair, you’ll need to prioritise wheelchair accessibility)
3. Clarify what accommodations the community team can take in instances where there are gaps (These should be for short and long term planning)
4. Discuss longer-term goals to improve the accessibility of the space.
5. Discuss which channels you’ll use to let people know about your accessibility and the accommodations that can be made (see Signalling below)
Now that you’ve established what accessible facilities you have in your space, and how your hub can accommodate for some facilities you don’t have, the next step is to determine where and how you are communicating those facilities/services externally.
Whether you are a fully accessible space or partially accessible, there are certain touch-points where you can highlight this message to draw attention to the fact that people
Where are these touch-points?
- At the entrance of your hub
- On your website
- On event invitations/registrations
- At reception
What should you write?
“Our space is accessible for all wheelchair users. We also have some capacity to support those with visual and hearing impairments. Feel free to ask our reception team more about this!”
At the entrance of the hubs, on the website, on invitations/registration pages.
“Our space is fully accessible for all wheelchair users. We also have some capacity to support those with visual and hearing impairments. If you’d like to discuss how we can make your time in our hub as enjoyable as possible, reach out to our reception team at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop into us on the ground floor entrance.”
- Directional signage inside the space
- Sign on/beside the door of the room
Intentional Purchasing Power
As a customer of suppliers and vendors, your hub has influence for your hub the consumer power to start the D&I conversation.
Develop a Supplier Diversity Program
A supplier diversity program can be a very impactful way to expand your diversity goals beyond your physical space.
Use this short guide to review the criteria you use to measure your suppliers and start the conversation about D&I.