For those working on large infrastructure projects, or where the public have a vested interest, consultation could be an integral part of the process.
Dependent upon your service provision, it may be wise to establish a consumer group of disabled people representing the full range of disabilities, gathered from representative organisations, staff or catchment areas. This group would work collectively to agree the effectiveness of your operational plan and assist in design development and an agreement of strategies.
In other projects, public consultation will include all and therefore the consultation should reflect this; understanding the local demographics is essential. A few key points to remember are:
- Ensure all presentation material is accessible and available in alternative formats.
- When establishing a group of consultees, forward planning is essential, setting meeting dates at the start and allowing time for alternative formats and responses.
- Meeting and exhibition locations should be accessible.
- Funding may be required for accessible transport, alternative formats, etc.
- Maintain a consistent core of members.
At JSA we have decades of experience working with consultation groups and can provide advice concerning formats, locations and chair or mentor groups where necessary.