Before a meeting

1

Check the time, date, and location is good for the people with intellectual disabilities that are attending.

Think about things like planning the time so that people do not have to take public transit when it is very busy.

For in person meetings, remember to think about physical accessibility in the space too:

  • Is the building where the meeting is happening easy to navigate and find your way around?

  • Is there a front desk or someone available to help people find the room when they arrive?

  • Can wheelchair users enter and get around inside?

  • Is the location near public transport drop-off points?

2

Pay for people's costs to participate - like the cost to connect to online meetings (data charges) or transport for in-person meetings. 

3

Check the meeting invitation.

 

Make sure it includes: 

  • why the meeting is happening

  • who is running the meeting

  • what the meeting is about

  • how to get there or how to connect online

  • time and date 

  • what costs will be paid for

4

Communicate well. Make it clear, short and accessible.

 

Think about other ways to share the meeting invitation, for example by phone as well as by email. 

5

Check if the people with intellectual disabilities who are attending will need a support person.

 

Support persons should receive all the same  information that the participants get.

6

Plan your agenda. 

 

  • Keep your agenda as short as possible.  

  • Allow plenty of time for each agenda item.

  • Include icebreakers to help people feel comfortable.

  • Add breaks and time to speak with other participants. 

  • Plan activities and group work to give people space to ask questions and different ways share their ideas. Activities involving stories, art or role-plays can be helpful for making sure everyone can contribute in a way that works for them.

7

Send an agenda before the meeting.

If the agenda contains a lot of information that needs to read in advance or includes discussion sections, it should be sent at least 2 weeks before the meeting. 

The agenda should include any pre-meeting tasks (like things to read or think about) and should also list all of the discussion questions that the group will be asked. This allows people with intellectual disabilities to think about and prepare their answers ahead of time.

8

Offer extra support. 

 

A pre-meeting can help people to go through the agenda and understand what the meeting is about.

 

Have a contact person available if people have questions before the meeting.

9

Brief the meeting chairperson. Make sure they understand accessibility and reasonable accommodation requirements.

The meeting chairperson is responsible for making sure the meeting is inclusive and that everyone is taking part - they will need guidance on how to do this.

10

No last-minute changes.

 

Let people know as early as possible if the meeting is rescheduled or cancelled. 

Do not change the discussion questions or topics on the agenda if people have already prepared for them.

11

Send a reminder a day before the meeting.

Send the agenda and all the supporting information again. 

An arrow pointing from money towards a wifi symbol and a bus
A cross next to an agenda with lots of items, a tick next to an agenda with less points

Useful resources

A meeting agenda

Example of plain language agenda
 

A meeting agenda

Example of a pre-meeting prep document

A man standing in front of a flipchart

Example of chairperson briefing
 

A woman asking a question about the time and date of a meeting
A meeting invitation next to a question mark above a group of people
A mobile phone and an email symbol
A man with an intellectual disability with a support person next to him
An agenda next to a calendar, next to a group of people
A person with a disability sat in a meeting, remembering someone explaining the agenda to her
A meeting chairperson being briefed about a meeting
An crossed through agenda next to a clock
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