During a meeting

1

At the start of your meeting set the tone.  

 

Make it clear that all participants must be respected and have valuable contributions to make.

 

An icebreaker at the start of a meeting can help make everyone feel welcome and valued.​

2

Set ground rules to help with accessibility.

 

For example: 

  • one speaker at a time

  • speak slowly and clearly

  • pause the meeting to clarify when someone does not understand

  • keep to the agenda

  • listen to and respect one another

 

The group can help set the rules. 

3

Use accessible language

 

Remind speakers to use clear, everyday language and avoid jargon and acronyms.

 

Make sure information is presented simply. 

Red/yellow accessibility cards can help. A yellow card means the person needs the meeting to slow down and a red card means the person needs the meeting to pause to ask a question or catch-up.

 

Everyone in the meeting (both people with and without intellectual disabilities) should have cards and know how to use them.

4

Make sure good support is happening.

 

Support people should be respectful and should not take part in the meeting themselves.

 

Support people may speak if the person they are supporting asks them to clarify a point or explain something.

 

Support people may ask speakers to explain things more clearly or to slow down or pause. 

Some examples of bad support are: 

  •  telling people with intellectual disabilities what to say

  • speaking for the people they are supporting

  • interrupting them

  • not paying attention to the meeting 

  • asking closed or leading questions, like “you agree with this point don’t you?”

If you think bad support is happening wait until the break and address it with the person with an intellectual disability.

 

More information about how to give good support is available on the Good Support page.​

5

Follow the agenda as much as possible.

 

People will often have prepared what they want to say in advance for each agenda item.

Recap what has been spoken about and agreed upon before moving on to the next part of the meeting.

6

Provide extra time.  

 

Support people may need extra time to explain ideas or translate information.

 

Include time at the end of a meeting for people to ask questions and give feedback on how the meeting went.

A group of people in a meeting with their thumbs up
A group of people watching a woman present group rules
Four people in a meeting, all saying their ideas
A yellow card next to a clock and a plus sign, a red card next to a stop sign
A facilitator asking a person with a disability a question
A cross sign next to a support person talking over someone
An agenda with arrows showing that each item is happening as planned
A clock with extra time, above a person giving feedback to a meeting facilitator

Useful resources

An easy read document

Example of a Plain Language Agenda

A woman pointing to rules on a flipchart

Example of ground rules