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  5. Inclusive Practices Toolkit
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  5. Inclusive Practices Toolkit
  6. Preparing Inclusive Event Material
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  3. Recording Secretary
  4. Inclusive Practices Toolkit
  5. Preparing Inclusive Event Material

Written Materials

Having written materials available in a variety of print and digital formats creates accessibility for wider audiences and removes barriers to participation.

Using plain language summaries of complex documents means that people with literacy challenges or those whose first language is not the language of the document, can still participate in discussions.

Providing audio recordings of documents is also a method that could be explored.

Offering copies of materials on a memory stick or a website allows people to use their own technology, with whatever adaptations they use, to review the materials. If the material is put on a website, that website must be accessible.

Documents in high contrast (black and white) and in large font (minimum 16 pt. font, but 24 is better) should be made available.

Including access symbols on pre-conference materials will alert people to accessibility and support services available. It may also be useful to print symbols on signage for event activities.

For a list of commonly recognized symbols, see “Appendix B”.

Audio-Visual Materials/Presentations

Providing audio-visual materials such as videos, audio files, music, etc. may also assist with inclusion.

When presenting charts, tables, or diagrams, presenters should describe what is on the screen so that all participants receive the necessary information.

Transcribing of any audio files should be done as a matter of course so that people with hearing impairment or auditory processing difficulty have access to the material being shared.

Event Registration

Information collected on event registration forms will allow Unifor to put in place individualized accommodations required by participants. All those attending events and meetings including guest presenters should be asked to register so that Unifor will be better positioned to host an inclusive event.

Registration forms should include questions about accessibility needs. These could be addressed in each council and/or event call letter with a line such as:

Unifor works to remove all barriers. If you have a specific Human Rights Code/
Act related need, please let us know in advance so that we may take reasonable
steps to accommodate.

Additionally, through the registration form Unifor should request all attendees avoid wearing perfume or using heavily scented products during the event.

Interpretation and Intervener Services

Interpretation services allow individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing to fully participate in the event. These services are in high demand and require advance booking. Interpretation services may include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, Langue des Signes Québécoise (LSQ) interpretation, oral interpretation (for individuals who lip-read rather than using sign language), Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), or FM or infrared systems.

FM and infra-red systems are amplifying units for people who are hard of hearing. The FM system has strong amplification capacity and portability. Note: some assistive listening systems may work only for some hard of hearing people with a T-switch on their hearing aids, while others may need to wear a headset. It is best to ask in advance which of these options are needed.

For any event longer than one hour more than one interpreter will be required.

Deafblind individuals will not benefit from the above interpretation services. They require an intervener which is a specialized attendant trained to communicate with deafblind people via methods such as signing into their hands.


Deaf and hard of hearing people also benefit immensely from captioning services. Captioning services may be provided remotely (off-site) through an internet connection or on-site through Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). The advantage of off-site captioning is that captioning can be provided for events taking place online (e.g. web conferences, webinars) or when events are physical gatherings, the interpreters can caption from their office and save travel and accommodation expenses. The advantage of on-site CART services is that if your internet connection fails, or the microphone does not pick up all audio (such as questions from the audience), the interpreter can continue fully captioning.

Creating an Inclusive Schedule

The pacing and structure of meetings and event are also important to creating an inclusive experience. When creating a schedule the Union should:

  • Allow enough time during presentations for questions and discussions because not everyone can respond at a pre-determined pace; and
  • Recognize that some individuals will have specific needs. For example, they may need to use medication throughout the day, require periods of rest, or must have scheduled eating times. The union should schedule regular breaks to allow people time to attend to these needs. Failure to do so could result in unnecessary exclusion from parts of the meeting or event.

Individuals who do not have their own vehicle may need to use public transit to get to and from the event venue(s). Starting and ending meeting events while public transit is still running regularly or arranging alternative accessible transportation is desirable.

Accessible Transport for Rallies and Marches

For any events off-site, for example marches or rallies, the union should ensure that there is transportation for those with mobility needs.

Participation in Meetings and Events

Unifor should make available roving, wireless microphones for those with mobility needs who may be unable to get to a floor microphone. Staff should be assigned to take a microphone to a member/delegate/participant in need of one. A bright flash card system can be put in place to signal the need for a wireless microphone.

Floor risers should be removed from all microphones so that workers with mobility needs have equal access. Alternatively, ramped microphones could be placed at various points in the room to create ease of access.

Providing staggered tables with adequate spacing allows people with mobility devices the freedom to choose where to sit and promotes accessibility.

For more helpful accessible seating layouts, please see “Appendix C” attached.

Placing chairs beside each microphone allows those unable to stand the opportunity to rest while they await a turn to speak.

Stages should be accessible and a stage ramp for those will mobility-related needs should always be in place as a best practice and as a visible sign of inclusion.


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