Through the School Games, young people across the country are engaging in inspiring and meaningful activity, whether this be during self-isolation, or in bubbles within school.
When engaging young people- either directly or through schools, take a moment to consider how accessible and inclusive your communications promoting the opportunities are. The last thing we collectively want to see is the digital divide getting wider and young people missing out on activities.
The communications you send are a vital component of what it means to be involved in the School Games. It is important to attract a range of young people into your activity and therefore is vitally important that every communication you send whether it is a calendar of events, promotional material or a newsletter, reaches the widest possible audience.
Below you can see how Somerset Local Organising Committee member, Carly Martin, signed a number of messages to engage young people with hearing impairments to get involved in virtual competitions (inclusive dance) during lockdown.
The more people you can successfully communicate with the better, ensuring messages are received and understood. However, despite the great advances in technology, which make mass communications deliverable at the click of a button, there are several different factors that prevent some individuals from receiving your communications.
There are approximately 1.3 million young people attending schools in England with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, which has risen since the previous year. Therefore, young people with SEND are a large part of your potential audience. Alongside this, there are estimated to be 11 million people with SEND in the UK which means the communications you share need to be accessible for parents/carers as well as young people directly. As with any cohort of individuals, there can be no one-size fits all approach to how or what you communicate. As more schools and families have increased their digital usage, there is a growing trend towards personalisation of communications, people want to receive your information how and when they choose to receive it and on a device of their choice.
Activity Alliance have developed principles for inclusive and accessible communications, working in new and creative ways to reach and inform more young people. To support you, there are new videos that cover six topics.
The videos can be found here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA7MMK5VqkdpMG8ljrBClFG1af3wlvhTl
Other resources that would be particularly relevant during these times (a checklist for accessible comms and inclusive marketing) also are attached on the right-hand side.