DISCLAIMER: This policy template is for your use as you see fit. You may modify it to suit the needs of your station. It was made in conjunction with consultation with people with a disability and other persons working in the community radio sector in Australia as part of a 3 year Doctoral research project conducted by Kim Stewart, 2018.
Note! To support full accessibility, this policy should be provided in both accessible electronic and hard copy forms.
Accessible PDF and WORD versions at these links:
Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
1. Aim of this policy
The Australian community radio sector is dedicated to:
“Access and equity, especially for people and issues not adequately represented in other media” (CBAA Codes of Practice 2008, Guiding Principles).
This includes people with a disability.
Participation in, and proper representation of, people with a disability in the media has clear social benefits but these benefits cannot be realised without social change. The need for change is recognised at international and national levels. For example, the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with a Disability (2006) and the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) outline the obligations of governments, institutions and individuals to recognise the civil rights of people with a disability.
Community broadcasters provide open access to resources for self-representation and social inclusion. Through their policies, processes and actions community broadcasters enable diversity in social participation. They can signal to their communities their commitment to helping people with a disability to be meaningfully included in all aspects of their operations. This policy aims to articulate the key features of meaningful participation for people with a disability in the community broadcasting sector and should complement any existing diversity, employment, volunteering, representation or other station policies.
This policy is a statement of the intention of the station to make an effort to consider the particular needs of people with a disability in planning and operations to the best of our abilities. Relevant framing documents and resources are listed at the end of this policy.
2. Areas this policy covers
2.1 Access our buildings and other facilities for all volunteers:
2.1.1 Our station will make an effort to be accessible to all volunteers. We will consider the particular needs for accessibility to the building and facilities for people with a disability wanting to participate (eg. Accessible signage, toilets , that accommodate wheelchairs, document accessibility for screen readers, documents offered in preferred format);
2.1.2 Our station will regularly audit the accessibility of buildings and make changes where possible (in addition to WHS requirements);
2.1.3 Accessibility will include the physical structure of the station, but also: literature produced by the station in paper or electronic form, newsletters, forms, training materials and other resources etc (eg. is a document accessible to screen readers for the vision-impaired, or written in plain English for those with learning impairments?);
2.1.4 Accessibility will also include respectful treatment by staff and volunteers for people with a disability:
- In making complaints and resolving disputes;
- In providing opportunities to receive suggestions about how our station can better facilitate inclusion of a person or group;
- And nominate an assistant volunteer, station advocate, mentor or other helper to help facilitate inclusion of people with a disability in these processes if necessary;
2.2 People with a disability will have the same right to participate in station decision-making processes by participating as volunteers, subscribers, staff, or members of the board of management; and
2.2.1 Our station will take offer professional development opportunities to educate staff and volunteers about these obligations;
2.2.2 Our station will implement an Accessibility Action Plan to make concrete our commitment to the principles in this policy;
2.2.3 Our station will endeavour to make people with a disability and all volunteers feel welcome, wanted, accepted, respected and supported.
3. This policy reflects the spirit of our legal obligations under:
United Nations. (2007). Convention of the Rights of Persons with a Disability https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html
Disability Discrimination Act (Australian Government, 1992) https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00339
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. (2008). Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice
References and further reading:
Community Broadcasting Association of Australian (2016) Diversity Policy
RPH Australia (2017) Diversity Policy
RPH Australia (2016) Equal Opportunity Policy
Harvey Community Radio (undated) Access and Inclusion Policy
Attitude Foundation (2018)
For resources, templates for action plans and more information on how to implement this policy contact:
The Community Radio Inclusion Support Project
Plain English version
Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Your Rights while at our community radio station
People with a disability have a right to be part of community radio.
This radio station tries to be easy for people with a disability to join by:
- Asking you what you need to participate;
- Giving you support to make decisions if you need it;
- Making a plan to help you do the usual things we do at a community radio station, if you choose to;
- Encouraging you to bring a support worker with you if you choose;
- Letting you know who you can talk to if you have a problem;
- Giving you information you need to join in a way you can understand;
- Making you feel welcome to be here!
There are laws that support your right to participate including United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with a Disability (2007), the Disability Discrimination Act (1992), and the Community Radio Codes of Practice (2008).
If you need to talk to someone about your participation, you can call:
Our station manager
Your support person or station advocate
Welcome to community radio!