Helping people take part in research and events

February 14, 2019 by No Comments | Category Digital Participation, Scottish Approach to Service Design, Uncategorized

Making events more accessible

This blog is by Dr Philip J Kirk, Senior User Researcher in the Digital Directorate. 

As an organisation providing services for citizens, we’re responsible for making sure research and design activities are inclusive and accessible. We must avoid unintentionally excluding anyone, for example because venues cannot accommodate an assistance dog.

This is something I feel really passionate about. I organised a multi-disciplinary working group from the Digital Directorate to come up with a consistent way of asking attendees of research events – or any event we organise – about their needs.

We created an inclusion form which attendees can fill in and send to us, so that we can give them the support they need.

Our first step was finding out what research had been done before. We found that VisitScotland had an Inclusive and Accessible Events guide for organisers and the Scottish Government’s Facilities Services team were trialling a Neatebox tool to get feedback on accessibility needs.

We used a form developed for an earlier project as a starting point, and began testing it with people attending events. The results of which will be published next week. It was generally positively received as people could tell us more about their disability, but we found that the information didn’t identify how we could help them take part in the event.

We needed to design a form which captured enough information to help people take part, without capturing unnecessary personal or sensitive information according to new GDPR rules. 

Our group used form design, inclusive language and easy read best practice to create a new form which gives a list of options and support available to help people take part. We’ve also included some instructions for the event organiser and a privacy notice to explain how and why we’re using personal information. 

We will be publishing the results of the form testing next week. If you would like more information email

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