Making events more accessible: return of the inclusion form

February 21, 2019 by No Comments | Category Digital Participation, Scottish Approach to Service Design

Dr Philip J Kirk, Senior User Researcher in the Digital Directorate shares an update on the work the Office of the Chief Designer is doing to help make events more accessible.

As an organisation providing services for citizens, we’re responsible for making sure research and design activities are inclusive and accessible. This includes making sure we don’t unintentionally exclude anyone, for example because venues cannot accommodate an assistance dog.

This is something the user-centred design community is really passionate about. We developed some new inclusive tools and asked colleagues across the Scottish Government for help in testing them. We had a great response with 12 teams offering to help test a new form and provide feedback.

The inclusion form received positive feedback, with users telling us it was easy to use, making them feel “like we had thought about them”. We also heard it had created a “good conversation starter on individual needs”.

However, few people returned the form. We looked a bit deeper into this and discovered that, because people didn’t know what they would be asked to do on the day, they often couldn’t think about what would help them take part. More detail on this can be found on  the Redesigning Design blog, written by my colleague Dr Dhruv Sharma.

A research project using the form developed an activity table to provide people with information about what would happen at the event. This resulted in better information on how we can help attendees. We have added this table to our own and are sending both to people joining our events.

The feedback we’ve received includes the following from a participant:

“There are quite a lot of sessions and events taking place … that are requiring levels of participation, particularly with group exercises that people may not feel comfortable taking part in due to disabilities.

“They sent [the inclusion form] but also sent out an [activity form] about the various methods they would be using to collect and display information, such as ‘are you able to use post-its of different colours?’, ‘are you able to move around a room easily?’

“This was excellent and made me feel a lot less anxious about the day. Brilliant”.

For more information on this work, email

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