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News & Insights 29 July 2022

Inclusive communication at Action Tutoring: Why it matters

Action Tutoring is proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities organisation for its staff and volunteers. We’re always looking to attract the very best volunteers from the most diverse and widest possible talent pool.

We understand that language can break barriers, but without us realising, it can also create them. That’s why adopting inclusive language and communication is one of our top priorities. 

It is important that everyone feels comfortable and receives the information they need in the most effective way. What we mean by inclusive communication is sharing information in a way that everybody can understand.  

Why is inclusive communication important? 

It is estimated that one in seven people in the world have some form of disability, including vision impairment, being deaf or hard of hearing, physical and learning disabilities.

All these groups of people should be able to enjoy life opportunities and participate in different activities in the same way as anyone else.

Equal access for people with disabilities is both the right thing to do and a legal obligation under the Equalities Act 2010. It is extremely important to apply it in our work so we don’t exclude any potential tutors or job applicants.

Just as important as what we communicate is how we communicate it. We recognise that people understand and express themselves in different ways and in order to meet their needs, it is essential to use inclusive communication in all forms; written, verbally, on our website and social media platforms, presentations (internally or externally), and face to face.

This helps us create an environment of respect in which every individual is welcomed, valued, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

How do we make communication more accessible?

Our communications team understands the power that language and visuals hold. For this reason, they try different communication approaches so that no one is left behind. They encourage everyone in our organisation to respect and acknowledge that people’s ability to access and process messages is as varied as they are.

We all try to implement the following strategies in order to be as inclusive in our communication as possible.

✔️ We use plain English when communicating with external audiences. This means using simple, everyday words, and explaining acronyms or Action Tutoring terms. For example, instead of saying ‘WAG’ for ‘Working at Grade’, we prefer to simply say ‘the grade at which the pupil is currently working’.

✔️ In our blogs, social media posts and emails to tutors, we avoid using figures of speech and idioms, as these can be challenging for autistic people and speakers of English as an additional language.

✔️ In our additional resources for volunteer tutors, we have included a Diversity and Inclusion tutor code of conduct in order to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and in accordance with Equal Opportunities policies. If you want to learn more about what we expect from our volunteers, you can read our D&I tutor code of conduct here.

We are always mindful of accessibility when it comes to our content on our website. We use text instead of graphics when sharing important information, so that those using a screen reader can access it.

✔️ Inclusive communication is not a one-and-done box ticking activity. It’s an ongoing process and requires constant learning and adjustment. Our team is always looking for new ways to improve how we communicate and include as many people as possible in our cause.

It’s time to make a conscious decision to create a welcoming and  safe environment for everyone. When we strive to be more inclusive, everyone benefits!

Can you support our cause?

If you could spare an hour each week to help disadvantaged young people receive the academic support they need in English and maths, apply today to join our cause.

We’d love to hear from you!

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