The following checklist provides a potential structure for a project plan for community engagement with people with disabilities in particular.
This is not an exhaustive list; it is intended to stimulate thinking and be a helpful tool to ensure that you have considered the needs of all participants.
- What is the purpose of the engagement?
- What will be gained from the engagement process?
- What questions/issues will the engagement process cover?
- Has engagement occurred previously on these issues? If so, consider feedback from that engagement so as to avoid an unnecessary and repetitive process. Similarly, have other organisations undertaken engagement that would be useful to you?
Who are you engaging?
- Which individuals and groups should contribute to the issues and decisions?
- Who is affected by the decisions?
- Have you considered all groups (including people with disabilities, disabled people’s organisations, advocacy groups, carers, whānau and associated support groups)?
- For information on working with people with particular impairments, see:
- Engaging with people who are blind or vision impaired
- Engaging with people with hearing loss, who are hard of hearing or who are Deaf
- Engaging with people with complex communication needs
- Engaging with people with learning/intellectual disabilities
- Engaging with people with autism spectrum disorder.
How will the engagement process work?
- What type of engagement will you undertake? Levels of engagement are to:
- inform – one-way communication of information – from your organisation to the community including people with disabilities. In this form of engagement, the community has no input into decision-making (eg, websites and letters)
- consult – two-way communication – between your organisation and the community including people with disabilities. Its purpose is to seek the opinion of the community (eg, surveys, focus groups, social media)
- involve – working directly with the community during the engagement process, including by seeking feedback and discussing questions (eg, workshops, working/planning groups)
- collaborate – a community partnership, including shared decision-making and a co-design approach (eg, advisory committees, reference groups)
- lead – a method of engagement in which final decision-making sits with the community (eg, voting).
- Is it clear who is being consulted, about what, when and for what purpose?
- Is the information as clear, simple and concise as possible?
- Will the engagement process generate interest from the media? Consider developing a communications plan, key messages and/or media statements.
- See the accessibility section below to ensure your communications are suitable.
- Have you considered the needs of all participants?
- Will you use images, diagrams, graphs or tables in the engagement materials?
See Using images, diagrams, graphs and tables accessibly.
- Will you use a website or other online tools in the engagement process?
See Ensuring written information and printed materials are accessible and Using images, diagrams, graphs and tables accessibly.
- Will you produce written material in the engagement process?
See Ensuring written information and printed materials are accessible.
- Will you give presentations in the engagement process?
See Accessible presentations and other verbal communication.
- If you are using a venue, is it accessible?
See Venue accessibility.
- When will things happen or need to happen?
- What are the timeframes for decisions?
- Has sufficient preparation time been allowed?
- Consider the time it will take to book New Zealand Sign Language interpreters and accessible venues, and to make travel arrangements.
Resources and budget
- What is your available budget?
- Will you incur costs for the following?
- Venue costs
- Catering (food, coffee, tea, etc)
- Engagement materials (including publication, printing and distribution)
- Stationary or equipment (rental of projectors, laptops, large paper for workshops, etc)
- Advertisement or promotion costs (including promoting your event and recruit of participants)
- External facilitators
- Interpreters/translators (See Further resources and organisations for information on booking New Zealand Sign Language interpreters)
- Data analysts or data entry
- Compensation for participants for their time (honorarium or payment) and/or travel (taxis, mileage, petrol and/or parking) or any other associated expenses.
Analysis and reporting
- What information will be collected from participants?
- What reporting is needed? (eg, to decision makers, community, stakeholders)
- Will you use images, diagrams, graphs or tables in your reports?
See Using images, diagrams, graphs and tables accessibly.
- Will you use testimonials to support the reports?
See Using testimonials.
- How will the success of the engagement be determined?
- After the process is complete, it is helpful to reflect on the engagement. Can any improvements be made next time?
- Is any support required for data analysis or data entry?
- Will you provide feedback to participants? If so, what level and type? When will you provide feedback?
See Feeding back to participants
- How will you provide feedback? Consider the format – including the accessibility of your communication, follow-up meetings, websites, etc. For information on ensuring feedback is accessible, see:
- Will participants continue to be contacted? Is ongoing discussion or communication needed?
- Ensure that participants are acknowledged and thanked for their time and expertise in the consultation process.
Review and reflection
- Will you seek feedback on the engagement process?
- If so, you could ask some of the following questions.
- Was anyone left out who should have been included?
- Did participants feel satisfied with the process?
- Did people feel listened to, heard and respected?
- Were participants satisfied with the feedback you provided on how their input was used?
- Was the process useful for achieving the desired outcomes?
- Were time and money used efficiently?
- Were there any unintended consequences?
- What could have been done differently and why?