One size doesn’t fit all

It is important to remember that people are different!  Just as people in one equalities group might have specific needs, they might also encounter particular barriers to engaging with you.  These barriers are likely to be quite different between groups. 

People who face recognised barriers to their participation have very diverse needs and circumstances, although their experiences of being excluded from community engagement processes are often very similar. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to engaging equalities groups will not work.

Source:  Taken from Scottish Government’s Advice Note on Equalities and the National Standards.  Below we look at the potential barriers to engagement, and how these could be overcome.  Before reading on, why don't you complete the challenges on the right hand side?

Potential barriers to engagement

The Scottish Government’s Guidance on Consultation with Equalities Groups highlights a number of barriers you should consider when choosing a way of engaging equalities groups:

The methods used - for example, by relying on methods which use IT, or which focus only on written communication.

Physical barriers - for example the inaccessibility of venues or the lack of facilities at events.

Attitudinal barriers - the ways in which staff approach or respond to groups and individuals and the assumptions they make.

Financial - many equalities organisations lack resources and this often affects whether they can respond to consultations.

Cultural - for example, using inappropriate facilities or language.

Source:  Adapted from the Scottish Government’s Guidance on Consultation with Equalities Groups.