Spread the Word’s Access Policy
As part of Spread the Word’s mission to support underrepresented writers and to celebrate diverse voices, we have created an Access Policy to highlight our commitment to disabled writers, their families, friends and carers. Our commitments include:
• We have curated an Access List* which enables writers who identify as disabled to receive priority booking to events listed on our seasonal programmes. This will enable you to let us know which events you’d like to attend and what support you need so we can set this up for you. You can sign up to the list below:
Online workshops and events
All of our online workshops and events are auto-captioned as standard.
We will say if there are BSL interpreters booked for any of our events/ workshops and list the names of the interpreters. If BSL interpreters are not listed and you require this service, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put interpreters in place if we are able to book them. Spread the Word will cover the cost for this and we ask, where possible, for three weeks’ notice to give us a good chance of finding BSL interpreters and sending them the preparatory information in advance.
Our online events have a relaxed format; you are welcome to take breaks at any point, turn your camera off. All our online sessions have breaks.
We will send through any reading that is part of a session seven days in advance. We can create adapted handouts to writers attending our workshops and events by request.
Our online workshops and events take place on Zoom. As standard, we will send the weblinks to participants a week in advance. If you require the dial in phone number, email us email@example.com and we can send it through to you. Zoom accessibility information can be found here: https://zoom.us/accessibility/faq#faq1
We actively support and encourage disabled writers to tell us if they have any additional access requirements that we can put in place to support them to participate in our work.
Each event listing on our website has an accessibility notice outlining what access provision is already in place for the event and outlines how people can get in touch with us to request additional access support.
Live events held in external venues
Our live events retain similar principles to our online activities, and additionally:
All venues in which we run our workshops and events are fully accessible and close to transport links that are accessible.
All disabled writers are entitled to bring a carer with them to our events (at no additional cost).
Our projects and programmes
We want to ensure that disabled writers are able to enter our annual prizes and competitions: video and audio submissions are welcome alongside / instead of written applications. We are also committed to providing forms in different formats for our projects and prizes.
We want to increase opportunities for disabled writers. Our development scheme, the London Writers Awards is for London-based writers of colour and working-class writers, LGBTQIA writers+, D/deaf and disabled writers. The scheme provides bursaries and an access fund.
We want to improve the visibility of disabled writers and welcome and encourage their inclusion in our major prizes and programme, including developing work to support the needs of disabled writers such as Experimental!
Our website, social media and online presence
We make provisions to ensure disabled audiences can access our online content. These include:
Alt-text and descriptions of images on our website and social media
- All of our video/ audio interviews will have subtitles or transcripts available for our audience to access.
Using plain, simple language in our communications
Stating on our website exactly what access provisions are available at our events (in person and online) for disabled writers
We know that the booking system on our website is not fully accessible to Blind writers. If you would like to book one of our workshops, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure your booking is put through. We are in the process of developing a new website which will be fully accessible. We recommend that Blind writers sign up to our Access List to receive priority booking of our seasonal programmes.
We know we may not have covered all aspects of disability in the policy, nor do we have all the answers as to what different people need, which is why we would value your feedback on how we can ensure more writers feel welcome at our events, workshops and to work with us. With your input, and by openly communicating with disabled people and their friends, families and carers, we can get a better idea of your needs and how best we can facilitate access to our programme. We will regularly review our access policy to ensure we are responding to the needs of our audiences and feedback we receive.
As the Spread the Word team are working from home, we do not currently have a landline phone number. If you have an enquiry you can send an email with your phone number and request a call back if speaking on the phone is better for you.
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Updated April 2021