UN Youth is committed to ensuring our events and programmes are accessible to and inclusive of every young person in New Zealand. We recognise that our members come from all different backgrounds and have a range of different abilities.
When organising events, we consider whether we are taking all the steps we can to ensure the event remains accessible and inclusive. Our volunteers are trained and actively encouraged to plan events with concerns for accessibility at the fore. This inclusivity spans from physical venue accessibility to financial accessibility.
We hold a significant proportion of our events at New Zealand universities, which are required to a meet legally-mandated standard of physical accessibility. In addition, we take the following steps relating the venue accessibility:
- ensuring and notifying participants of access to lifts, ramps and elevators, where required
- minimising travel between active rooms
- supplying braille maps, where required
- ensuring access to gender-inclusive bathrooms and private facilities
- respecting restrictions on photography and videography
UN Youth strives to engage with and represent a diversity of social, cultural and gender backgrounds. We recognise that our members feel comfortable and included when able to find a commonality with the speakers and issues we deal with. In this area, we:
- actively strive to represent diversity in our speaker panels
- can accommodate New Zealand Sign Language interpreters
- ensure facility and program access for vision-impaired participants
- cater for different learning styles in our educational programmes (e.g. visual descriptions)
- provide and promoting alternatives to activities involving a high-level of physical movement
- apply gender-neutral dress codes and encouraging an expression of gender identity through clothing
We also recognise that our efforts in this area are not and cannot claim to be truly exhaustive. We encourage open discussion with participants to ensure that we do whatever we can to provide a comfortable experience for them.
At all of our events, we have trained welfare Volunteers who are there to support students and ensure your physical and mental well being. If you’re planning on attending one of our events and you would like to confidentially discuss any welfare or accessibility requirements you may have, please do not hesitate to contact our National Welfare Officer ([email protected]). We’ll make a plan together to ensure you can feel comfortable and participate fully at the event.