The Dignity Project is committed to upholding the rights of all people, in particular the rights of people with disability and strives to create a research environment free from barriers to participation. The below commitments are the mechanisms to help us bring our values to life in day to day operations.

Our commitment:

1. Use language that aligns with aforementioned values

The Dignity Project recognises that everyday language plays an influential part in forming people’s perceptions and identities. The Dignity Project and The Hopkins Centre will use person first language, focusing on the individual first and if at all, a disability or impairment second. We recognize and uphold each individual’s right to self-identify what terms, pronouns, and language is best for them and we respect individual use of language and terminology.

Please note the following section refers to external communications and does not override that we will respect and use a person’s preferred language when referring to them in communication or when referring to them specifically in external media.

The Dignity Project will:

  • As per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, all communications and media will refer to individuals or the collective as a ‘person with disability’ or ‘people with disabilities'
  • Not use euphemisms such as ‘differently-abled' or ‘different abilities’
  • Not use words that present impairment negatively such as ‘suffer’, ‘stricken’, ‘afflicted’, ‘tragic’, ‘dependent’, ‘victim’ or use words that patronise or exaggerate basic human experiences by using words like ‘inspirational’
  • Not use pejoratives that derive from diagnostic language or medical terminology
  • Where relevant, when referring to a person’s use of any assistive aid/device we will refer to the person as the ‘user’ e.g. “wheelchair user” not “wheelchair bound”.

2. Embed accessibility into development and prototyping of all experiences

Consideration for accessibility and user testing encompasses online environments, content and resource creation, visual media, physical spaces and support.

To ensure citizens with disability can access and utilise The Dignity Project webpage, Community Hub platform and resources, accessibility experts will be engaged during development and accessibility audits will be performed. The Centre for Accessibility (CFA) is a partner on the Dignity Project and have resources available:

The Dignity Project will:

  • Engage CFA at specific milestones throughout product and resource development
  • Ensure all technical partners and contractors are familiar with most recent WCAG standards and implementation
  • Undertake internal testing
  • Provide resource material in a wide range of accessible formats e.g. Easy English, visual media, screen reader friendly documents etc.
  • All visual media will be accompanied by ‘alt text’ or image descriptions, closed captioning and audio description or transcription
  • When working closely with people with disability, an individualised approach to access will be taken e.g. The person will be asked what support they need to participate effectively

3. Promote authentic representation as per core value

We understand that it is our responsibility to create and promote imagery and media that reflect the real-life experiences of citizens.

The Dignity Project will:

  • Consider messaging and framing and all facets of diversity including diversity of impairment when selecting and using imagery
  • Where stock imagery fails, create imagery
  • Engage people with disability in image selection

4. Ensure diversity of experience

The Dignity Project recognises the value of lived experience in research and the importance of engaging people with disability from a diversity of backgrounds in development and design. The project team will be strategic about their approach to recruitment and citizen engagement ensuring that diversity and intersectionality are considered.

The Dignity Project will:

  • Develop an impact and distribution strategy that includes organisations that represent Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), First People and LGBTQIA+ communities and a variety of disability organisation and service providers
  • The project team will engage CALD, First People and LGBTQIA+ community members when creating relevant research questions, surveys, content or media
  • Actively seek and support research staff/contractors with disability

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