Our outreach process
Our outreach process involved reflecting on our goals to understand who was impacted by our topic but excluded from the process. We generated a list of local groups, organizations and individuals who may represent those missing perspectives, and shared it with our partners for further feedback and contribution. Once finalized, we sent email invites or made phone calls to encourage each contact to either join our workshops or run their embedded co-design events within their community. These invitations were also posted on social media and sent to different mailing lists.
Direct communication with potential participants allowed us to inquire about their needs and encourage them to join us by offering their requested accessibility services. However, for the embedded co-design events, our partner organizations were responsible for engaging their members, thus, we had a limited knowledge of the participants and their accessibility needs. Having several planning meetings with our embedded partners helped us to build a mutual understanding of the project and their members’ needs. With this knowledge, they could better encourage their members to participate in this process, and we could offer more appropriate and contextual services to enable their participation, such as sign language interpretation, tools for remote participation, and flexible facilitation guides.
- Identify vulnerable and marginalized groups who will be affected by your topic.
- Search for advocacy groups, communities, institutions, and organizations that are involved with or organized by these groups.
- Contact the people or organizations you have identified.
- Work with the organizations that agree to participate to plan a co-design approach that best suits their needs, preferences and resources.
- Be flexible and open to try new and different approaches suggested by communities.