This checklist is intended as a guide to encourage members and staff who are preparing CUPE materials to ensure that these materials are as accessible as possible, reflecting the diversity of our membership and responding to their needs.
Here are some questions to ask when you write:
- Who are the members from equality-seeking groups I need to think about in my writing? What issues do they face at work and in their communities?
- Does my writing show awareness, acceptance and support for issues facing members from equalityseeking groups?
- Am I writing about the issue in a way that reflects the experience of - and impact on - members from all races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds?
- Do I reflect the experience of both women and men?
- Do I include the experience of members with physical and mental disabilities?
- Have I been inclusive of members’ sexual orientation and gender identity?
- Have I included the experience of members of all age groups?
- Is the language I use as clear as it can be? Do any of the words I use need to be explained?
- Will this work reach members of any educational level? Could I use shorter words, sentences and paragraphs?
- Does the language I use make some members feel invisible because it’s too general? Can I use examples that identify impacts on equality seekers including women, workers of colour, Aboriginal workers, workers with disabilities, or lesbian, gay or transgendered activists?
- Do members from diverse cultures understand what I am trying to say? Have I checked it out with them?
- Have I used any words that continue stereotypes or demean members?
- Is it possible that any of the words I use might leave some members feeling excluded? For example, unless they’re expressly included, ‘family’ is a word that can make members in nontraditional family relationships feel excluded. If my writing includes case studies, do I use names from different cultures? Do I use case studies that reflect issues faced by different members?
- Do photographs or other graphic images reflect the diversity of CUPE’s membership?
- Do I need to provide a large print version or taped version of print materials for members with visual disabilities? Or other alternate formats for other members?
- Does my work need to be translated to reach all the language groups in the membership?
- How will we get this information to members who can’t read it?
Want to learn more? CUPE has a range of courses and resources to help you become more aware of equality issues - and more effective in ending discrimination. For more information, contact the Equality Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org.