City of Darebin

Communicating Access and Inclusion

How a council committed to co-design, collaboration and community consultation created a modern, inclusive landscape for its residents.

The Challenge

Around one in five Australians has a disability.

One of Melbourne’s more fabulous councils, the City of Darebin, recognises the Social Model of Disability, which states that people with impairments are disabled by environments filled with physical, attitudinal, social, policy and communication barriers. The Social Model seeks to remove these barriers to create equitable access and inclusion.

Council wanted to engage local community to truly understand what it was like for community members with a lived experience of disability to reside in the City of Darebin, and to make changes that reflected this experience, making Darebin more accessible and inclusive.

At a Glance

  • Project: Access and Inclusion Plan
  • Client: City of Darebin
  • Delivered: July 2020
  • Duration: 13 months
  • Category: Government, Illustration, Explainer Video

Our Approach

The Sketch Group team worked with Darebin City Council to graphically record a series of working group meetings, held throughout the year. These meetings were conducted with community members with a lived experience of disability, and the insights used to co-design a Disability Action Plan.

Our Solution

One of the key findings of the working groups was that communication needed to be delivered in a more accessible and inclusive manner. Specifically, the community asked for ‘More Pictures, Less Words’. Which is exactly what we delivered.

Using the information and content gleaned from the graphic recording discussions, we created a sketch video that showed the process and planning for their Access and Inclusion Framework. We could draw the world as it is, the barriers faced, and the world as it could be with adequate infrastructure and appropriate changes.

This was the larger communication piece from the Council, to the residents of Darebin. Keeping everyone informed, updated and making sure everyone understood what was happening. In addition to the sketch video, specific elements of the graphic recordings were used in the official council document Disability Access and Inclusion in Darebin: A Community Plan 2021-2026 which is available for download on the council website.

The Outcome

The graphic recordings of the working group meetings throughout the year were key to formulating the inclusive and accessible plan for Darebin. The canvases reflected the lived experience of participants.

Based on the feedback recorded, six goals were identified, which were the launch pad for, and an integral part of, the development of the 2021-2026 action plan.

A sketch video that showcased and explained these six goals was published to the Darebin Council Website, and shown in presentations. The downloadable PDF, using tailored and targeted images from both the graphic recordings and video, provides the subsequent detail for those interested.

The City of Darebin is leading the way to becoming more inclusive and accessible—and we’re proud to play a part in that!

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