To communicate most effectively within the AUCD network and across communities, all published materials and meetings should be executed with language, literacy, and cultural access in mind, at the highest quality possible. The goal of network centers and programs must be to ensure information is available to the communities being served.
The National Center for Cultural Competence summarizes this best practice as a potential "matter of life or death":
Being able to access services such as education, legal services, health and mental health care is very important and in some cases can even be a matter of life or death. It is difficult to imagine effective treatment, health education, support or any interaction within the health or mental health system without effective communication (Working with Linguistically Diverse Populations, nd).
Furthermore, numerous federal guidelines require nondiscrimination pertaining to race, color, national origin, disability, gender (HHS, nd), and require access to services for people with Limited English Proficiency (DOJ, 2000). The Toolkit prioritizes the accessibility of information, in compliance with federal guidelines. AUCD's network is encouraged to also model this for their communities and universities.
Create opportunities that foster collaboration and communication of Consumer Advisory Councils (CACs) across Centers. Consider regional meetings of CACs.
Caption all video resources, including webinars and videos.
Create a central location for network members to access appropriate translation resources and language service providers. Negotiate reduced rates for network members.
Identify community leaders and organizations that serve as cultural brokers for their respective communities, e.g., ethnic chambers of commerce, faith leaders, community development programs, etc.
Identify guidelines for working with diverse groups via translation, interpretation, and cultural brokers.
Develop materials that can be customized by other organizations and community members for varying audiences and communities.
Identify and engage in opportunities for partnership and collaboration to translate or create accessible materials. If a member of a community identifies barriers with a product, offer to have them work with you to address the barrier while offering design and editing resources.Acknowledge and reimburse community members for this service.
Create and disseminate materials related to the findings of research and other UCEDD/LEND publications to participants and community members that have a vested interest in the topic.
Collaborate with community members and governing officials who have unique partnerships and relationships with diverse communities and can support information dissemination efforts.
Ensure materials, meetings, and emergency preparedness information are accessible and culturally and linguistically responsive, addressing literacy level, language, cultural respect, physical and cognitive and sensory accessibility. Know and serve the audience based on their strengths and needs.
Provide opportunity for feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the materials being shared.Be very open to critique from diverse audiences.
Comply with federal guidelines addressing access and inclusion: Executive order 13116, Title VI Language access act, CLAS Standards.
Create opportunities and identify innovative methods to create visibility and purpose of Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) members.
Establish an interactive listserv on the topic of accessible materials and products that allows members to streamline how, when, and how often information is received over email.
Start with language access needed in local communities. Incorporate a budget line for language access, translate materials into languages identified as most common in your area, evaluate and change language style in presentations, print and spoken word.
Require all presenters in all webinars, meetings, and conferences provide fully accessible, culturally and linguistically competent presentations. Refuse to give anyone a speaker role if their presentation is not culturally and linguistically competent and accessible for a variety of disabilities. This may mean coordinating a back-up presenter, or cancelling an event.
Utilize community minority organizations to review materials, and compensate accordingly.
Comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Research and translate disability-related terms in a positive light when crossing over to other cultures and languages. When uncertain of how to translate terms, keep the original word.
Implement best practices in translating materials in a culturally appropriate manner.
Identify existing translation, and interpretation organizations that provide services.
Ensure all websites are accessible.