u3a - Sharing Ideas

“There are some legal obligations concerning inclusivity, but surely we should all be concerned to make all members welcome, regardless of their health. We should want them to enjoy all the benefits and pleasures of belonging to this great organisation” Beryl, U3A member.

U3As around the country are using simple and practical ways to make their learning inclusive and accessible to all.  Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Some U3As alter the time of starting their open meetings to fit with public bus times.
  • A Vice chairman who ‘signs’ at  open meetings. A great skill.
  • A hearing-impaired member of Three Brethren U3A has asked for “Conversation Courtesy”,  with one person speaking at a time and no chatting in the audience while a speaker is making a presentation.
  • Barnsley U3A offers an ‘Associate’ level of membership for those who can no longer attend their activities but who want to continue with a level of interaction such as receiving newsletters and emails, and remaining in their U3As closed Facebook Group.
  • Causeway U3A offers transport to and from activities/meetings.
  • Beeston U3A has Guidance for Speakers and Briefing Notes for Meeters and Greeters and an events checklist.  (and see our Notes for Speakers)
  • Aberystwyth U3A record their Open meeting speaker and put the audio on Soundcloud available for everyone under download control.
  • Create notes about accessibility for Speakers at monthly meetings
  • Create a buddy system for those without email or internet
  • Clitheroe U3A has asked their members if they need any assistance in accessing meetings and activities. They mention this in their newsletters and on the rolling Power Point shown before their open meetings; and ask members to contact the chairman. Good to encourage members to ask for help.
  • When Selby U3A goes on a visit, all the members who go are told about accessibility and any wheelchairs or mobility scooters available for people to use at the venue.
  • Burton Joyce and District U3A have a member who has suffered a stroke resulting in speech aphasia and walking difficulties. With the member’s own determination combined with the support, acceptance and encouragement of her group members, she has made great progress and contributes to her interest groups.
  • Click here to view Todmorden U3A‘s accessibility policy.
  • Click here to view Beeston U3A‘s accessibility policy.
  • Stafford U3A has a draft letter that could be sent to a member asking for confidential information in order to ensure they can be helped where needed.
  • Congleton U3A emphasises that speakers at open meetings should repeat questions from the floor so that everyone can hear them (see our Notes for Speakers)
  • Dulwich and District U3A have had information sessions about hearing aids and hearing difficulties for members.
  • Cheddar Valley U3A converts text to speech in a spoken Newsletter
  • Barnsley U3A reminds us to do an audit of the premises we use (ramps, handrails, accessible parking and toilets).
  • Link U3A website to local bus timetables.
  • Congleton U3A recommends ensuring that parking spaces are reserved close to the meeting hall, not just for blue badge holders.