The COP26 Coalition considers issues around accessibility seriously and aims to provide inclusive and friendly spaces.
We are aware that the needs of people with disabilities and medical conditions are often neglected in activist organisations and spaces. We are also aware that people with disabilities are more at risk from the looming societal collapse tied to the climate emergency than many other social groups. As such, we believe that including people with disabilities and their voices in the activities aimed at preventing and mitigating the climate emergency is essential.
We believe COP26 can be an opportunity to set higher standards, thus, improving the accessibility of future activist events. To ensure this, we have appointed a designated Accessibility and Disability Coordinator who will work hard with her volunteer team in the upcoming days and weeks.
Below, we are providing details on the accessibility of all our events.
COP26 Coalition will host a number of digital events during the summit. These will be available for free to everyone who is unable to attend the physical events in Glasgow.
The events will be held on online platforms such as Zoom. These platforms will allow adjusting volume to one’s personal needs and switching the camera on and off. The events will be available both to those who wish to participate in them in a more proactive manner, and those who would wish to just attend. Similarly to the in-person events, we will introduce a traffic light system for different levels of participation.
The events will be available on PCs, laptops and phones and will not require a high level of technical skill to attend. We are currently exploring the possibility of running technical troubleshooting sessions for those who may need help with it.
Some events will be captioned and will provide BSL interpretation. We are striving to provide this for as many events as our budget allows.
In-person Events in Glasgow
COP26 Coalition will hold events across thirteen different venues in Glasgow. Eleven of these are centrally located. The remaining two are a bit further away. We are currently reviewing the accessibility needs across each venue and will update this statement accordingly in the upcoming days. Additionally, the details for each venue, including information on their accessibility, parking facilities and others will be available in our events’ programme.
Should there be any accessibility issues detected, we will take all steps necessary to mitigate them. This will take the form of providing extra stewards where needed, clear signage directing towards more accessible routes both to and inside the venues.
Level of Interaction:
All events will be marked with a traffic light system indicating the level of engagement needed to participate in them. This will allow the people who may struggle with social situations to make their choices in regards to attending an event.
The events will be marked:
- Green: interactive event needing engagement from the audience
- Yellow: some engagement from the audience
- Red: no engagement from the audience during the event
This colour scheme will be prominently displayed within our programme. Additionally, we will provide traffic light badges that will be available from help desks for the people wanting to indicate the level of interaction they are willing to engage in with others. The badges will be:
- Green: Talk to me!
- Yellow: No new people please
- Red: No talking please
All event hosts and volunteers will be briefed on the meaning of the badges and the need to respect them. Wearing these badges will assist people to comfortably attend events which may require more or less engagement than they are willing to contribute.
Additionally, we are working to make our COP26 events friendly to those with sensory sensitivities and as such will be providing noise-cancelling earplugs.
We will provide a quiet private space in one of our venues that will allow people who may need to undertake a medical treatment, change their clothing etc to do so in private.
There will a designated access needs desk during COP26 Coalition events. This will be staffed with our Accessibility and Disability Justice volunteers. Additionally, all volunteers will be provided with accessibility and disability awareness training.
BSL interpretation will be provided during as many events as our budget allows. We are currently liaising with a number of BSL translators who kindly came forward to help us with this. The information on which events will be BSL translated will be available within our programme.
Toilets and facilities:
Across all venues, we will provide information on nearby medical assistance facilities, pharmacies and accessible public toilets when available. There will also be an accessible toilet inside the majority of our venues. Depending on the toilet, Radar Keys may be required.
Assistance dogs are welcome across our event spaces, but please be aware that noise levels may be high. We, nor the venues will take responsibility for any assistance dogs and ask that dogs remain with their humans. Depending on the venue, dogs attending may need to be registered guide dogs, therefore appropriate ID for the dog may be required. Please get in touch if you have questions.
At this stage we are unsure of the lighting being used for our events, however we will be sure to include this information in future updates.
We recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. People with Additional Needs/ Hidden Disabilities can wear a sunflower lanyard to make our staff aware of hidden disabilities.
Glasgow 6th November March and Rally
On 6th November, COP26 Coalition will organise a march in Glasgow. This will start at the Stewart Memorial Fountain in Kelvingrove Park, and end at Glasgow Green, where we will hold a rally. This is an approximately 3-mile walk.
While it is impossible to provide an exact number of participants, it is estimated that between 50 to 100 thousand people will attend this march. It will likely be a lively, energetic and loud demonstration with a long route that may not be suitable for everyone.
To mitigate these issues, we have taken the following steps:
- There will be an indoor space where everyone who wishes to do so will be able to participate in the March from a warm indoor space.
- During the March, we will provide the traffic light badges, blankets, hand warmers and noise-cancelling earplugs for those who wish to use them.
- We will designate a space towards the front of the march for those with mobility issues. This will allow setting the pace of the march to the needs of all participants.
We are currently assessing the accessibility of the March’s route and we will update this statement accordingly. The greatest issue detected so far is in relation to the geography of Glasgow. It is a very hilly city, and many roads are up and down a steep hill. We recognise this can be an issue for some people and that was one of the reasons we decided to provide a stationary space during the march. Additionally, we will do our best to provide assistance to those who will want to participate in the March.
BSL interpretation will be provided during the rally.
If you have any questions or concerns in regards of accessibility, please get in touch: [email protected].