The Accessibility Charter is a landmark document in New Zealand that advocates for best-practice accessible design, beyond the minimum expectations of the Building Code. Public organisations that commit to the Charter will lead the development of public buildings and outdoor spaces that are accessible for everyone - disabled people, older people and young families included.
Barrier Free NZ Trust and Earthquake Disability Leadership Group (EDLG) approached The Word Lab to support the launch of the Charter in Canterbury. We worked with BMD Creative to successfully develop branding, a website and collateral for the launch event in just four weeks. We also wrote and pitched stories to local and national media.
18 months of work had already gone into gaining Charter support from founding signatories in Canterbury, including Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch City Council, Development Christchurch Limited, Environment Canterbury Regional Council, Ōtakaro Limited, and Regenerate Christchurch. However, the timeframe for the formal launch was very tight! Our team was approached just four weeks out from the launch event in need of branding, a website, media releases - the works.
We had to be careful that everything that was developed made it clear that the Charter is about physical building accessibility and that it was not another social awareness campaign. Finally, everything needed to be easy-to-read and understand, so a simple look, feel and style of writing were essential.
What we did
We began by bringing the whole team together for a brainstorming session to ensure we had captured all communications needs and key messages. We then got to work on a basic communications strategy, website copy, flyer copy and a media plan. We enlisted the support of designers and website developers BMD Creative, who created the logo, designed the website and got the collateral ready for the day. We're well versed in working with a variety of other businesses and collaboration was a key part of making this event a success - particularly given the time constraints.
The event was well-attended by the community, with all foundation signatories present, plus MPs, mayors and former Ministers. The new Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero was one of the key speakers.
The website was live on the day, with a flyer and full version of the Charter ready to hand out. Pre and post-event media releases resulted in interviews with Barrier Free NZ Trust and coverage in The Press.
"Thanks for all of your work and support guiding us through this process. I think we achieved a fantastic outcome with the successful launch and an online platform for the Charter." - Amy Hartnell, Projects Facilitator, Earthquake Disability Leadership Group.