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Accessibility, equality and diversity policy

1. The Open University Psychological Society (OUPS) is open to all members without discrimination by means of race, gender, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.

We make continued efforts to support this aim wherever practically possible in the following ways

Communication

2.1 All written communications from OUPS to members shall be in accessible formats when requested with, for example, alternatives for tables and written descriptions of pictures. Written material will be provided electronically in good time so that recipients can convert it in ways that meet their needs.

2.2 The OUPS website shall be presented so that the format can easily be adapted by screen readers. The website administrators shall be encouraged to offer support, whenever possible and within the means of the society, for any special requests from members, such as, for example, members with visual impairs, etc.

2.3 OUPS has two Facebook groups, a Twitter account and an Instagram account. The social media administrators will abide by point 1 of this policy. They shall be encouraged to offer support, whenever possible and within the means of the society, for any special requests from members, such as, for example, members with visual impairs, etc.

Meetings and events

3.1 Any meeting or event organised by OUPS shall be held in an accessible venue. Consideration shall be given, amongst others, to mobility, access, noise and light levels, dietary requirements, public transport access, time and day of venue. All reasonable efforts should be made to accommodate an individual member’s requirements provided adequate notice is given. All such requests will remain confidential.

3.2 Committee members (national and regional) will be enabled to attend meetings remotely on request when this is possible, for instance via phone or Skype.

3.3 A hearing loop shall be provided in venues where OUPS events are taking place if requested.

3.4 Meeting/lecture papers shall be provided electronically in a timely manner so that recipients can convert it for their use in line with their needs.

3.5 Members shall be entitled to register for attendance at the Annual General Meeting which will take place face to face. Participation in elections, voting and debates prior to the AGM shall be accessible online, as appropriately organised by the committee.

Accessibility

4.1 OUPS is a volunteer-run society that is funded entirely from the activities of the society. Although we are affiliated to the Open University Students Association (OUSA) as a student society, we do not receive funding from The Open University or any other third parties other than in connection with jointly presented events where we may share costs.

4.2 Although we strive to make our events as affordable as possible we have to pay for venues, equipment, speakers, catering etc. as these are not usually free to us. We try to invest any profits that we do make into subsidising the costs of future events, by either lowering event fees for all attendees or by providing subsidies towards event places on the basis of individual needs.

4.3 As a volunteer-run society we can only hold events in locations where:

  1. we have tutors/speakers willing to travel to;
  2. we have volunteers willing to organise venues, liaise with the event staff at venues and run the event (register attendees on the day, introduce speakers, carry out H&S activities etc.)
  3. we can get enough people willing to pay for the event to make it financially viable.

4.4 We try to help people spread the cost of our larger events by providing payment plans to spread the cost, such as the OUPS PayPlan scheme.

4.5 When planning events we consider alternative formats to accommodate those who might be prevented from attending because of demands on their time, finances or for other personal reasons. We consider a variety of formats (weekend events, day events, half-day events) and where practical we try to make these available.

4.6 Where we are unable to reduce the cost of attendance, we consider how to make supporting material available to those who are unable to attend in person. This may include video and/or audio recordings, presentations or supplementary material related to the event. We can make no guarantees in this regard as what we are able to provide depends on the permission of the presenters and attendees at any event, as well as the practability (e.g. an audio recording of a practical workshop is neither useful nor practical).

General

5.1 OUPS will strive to adopt best practice in matters of accessibility, equality and diversity and seek to proactively deal with issues addressed by national and international legislation.

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