Accessibility Mainstreaming Guideline is produced by the Civic Space Technical Assistance Project funded by the European Union. One of the Civic Space Project aims is to strengthen the capacities of CSOs and support them in adopting a rights-based approach to advocate for democratic changes, confidence-building measures, and a more enabling environment for civil society.
In this context, a set of guidelines have been developed as a do-it-yourself tool to help CSOs mainstream cross-cutting issues such as accessibility, ecology, gender, rights-based approach, and youth. These guidelines aim to promote and support CSOs to mainstream rights-based concerns into their policies, planning and daily operations. The guidelines are developed with a participatory approach in which CSOs working on each topic were involved in drafting. An advisory group of CSOs were identified for each cross-cutting topic and consulted at each stage.
We believe that these guidelines, produced in English and Turkish, will benefit not only for help desk or Grow Civic beneficiaries of Civic Space, but for all civil society organisations in Cyprus and abroad. Furthermore, most of the practical measures proposed in these guidelines are also applicable to corporate and public institutions.
The guidelines on thematic cross-cutting issues are developed as a complementary set, with the rights-based approach providing a general framework for their implementation. However, we designed each thematic guideline in such a way that they can be separated in mainstreaming that specific aspect. Therefore, you can use the Accessibility Mainstreaming Guideline to make your organization more accessible and increase your capacity to design your projects, activities and policies to include people with disabilities equally.
The guidelines start by providing the international framework and background of the topic, followed by key concepts and a brief introduction. Afterward, it presents specific applicable measures that CSOs can use at policy and strategic levels and at operational levels such as during meetings, events, in the office, etc. Although aligning your organisation to fulfill all measures covered in the guidelines is recommended, you can opt for a step-by-step approach and implement measures one by one. The checklist provided at the end of the guideline can be used to monitor your status. You might even consider making your monitoring results publicly available not only to be in line with the transparency and accountability principles of the rights-based approach but also to encourage other CSOs to make use of the guidelines.
Civic Space aims to periodically improve the guidelines, based on feedback from CSOs implementing the proposed measures. Such improvements might mean revising and/or adapting a measure or adding a new one. Thereby, we kindly ask you to send us your feedback about the guidelines.
Taking this opportunity, we would like to thank the following CSOs, as the advisory group of this Accessibility Mainstreaming Guideline, for their valuable input and expertise:
Universal Patient`s Rights Association - UPRA
Cyprus Foundation for Hearing and Speech Impairment - KIKEV
Cyprus Turkish Orthopaedic Disabled Association - KTOOD