South West Museum Development (SWMD) is an Arts Council England supported programme hosted by Bristol City Council which is part of the Museum Development England (MDE), a network of Museum Development providers and practitioners that deliver a varied range of training to museums individually, cross-regionally and nationally.  

This training accessibility statement covers training coordinated and delivered by SWMD and MDE. It does not cover training delivered by other individual Museum Development providers. 

Accessibility is physical, psychological, financial, cultural, and social. SWMD and MDE recognises that the experiences of individuals are unique, and we wish to ensure that you find all SWMD and MDE activity welcoming and accessible.  

Key principles 

This document outlines the key principles and minimum standards that you can expect from all SWMD and MDE training.  

  • Everyone can expect a warm welcome to SWMD and MDE training 
  • SWMD and MDE will communicate clearly about accessibility provision at venues and online events 
  • Promotional information will prepare you for what to expect at an event  
  • SWMD and MDE will promote training in good time 
  • You can expect a prompt and friendly response to any query or adjustment request 
  • SWMD and MDE welcomes requests for any provision or adjustment that will make events and programmes more accessible to you and enable you to learn most effectively 
  • SWMD and other MDE providers have a dedicated budget to support accessibility requests 

Please make us aware of any access requirements you may have as early as possible to enable us the maximum time to make arrangements and book professional services, if applicable.  

Examples of possible requests include but are not limited to; British Sign Language interpretation, audio description, advance copy of presentations or resources, live captioning at in-person events, quiet spaces, hearing induction loop, video-conferencing platform familiarisation, resources in specific accessible formats, e.g., Braille, Large Print, specific colour contrast. 

Minimum standards for SWMD and MDE training 

SWMD and MDE currently deliver a combination of online and in-person training. SWMD and MDE activity often consists of one-off events, delivered by internal or external trainers and facilitators with small cohorts of delegates. Training is delivered online or in-person in a wide variety of venues. 

Decisions on whether to hold an event in-person or online will be made on a case-by-case basis. Benefits and barriers of in-person vs online training will be considered for each programme, and accessibility will be a criterion in this decision-making process.  

Training content  

  • SWMD and MDE will communicate clearly about the content of training that is being provided in promotional materials 
  • SWMD and MDE will indicate if training is suitable for beginners, intermediate or experienced delegates and whether there is a level of prior knowledge or experience necessary to fully engage with a session 
  • Delegate experience level information from the booking form will be shared anonymously with the training provider to inform content and delivery 
  • SWMD and MDE will clearly communicate what types of activities will be involved in a session, for example; presentations, breakout rooms or groups, practical activities (such as object handling) 
  • Trainers and speakers will be signposted to good accessibility practice for developing presentations and resources, including how to create screen-reader friendly documents  
  • If you require a copy of a presentation or resource in advance, or in a specific format, please request this when booking a place on the training event 

Booking and communications 

  • SWMD and MDE will provide booking and evaluation forms on a screen-reader friendly platform 
  • Alternative phone and email contact details for SWMD will be clearly available on all promotional information prior to the event, and in case of unexpected circumstances on the day of the event 

Online training 

  • Live captioning will be provided as standard for all online training events, this may be provided by auto-captioning via an online platform, or by a Speech-To-Text-Reporter (STTR) 
  • Promotional information will provide details of the video conferencing platform being used for the training, whether break out rooms will be used, and information on any additional software or platforms that might be part of the session 

In-person training 

  • Accessibility information for travelling to a venue will be provided to all delegates prior to an event, including signposting to parking facilities and public transport availability as a minimum 
  • SWMD will endeavour to book events in venues that provide detailed accessibility information online and will signpost delegates to this information 
  • If you require further information about a venue Museum Development providers will support accessibility enquiries by contacting the venue 
  • Contact details for the venue will be provided 

South West Museum Development and Museum Development England is committed to improving accessibility and reducing barriers. This document will be reviewed annually to ensure it continues to reflect best practice. We welcome your feedback. If you would like to make any comments or suggestions, please email [email protected]