The Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for national policies and programs that help deliver a strong, fair society for all Australians.

Focused on improving the lifetime wellbeing of all people, the Department’s responsibilities include families and children, housing, seniors, vulnerable people, mental health and disability.

Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021 — 2031 is a new overarching policy framework for disability reform in Australia. It sets out the practical changes that can be made to improve the lives of all people with disability, and drives action at all levels of government to change the way policies, programs and infrastructure are made.

Scheduled to launch in December 2021, DSS required an accessible explainer video for the event, featuring people with disability, as well as an Auslan interpreter, captions, and a transcript to ensure accessibility.

Pre-production began with a content planning workshop between key DSS stakeholders and project leads. Using the BEING Connection Strategy Model to focus on making meaningful connections with target markets, the workshop helped to collaboratively develop the content direction. Following the workshop, we completed a detailed content plan to inform the script and production schedule.

Positive and approachable in tone, the script breaks the purpose of the Strategy down in clear and simple terms. Using contractions where possible, the language aims to relate to and engage the viewer.

Cast through online groups, acting platforms and community organisations, the video features talent from a variety of cultural backgrounds, with different disabilities. To help communicate the key messaging, actors were prompted by production members and large cue cards during filming.

Though the experience was a first for many, all actors were highly responsive and took direction well. An Auslan interpreter assisted one interviewee with interpretation on set, and also completed an additional day of shooting at BEING’s in-house studio to capture the Auslan translation.

The completed explainer video is WCAG compliant, visually engaging and simple — educating viewers with disability about the Strategy. It is hosted on the Strategy’s website and has also been shared with various organisations to distribute to their own networks.

The incredible talent who featured in the video were invited to attend the launch and celebrate in the success of the Strategy.

Everyone truly loved the video, and it made a few people quite teary (tears of joy). It’s actually amazing that we were able to turn the video around in such a short timeframe and that is all thanks to your team’s work. It was also super easy to work with you guys. The team was very responsive and patient throughout this whole process. Thanks for all your hard work and for putting up with my many calls and emails.

Account Manager, Disability and Royal Commission
Communication Services Branch, Department of Social Services

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