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Disability Awareness in Action
Resource Kit No. 3
Published by © Disability Awareness in Action, All rights reserved
Example 2: National Integration Week
The first National Integration Week (NIW) was 11-17 May 1992.
The Centre for Studies on Integration in Education (CSIE) in the United Kingdom works to end segregated education and to support the full participation of all children, with appropriate support, in the educational and social life of ordinary schools. National Integration Week provides a time focus to the year-round work of the Centre.
Two full-time staff were responsible for most of the work. One part-time project worker and two part-time volunteers also worked on the campaign. Following the formal decision in April 1991 to hold NIW, by the CSIE Council and staff, planning began in September 1991.
Staff produced a leaflet inviting organisations to take part. A print-run of 70,000 was distributed to schools, colleges, social services, parents' groups, voluntary organisations, Members of Parliament and CSIE contacts. Lists and labels were supplied by mailing companies in addition to CSIE's own mailing lists.
Volunteers and staff prepared half of the envelopes for this mailshot. Mailing companies did the rest. Different groups were targeted with individual letters, written and signed by staff, inviting them to take part in NIW and enclosing the leaflet. If they wanted to take part, they had to fill in a form stating the basic details of their planned event and endorsing the aims of the Week.
The design and printing by a commercial firm of the new NIW logo and letterhead was arranged. This was to be used for all NIW correspondence. A filing system for application forms was set up, giving details of local NIW events.
Press releases were sent to the national and local media announcing plans for the Week. An audio-taped promotion of NIW was compiled and distributed to radio stations. A "brainstorming" session for ideas for CSIE events, plus hopes and dreams for the Week, was held. Four months before the Week, an advance press briefing for selected media people was set up. Materials for it were prepared. A follow-up letter was sent to those who did not turn up.
Staff started to collect family cases (battles for integration) for use by the media. The CSIE national events were agreed and staff divided responsibility for organising and seeing each through to completion. Volunteers were coordinated. Discussions were held with commercial designers, typesetters and printers on production of the NIW magazine and merchandise.
Staff finished writing most of the NIW magazine, selected pictures for it and arranged contributions from other people. A list of all local NIW events was compiled for the magazine from forms returned to CSIE. The organisers of each event were contacted by phone to check the proposed entry. All material was sent on computer disks to a design firm. After much checking, rewriting, redesigning and work with the design firm to ensure a high standard, the NIW magazine was finally completed.
Staff liaised with the organisers of the concert to close the Week about how to set it in the context of NIW. Posters were sent out to local event organisers. The NIW magazine was sent out to organisers and to a wide range of other people (with appropriate individual letters). A small NIW opening reception was arranged and invitations sent out.
A general press release promoting National Integration Week and the magazine was written and sent out in the hope of getting more advance stories. A more specific press release with a 'hard' news story on segregation statistics was sent out, to be published on the first day of NIW.
A large number of daily phone calls about NIW were dealt with at this time. This had been the case throughout the preparation period but it became extremely busy at the end of April and beginning of May.
CSIE staff worked with art students to design and make an NIW display to be moved around to different national events during the Week.
Hospitality was arranged for overseas colleagues arriving for NIW and other UK integration events. Portable phones for the Week for the three main workers were arranged and people's tasks were confirmed. Transport was arranged. Full details were filled in on the wall diary so that everyone knew what was happening.
Requests for media advance interviews were met and arrangements made to take part in live TV and radio interviews during the Week. There were many last minute inquiries from the media and others to be dealt with.
The Week was launched - live on a national television breakfast news programme, at 6 am on 11 May 1992.
Thank-you letters and a set of printed and stapled cuttings about NIW, from newspapers, journals and magazines, were sent out to all local organisers and others interested in the Week. An NIW scrapbook was compiled. Details of all the local event organisers were added to the CSIE mailing lists to receive new integration information. Visits were planned to local organisers to see their integration in practice and to have informal discussions.
Activities Suggested for NIW