Dressing Guide

  1. Before you start, congratulate the student/compliment their outfit.

  2. Ask them to put their bags/stuff down on top of the counter as you will be putting a hat on them and therefore don’t want them to bend down afterwards.

  3. If hot, taking a suit jacket off is still acceptable as a shirt is smart under a gown.

  4. “We put the gown on like a coat, putting your arms through the sleeve holes”.

    Help guide these and pull gown forward to sit well on shoulders.

  5. “What you will find is that the weight of the gown will drift the gown back as you walk and so make sure to grab the lapels of the gown and pull it forward, back to where it is sat now”.

  6. “I am now going to put the hood over the top of your head. Just double checking that you’ve completed [their course/award] for this hood?”

    Put hood overhead.

  7. “Please can I ask you to hold the neckband until I say, I am going to velcro the hood onto you. If I need to please can I move your hair?”

    Velcro down moving hair where necessary.

  8. “You can let go of the neckband now.”

  9. “I am now going to arrange the hood. As its attached with velcro, this will only need to be done now or if you take it off”.

    Fold out the lining of the hood into shape* *arrange front and rear of hood, showing off a bit of the lining on the front where possible.

  10. “Looking very good, the final thing I now have to put on for you is your cap! Do you remember your size or have your text or email for me to check?

    Find size & pick the correct size.

  11. “Two things to note with the cap are that the elastic on the inside sits on the back of your head *show the elastic on the inside* and that the tassel hangs to the left-hand side as this is best for photos.”

    If asked about turning the tassel from left to right confirm this is an Americanism and not something we do in the UK.

  12. “You are now all ready for your ceremony and pictures. Have a wonderful day and don’t forget if you’ve hired to return before [return time]”.

Sunflower Lanyards

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a globally recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities, also known as hidden disabilities or invisible disabilities. These include autism, chronic pain, learning difficulties, visual, hearing or speech impairments, mobility and mental health conditions.

Someone wearing a sunflower lanyard is discreetly communicating to you that they might require some extra support or extra time. It might also mean that they are exempt from wearing a face covering.

What to do:

  • Discreetly approach the person with the sunflower lanyard and explain you’venoticed they are wearing one and ask whether there is anything you can do to maketheir experience more comfortable.

  • Ensure social distancing at all times. If others are standing too close to someone witha sunflower lanyard, politely remind them to socially distance.

  • Have a disability friendly queue that that person can join which is not as busy and the staff member assisting is able to offer some extra time.

  • Be aware that the person you are assisting might be feeling nervous so offer some reassurance and explain what you will be doing. If you are dressing them, ask for their permission to touch them, otherwise demonstrate how to wear the garment and let them dress themselves.

  • Make the person feel comfortable by speaking to them in a calm manner and use simple language. You might need to repeat instructions.

For more info, visit: Hidden Disabilities

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