Supplementary written evidence submitted by Action on Hearing Loss: “shopping list” of accessible communications requests made by disability charities to Senior Lead, Accessible Information, Cabinet Office (CVD0033)
As a group of leading disability charities, championing the rights of people with sight and hearing loss, autistic people and people with complex disabilities, we very much welcome your appointment as the Senior Lead on Accessible Information. We, and the communities we represent, look forward to working with you to ensure all government departments fulfil their legal obligations regarding accessible information and that accessibility is built into all government communications from the outset.
Since the coronavirus outbreak many of the people in our communities have told us about the barriers they are facing when trying to obtain accurate up to date public health information in a format they can read and understand. This list is informed by the lived experiences that people have shared with us.
Regular ongoing communication with the Senior Lead on Accessible Information with the disability sector to make sure that a) accessibility is built in to communications from the outset and b) accessible materials are communicated to our specific communities, including through our own channels
BSL interpretation to be provided as standard for all live public broadcasts
Pre-created subtitles and BSL interpreter on all pre-recorded speeches and Government TV adverts
All graphs, charts and images to be fully described and explained audibly during briefings and speeches
Straight forward language to be used and all technical or medical language explained clearly during briefings and speeches
Image Description (alt text) on all images
All videos and animated gifs to be audio led and have pre-created subtitles or equivalent text
Concise practical guidance and training on accessibility to be given to all digital communications teams, created in conjunction with the Cabinet Office Working Group on Accessible Communications
Alternative formats (including BSL Video, Large Print, Audio, Braille, Digital and Easy Read) of any future mass mail outs available at the same time as standard letters (E.g. Shielding Letter)
A reliable system to be put in place to ensure blind and partially sighted people get letters in their preferred format across the country (E.g. Local Authority Registers or NHS Information Standard data)
Alternative Formats available for the ‘Home Testing Kit’ Instructions and any future similar test instructions
Alternative formats (including BSL Video, Large Print, Audio, Braille, Digital and Easy Read) of the most critical public health information and guidance on .gov website to be available at the same time as the web version
All Government Websites to adhere to The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018
Alternative formats (including BSL Video, Large Print, Audio, Braille, Digital and Easy Read) of the most critical public health information and guidance from .gov website to be available at the same time as an accessible website version.
Contact methods for further information or services should include telephone, Video Relay and be compatible with Relay UK, as a minimum
These alternative methods should be advertised and staff should be familiarized with their use - where systems are in place to facilitate this and the caseload warrants it then a dedicated team to deal with people with a sensory loss could be established
To be available in BSL
To be developed and tested by accessible technology professionals and users
Action on Hearing Loss, Royal National Institute of Blind People, SignHealth, National Autistic Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust, Visionary, Royal Association for the Deaf, Macular Society, Seeability