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.

Shopping List

 

Accessible public health information

         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

 

Accessible Broadcasting

         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

 

Accessible Social Media

                     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

 

 

 

Accessible mailings

         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

 

Accessible websites

         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.

 

Accessible contact methods

         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

 

Accessible apps

         To be available in BSL

         To be developed and tested by accessible technology professionals and users

         To comply with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

 

 

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