Allegations of child abuse in the media is sickening – we need to share our knowledge of basic Human Rights with children by delivering policy in formats accessible to them.
Knowledge is power
Policy documents are often written by highly educated professionals in highly educated professional-speak, and generally not in the language used by the people they are designed to protect.
The delivery of policy documents needs to change to be part of mainstream information provision. How often do people actually read policy documents, from start to finish? We have so many formats available to us, that appeal to young people, those with English as a second language, people with cognitive difficulties, in short, any vulnerable groups, those who really need protecting. Policy documents should literally ‘speak’ to them, they should be memorable, how else can people be protected by them?
Tools to help
1. Convert policy documents into an easy read format
This means having meaningful use of images to support sentence structure and using a common language (without loosing legal context).
Use tools like HERO docs (Healthcare Easy Read Online) to convert policy into easy read
Live example visit www.HEROdocs.com
2. Publish policy in mobile friendly formats
Do you read PDF’s on your phone, personally I’ve lost interest after scrolling across the first paragraph.
Publish policies as a normal web page – don’t hide them in PDF or Word Doc attachments.
3. Add Word-Bank to your site
Word-Bank definitions add comprehension to your website content (can also be added to individual policy pages). Word-Bank won a BBC innovation lab award for aiding those that could fall through the information gaps and our technological approach.Live example visit www.hrch.nhs.uk/about-us/
Or Word-Bank FAQs for more information.
4. Creating an animated (easy read) film
This is a great way to make complex subjects accessible. An example being NHS Englands national Continuing Healthcare film (created with Greenwich CCG).
Continuing Healthcare is sometimes known as end of life care, it’s when our health needs change when having illnesses such as cancer and being able to access addition budgets that are fairly much unlimited.
The policy has a legal context, it was published then copied and pasted across NHS websites but the policy was too complex for time poor health professionals to understand and then be able to impart to patients and families.
We worked with the policy writers to create an easier-to-read script of the policy and create an animated film.
For improved accessibility we:
- published the script of the film in website text for those preferring to read (such as those using screen readers) and have the additional benefit of Word-Bank definitions.
- theres nothing spoken in the film thats not displayed graphically and vice verse
- the film has voice over and it’s also captioned
Animation is very effective and also worth considering how widely it can be used – NHS England’s national version is freely available and it can be localised with own staff intro’s and outros
Animated example of Transforming Care programme
5. Review your contact us page
Its also worth reviewing your contact us section of your website, can the copy be improved? Would using transport symbols and a map help people with low literacy report abuse in person – such is best practice for Patient Advice Liaison Service in NHS (NHS complaints service). Use PhotoRoute to remove barriers to independent travel.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have received funding from the Premier League Charitable fund to roll out the new PhotoRoute service across their patch, expected outcomes include:
- Removing independent travel barriers (the minimal requirement to go on a Hotspur Foundation course)
- People with disabilities gaining work based skills from co-creating maps with Hotspur Foundation staff
- Enabling students with Special Educational Needs to make healthier lifestyle choices and gain independence
- Excellent customer service provision for wider community
PhotoRoute was developed from Visit London gold awarded expertise and experience of supplying 2 London 2012 Paralympic projects. This software streamlines map creation and sharing of maps while adding accessibility features.
Earlier work with the Hotspur Foundation includes developing a Travel Training Course and a way-finding app for the club…
“The Club is constantly looking at ways in which it can enhance the matchday experience for fans. We believe that offering the PhotoRoute service will ease navigation in and around White Hart Lane for all supporters, especially those with disabilities.
By working closely with our award-winning Foundation, and liaising with the Tottenham Hotspur Disabled Association, the Club is confident it can address the needs of its disabled supporters and continue to ensure the fantastic matchday experience is inclusive of all fans.”
Jonathan Waite, Customer Services Manager
Embedded client page – www.photoroute.com/clients
Embedded view with print options
See earlier match day experience maps used by Tottenham Hotspur FC.
13 Myths of the Accessible Information Standard
Download NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard Myth Buster (powerpoint) to bust the below myths..
Myth #1 “If someone can’t read a letter because they’re blind, there’s no point sending them an email or a text message!”
- A person who is blind may be able to access information sent via email and / or text message but not in a printed letter.
- Many people who are blind or have visual loss use assistive technology such as ‘screen readers’ which convert text to speech or audio. This means that email and text message (and in some circumstances a letter sent as an email attachment), can be accessible formats for some people who are blind or have visual loss.
- However, some people who are blind, especially older people who are more likely to be digitally excluded, will not be able to use email or text message, and so accessibility cannot be assumed.
- The answer? Don’t make any assumptions – always ask people what formats and communication methods work for them – you might be surprised!
Myth #2 “Everyone with a learning disability will need support from a carer or family member at appointments.”
- It should not be assumed or expected that a person with a learning disability will be, or will need to be, ‘accompanied’ at appointments.
- Although everyone with a learning disability is likely to need some support to access information and communicate effectively, the type of support needed by individuals varies significantly.
- Many individuals with a mild or moderate learning disability may be able to live and access services independently.
- In line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, everyone should be supported to be involved in decision making as much as they are able.
- Some people with a learning disability will need support from an advocate at appointments.
Download NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard Myth Buster (powerpoint)
- HERO docs (Healthcare Easy Read Online), developed with NHS Englands’ AIS team and other leading providers
- Word-Bank, automated jargon buster for health and social care websites
- PhotoRoute, our Paralympic & Premier League way finding tool (developed from travel training concepts)
- Animated films created with the NHS
To find out more about the Accessible Information Standard visit the NHS England website here: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/accessibleinfo/
Enabled City has worked with Local Government Association to create 7 films about the Transforming Care Programme. The films show how Transforming Care improves peoples lives.
For background information follow this link to or how to add films to to your website.
Empowerment films – what empowerment means to me
Transforming Care is all about improving the lives of people with learning disability and/or autism who display behaviours that are described as challenging. We know that when people are empowered to live the way they chose and are involved in planning their support and care they have better lives.
The Local Government Association leads the empowerment workstream for the Transforming Care Programme. To support the workstream the LGA has set up an empowerment steering group to oversee the work.
Members of the empowerment steering group are all experts by experience. They all have experience of long stays in hospital, or have family members with experience.
Members of the group are now living good lives in the community and have worked together to develop a film about what being empowered means to them.
2. Transforming care summary film
You can watch the group’s empowerment film here.
3. Phill & Josh’s’s story
Phill gives his perspective of Josh’s move home to Cornwall. In the film Phill describes how the whole family has been empowered as a result of the good support that Josh is getting in the community.
4. Lucy’s story
Lucy and her Mum describe how Lucy has been empowered to live the life she wants, including through choosing her own home and her own staff team, and learning to travel independently.
5. Peter’s story
Peter talks about being empowered to live the life he wants, including through choosing his own home and décor, looking after his pets and being able to get out and about when he wants to.
6. Jason’s story
Jason talks about his role as a self-advocate and the importance of people with a learning disability being empowered to have a voice. He talks about being able to do the things that he likes to do and feels proud of his achievements.
7. Derek’s story
Derek talks about the importance of having the right support around him so that he can live independently and stay safe and well. He is empowered to live the life he wants and has a job that he enjoys and opportunities to learn new skills.
For more information visit www.local.gov.uk/transforming-care
Enabled City has been chosen to create 7 films about Transforming Care for the Local Government Association (LGA).
The film will be led by the Transforming Care Empowerment Steering Group. This group recognises the expertise that people with a learning disability and families have, and has been set up to ensure that the Transforming Care work is shaped by this.
The aims of the film are to:
- Highlight how people with learning disabilities, autism, and behaviour that challenges are supported in the community and the importance and benefits of this.
- Highlight the need for transformation of services to ensure care in the right place at the right time – ensuring the impact of the wrong care is understood to motivate change.
- Share good practice, including how achievements were made and how people can be involved in the right way.
- Realistically explain some of the challenges associated with transforming care.
- Share Key points.
- Provide opportunity for a number of viewpoints and experiences to be shared, including people with mild, moderate and severe learning disabilities and autism with recognition that families can be important advocates for people, particularly those with more complex needs.
- Provide a catalyst for the development of future resources to help empower people and their families.
- Include the need to invest in engagement, with people with learning disabilities and families, and its importance. Making clear that this should be ongoing and at many levels.
- Include information about good care including staffing and care plans.
The film will be launched in November 2016 at the annual conference of adult and child social service professionals, in total there will be:
- 1 animated introduction to set the scene of Transforming Care
- 5 individual stories from experts
- 1 montage film
Learn about our process for creating user-led films.
Transforming Care film introduction & script
“After Winterbourne View, the Transforming Care programme came together with one big aim: to improve the way care and support is provided for children, young people and adults with:
- A learning disability
- Both a learning disability and autism
- Who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition.
The focus of the work is making sure that people are able to lead good lives in the community.
People should have the same opportunities as everyone else and get the support they need to live healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.
If we get this right, less people will be admitted to learning disability hospitals and more people will get the support and treatment they need in the community. It will also mean that when people do need care and treatment in hospital, it will be good quality care and people won’t stay there longer than they need to.
To make this change happen and get a better quality of life for people, we need to empower people and families.
Real change is only possible if we do things differently and move the power from ‘service-land’ to people. This means giving back the power to those people who may have previously experienced being disempowered.
People should be enabled to be at the very centre of their own care and support. We must listen to family, friends and others who care about the person and value the expertise and knowledge that the person has about what works for them in their life and act on this. In empowering people, we can help each person to have a good life.
In this film we will hear from experts by experience who are now living in the community, or have a family member living in the community, but have experienced long stays in hospital. They will tell us about what being empowered means to them”.
Enabled City is the digital accessibility partner to Disability Rights UK, in recognition of being the specialist technology supplier for and with people with disabilities.
Our expertise comes from working with and employing people with disabilities to develop inclusive services that improve inclusion, safeguarding & education practices within any sector.
Clients include London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, premier league football clubs and their foundations, various NHS providers making meticulous policy and processes more accessible for hard to reach groups. Our inclusively designed services and products are easy to bolt onto client’s existing services and extend their market reach to:
- The grey pound / silver surfers
- People speaking English as a second language
- People with physical or learning disabilities
- Young families with buggies
- The Deaf community
- Those with low literacy – the average reading age in the UK being that of an educated 11 year old (BBC)
- Visit our services pages for more information.
Word-Bank 50% discount offer for DR UK members
In celebration of becoming Disability Rights UK preferred technology partner Enabled City are pleased to offer a 50% reduction for new Word-Bank clients.
This is a time limited offer valid until 6th March 2017
Terms and conditions
- Have less than £300k turnover
- Have the in-house technical expertise to integrate Word-Bank which usually takes 1 hour
- Advocacy groups under 100k should contact us for additional offers
- Discount is valid for first year licence only
- Orders must be received by 6th March 2017
Subscribe to our mailing list for early bird offers
The CQC routinely check all health and care organisations against its five key values. Many mental health trusts requiring improvement may be searching for ways to improve on effective, care, and responsive aspects.
Researching inspection reports shows that trusts often need to demonstrate they enable patients to be involved in planning their own care, and that patients understand issues such as their rights under the Mental Health Act and how to comment and complain about their care. Easy read documents currently available on HERO docs can help your staff to manage these with more ease. Thanks to contributions from CNWL NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health, Imperial College Healthcare, Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, West London CCG, Central London CCG and NHS UCHL, we’re proud to offer accessible templates such as:
- The Health Action Plan and CPA pre-feedback form to complete with patients to facilitate greater patient input into understanding and planning their own care,
- Developing a range of documents explaining the mental health sections and patient rights.
- The Traffic Light Toolkit, to ensure hospital staff know essential information about patients with communication difficulties and high information processing needs,
- A selection of PREMs gathering feedback on mental health and general hospital stays,
- A selection of documents advising patients how to comment or complain “Talk to us – how to get your views heard”, “Complaints (short)”, “Comments and Complaints – easy guide” and “PALS – Patient Advice and liaison Service”.
As all work completed by Enabled City, the templates are written in clear English with supporting images. We aim to provide documents that adults with learning disabilities find more accessible, and in doing so we meet the needs of many UK adults, those with lower literacy and/or English as a second language. Our document repertoire is steadily growing to support the needs of all health staff in their work to improve the health of the nation – visit HERO docs to find out more about HERO docs licensing or visit our pricing page.
Which easy read templates are working on now?
- Having a Barium swallow
- Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)
- Venous thromboembolic diseases
- Having a tonsillectomy
- Reducing risk of infection
- Preventing Thrombosis
- MRSA screening
- MRSA, what does it mean?
- Having a liver biopsy
- Having an echocardiogram
- Having a cystogram
Where to go next?
We’re about to release a new brand new PhotoRoute system making it even easier to create maps via mobile devices. Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have received funding from the Premier League Charitable fund to roll out the new service across their services – register to keep up to date.
We’ve built on the mobile experience as used by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
The mobile experience is that a visitor comes within range of a mapped facility and:
- is able to input their destination to get the closest step free route to it
- in addition to their location being shown on the map visitors have the option to select automated way-finding so landmarks change as they move through the journey
- clients will be able to display other facilities around the journey which for a stadium may include food, merchandising and other accessible facilities
- ability for visitors to choose access preferences (‘step free only’ or ‘steps are ok’)
Stage 2 will enable family members to privately publish a map and track journeys (via gps fob for those using printed maps), the technology will provide alerts should the traveller deviate off the chosen route.
What’s the issue?
People inherently learn to navigate themselves through landmarks. Normally when you ask for directions on the street, more often than not you will be told “make a right before the KFC” or “turn left past the gas station. PhotoRoute shows the user which landmarks to keep an eye out for.
“83% of disabled people had ‘walked away’ from making a purchase, unable or unwilling to do so. The most important factor was inaccessible premises. Other important factors that discouraged disabled consumers from spending were poorly designed products and staff who were not disability confident, were rude or appeared prejudiced”. Disability Rights UK
There are many factors that may limit life opportunities of people who have support needs and independent travel is often the major barrier to overcome, for individuals with learning disabilities this is often compounded by anxious family members or support workers.
Providers of services have one opportunity to attract a new customer and often rely on DIY tools such as Google maps that don’t provide enough detail which reduces independent travel confidence. Enabled City uses the expertise gained from working with people with learning disabilities, who often have high information processing support needs, to provide inclusively designed Software as a Service tools, to give clients the tools to be inclusive of the widest possible audience, including including tourists, people with and without disability, parents with young children, people whose first language is not English, British Sign language users, and people who find traditional map reading difficult.
“Inclusive or universal design is the design of buildings, products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation. For a design to be inclusive it must respect the needs of people with mobility, visual and hearing impairments, learning difficulties, and people from different cultural and religious backgrounds”
Margaret Hickish, ODA, Responsible for Accessibility and Inclusive Design of the Olympic Park and Venues, London 2012
Our first tool Word-Bank (developed in 2006) helps large NHS websites break down language barriers by automatically hyperlinking an easier-to-read definition to popup window to explain the industry specific jargon, defintions can also be supported with graphics or animation.
Word-Bank won a BBC Innovation lab award and was independently proven to aid website comprehension by 100% by the former Disability Rights Commission. Word-Bank is also used by Get Yourself Active, a new project by Disability Rights UK to help bridge industry specific language between people with disabilities, County Sport Partnerships and NHS providers.
Through the process of developing Word-Bank, people with learning disabilities highlighted the difficulty of independent travel and way finding to new venues, so we developed what is now called PhotoRoute.
What is PhotoRoute?
PhotoRoute is a map authoring toolkit developed from travel training concepts used by people with learning disabilities, it uses photographic landmarks taken from the walker’s perspective. It was developed after winning our Visit London Gold award for earlier mapping work.
PhotoRoute has been used on 2 London 2012 Paralympic projects, the first being to showcase their 4 million pound access improvements to the South Bank. We provided 26 photo supported maps showcasing the new accessible routes along the Southbank and connecting rail and tube stations on both north and south of the river all with return journeys. PhotoRoute maps were freely accessible in print, website, on mobile devices and embeddable into other websites.
Our second Paralympic was to PhotoRoute map the GLA’s Olympic Mascots on their 5 Discovery Trails, helping people find the Olympic mascots via easy to navigate, step free walking routes while linking West, Central, South and East London together. With the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic games London was (and feels like still is) a building site. PhotoRoute provided a flexible and efficient solution, the Greater London Authority then presented PhotoRoute alongside the inclusive design of the Olympic and Paralympic Stadium to the International Paralympic Committee at a Mayoral reception.
“The GLA was delighted to collaborate with Enabled City on this project. The flexible nature of this small, innovative company allowed us to complete this project in an efficient timescale without compromising its quality or content. It is always a pleasure to work on projects like this, that benefit such a wide audience and showcase how the Greater London Authority is helping to make the SouthBank, and London, a more accessible and inclusive place”.
Julie Fleck OBE, Advisor on the Paralympics, London 2012 Unit at the Greater London Authority
PhotoRoute has since been used by:
- Learning disability teams as a supported employment tool
- Visit England
- Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to increase grassroots participation and engagement
- Tottenham Hotspur FC for match day experience
Get Yourself Active uses Word-Bank to create a common language for disabled peoples user led organisations, County Sports Partnerships, local authority social care departments and NHS healthcare providers.
“We have been really pleased with the Word-Bank software on the Get Yourself Active website. It has helped us to communicate with our audiences whilst keeping some of the difficult language which we sometimes need to use. It is also very helpful that we are able to get in touch with Enabled City colleagues and add words to our bank which means we can respond to what our users are telling us.
This will open up doors to information for wider audiences and hopefully encourage more disabled people to get in touch and tell us their stories of getting active – this is what is most important to us!!”
Leanne Wrightman, Project Manager – Get Yourself Active
Get Yourself Active is a partnership led by Disability Rights UK, funded by Sport England and delivered by Leicester Centre for Integrated Living and Cheshire Centre for Independent Living. They aim to work with the health, social care and sports sectors to develop better opportunities for disabled people to get active.
Disabled people have a right to be active in a way that’s right for the individual which includes using a personal budget if you wish.
“Less disabled people (18%) are active than non-disabled people (39.2%) and amongst many barriers to getting active disabled people’s perception of their own ability to take part can prevent them from getting involved. This is often fuelled by difficulty in accessing opportunities and a lack of disability confidence from providers. We feel that joining up health, social care and sports sectors can be a powerful means to increasing positive outcomes for people when the process is right and people’s views are included.”
Disability Rights UK
Get Yourself Active is an information resource helping people find local opportunities and examples of how others have used their Personal Budgets and Personal Health Budgets to Get Active – nice work GYA!