DAS believes that inclusive communication is key to active and equal citizenship and is at the heart of any support or service to all individuals.

Communication accessibility and physical accessibility are equally important. Inclusive communication makes information and services more accessible for everyone and enables people to live more independently and to participate in public life.

Many people have ‘communication support needs’ and just as physical accessibility is a regular consideration, so ideally should information accessibility be given equal attention. Equality Law recognises that existing services may need to be changed to bring about equality for disabled people and there is a duty to make reasonable adjustments to achieve this.

Communication takes place in many ways and involves receiving and expressing something. Someone with a communication support need requires support with one or more of understanding (receiving information), expressing themselves and interacting with others.  For people who use services, it means expressing themselves and getting information that is accessible in ways that meet their needs, whether that is written, online, by telephone, digital, face to face, or in alternative formats. 

Accessible formats most commonly in use include standard text, large print, easy read (including pictures or imagery), audio CD and braille.  There are many sources of support to assist with the creation and development of accessible communication materials, the members of Disability Agenda Scotland have specialist services and organisations including the Scottish Accessible Information Forum have produced useful guidelines and training modules.

DAS also supports the Partners in Community Project funded by the Scottish Government Equality Unit which aims to improve the involvement and inclusion of people with complex communication support needs.  The project covers all of Scotland with support from the Scottish Government Equality Fund. Link to Partners in Communication site

A useful publication produced by Sense Scotland is also available here.

 

 

 

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