Film: Virtual Reality, Disability and Inclusive Design (Ability Net 2017)

Disability Co-operative Network
There is an excellent talk by AbilityNet on the accessibility of Virtual Reality, particularly barriers to consider (i.e. motion sickness) as well as opportunities.
Speakers are:  Raphael Clegg-Vinell, Senior Accessibility and Usability Consultant, AbilityNet and Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Communications at AbilityNet
Here is a link: 

News:  Do you have or are you planning a digital project in the next 12 months? New Law on Website Accessibility

Disability Co-operative Network

New law to replace EU Directive on Website Accessibility

  • Are you planning a digital project which involves an app or a website?
  • Are you funded by Government (local authority, national etc).
  • Are you aware that the EU Directive on website accessibility is now UK Law?

What is happening?

There is now a law for website accessibility in the UK.  These are called ‘The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018’ and implement the EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications.

If you are an organisation which is funded by Government (National, Local Government), it is expected that your website should reach WCAG 2.1 AA or European Equivalent EN 301 549.

The Government Digital Service have provided resources and sharing opportunities to support organisations to do this. These resources have links to meet ups and information, which you can find on this post.
We at DCN are also here to support you in setting up user groups and help you create and implement your access into your organisation.

Further information Government Digital Service:  https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/

Government Digital Service:  What does Accessibility Mean?

Ok, how long have I got?

There are key dates to consider in relation to this law:
You, as an organisation need to comply from 23 September 2019.
All existing public sector websites (this includes any externally funded community projects by a Government funded i.e. public sector organisation) by 22 September 2020.  All mobile applications by 22 June 2021.

What’s coveredDeadline to comply with the regulations
New public sector websites (published after 22 September 2018)22 September 2019
All other public sector websites22 September 2020
Public sector mobile applications22 June 2021

Source: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/

What do I have to do?

Meet the accessibility standard and provide an access statement (there will be a template for this in early 2019).

Scroll to ‘How to do this and how GDS can help’ via this link https://bit.ly/2qrL4ya on information regarding procurement and evaluation.

Check your website:  Does it reach the AA standard?
There are resources on this post to help you.  Also it is important test your website via a user group.

We at DCN can support you with developing user groups and there are companies such as Ability Net and those listed in resources that can help you.

Write an access statement for your website.

There will be a template available in early 2019.  Subscribe to https://gds.blog.gov.uk/subscribe/ for further details.

I’ve used a consultant, and it says some does, some doesn’t.  What shall I do?

Your organisation needs to provide an access statement to tell the web visitor the areas that don’t meet AA standard and where they can get tools and information in order to make it to AA.

Ensure that your digital project has accessibility from the pre-planning and throughout the project, enabling time to test with users. See link: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/technology/testing-for-accessibility

What happens if I don’t?

There are opportunities here to develop your website offer to increase engagement to your organisation.  Your organisation may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

There are specific tasks that are low cost and simple such as captioning and use of accessibility settings on social media: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2017/11/19/captioning-your-films-and-videos-stagetext/ and using captions on Youtube https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2018/06/07/how-to-be-more-accessible-on-social-media-snapchat-vimeo/

Organisations using tweetdeck:  https://9to5mac.com/2018/07/03/tweetdeck-image-descriptions/

Using podcasts? Each podcast should have a script, remember to transcribe this as part of your online offer.
There is also new software that transcribes audio information which is available online.  Ensure to check for accuracy.

Resources: Government Resources for Accessibility

Join the government accessibility google group

Over 800 civil servants with an interest in accessibility from over 50 government departments, agencies and organisations:

Accessibility community

> Accessibility Community Google Group

Upcoming accessibility regulations

Accessibility requirements for public sector websites and apps

Read the accessibility guidance in the Service Manual

Overview

Making your service accessible: an introduction

Requirements

  1. Meet level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) as a minimum

Understanding WCAG 2.0

Testing for accessibility

  1. Work on the most commonly used assistive technologies

Testing with assistive technologies

  1. Include people with disabilities in user research

Running research sessions with people with disabilities

A team responsibility

What each role does in a service team

US Gov: Accessibility for teams

Guidance for User Researchers

Find user research participants

Write a recruitment brief

Getting users’ consent for research

Choose a location for user research

Doing user research remotely by phone or video call

Using moderated usability testing

User research in discovery

User research in alpha

User research in beta

User research in live

Home Office Poster: Researching Access Needs – who to include when?

Guidance for Content Designers and Publishers

Writing for user interfaces

Writing for GOV.UK

Writing content for everyone (Blog)

How to create content that works well with screen readers (Blog)

How to make PDFs more accessible

Why GOV.UK content should be published in HTML and not PDF (Blog)

Guidance for Designers and Developers

Accessibility for developers: an introduction

Using progressive enhancement

Design Patterns

Improving accessibility with accessibility acceptance criteria (Blog)

What to do when

How the discovery phase works

How the alpha phase works

How the beta phase works

How the live phase works

Home Office Blog: Working together to achieve accessibility

Internal services

Services for government users

Getting help

Accessibility community

Understand common access needs early

Understanding disabilities and impairments: user profiles

GDS Accessibility Blog: Accessibility and Me Series

Home Office Posters: Dos and don’ts on designing for accessibility

Resources to help you design, build and test accessible interfaces

Design System

Introducing the GOV.UK Design System

GOV.UK Design System

Testing a website

How do automated accessibility checkers compare?

18F Accessibility Guide: Checklist

BBC: Accessibility and Testing with Assistive Technology

Creating the UK government’s accessibility empathy lab (blog)

Technology requirements

Technology Code of Practice

> Make things accessible

Learn more about accessibility

GDS Accessibility Blog

> What we mean when we talk about accessibility

> Consider the range of people that will use your product or service

Accessibility Community: Community Resources

Accessibility resources

Sign up for accessibility workshops

Cross-government events and training in the User-Centred Design Community: Accessibility

Come to the government accessibility meetups

The meetups happen every 3 – 4 months and are promoted in the Google Group

Write ups of previous events

 

Press Release:  #PurpleLightUp for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 3rd December 2018

Purple Light Up

Museums and Heritage Organisations, have you, or are you, developing inclusive practice in your museum, art gallery or heritage organisation in 2018? Have you increased access or inclusive practice in your organisation in 2018?  Tell us about it on 3rd December 2018.

Join us and colleagues across the world to mark the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December 2018.  It’s now a globally recognised date to celebrate and empower disabled people.  It’s time to be part of the #PurpleLightUp powered by our colleagues at PurpleSpace, to raise and rally awareness for a global call to action.

Why does this matter?

Over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, that’s 1 in 7. It can affect any of us at any time in our lives. In a growing global movement, over 160 countries have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But there’s still more to be done. True inclusion comes from a world that accepts all human difference, where people demand their voices to be heard.

What can you do?

Tell us at the Disability Co-operative Network (@museumDCN) what you have done in recognition of the importance of inclusive practice in Heritage by heading over to the #PurpleLightUp pledge page and let us (via info@musedcn.org.uk) and PurpleSpace know you are taking part on 3rd December and allows us to give you a roll call shout out on the website.

Mark this event by:

  • Wearing purple in your organisation.
  • Join our friends by lighting your building purple.
  • Display purple bunting in your museum café or shop.
  • If you are serving cakes or food – go purple with icing.
  • Use the hashtag #PurpleLightUp on social media on 3rd December to tell us at @museumDCN about what you organisation is doing and what you are doing as an organisation to be more inclusive.

Email us what you are doing via info@musedcn.org.uk for the day.

What happened in 2017?

In 2017, our colleagues at PurpleSpace reported that:

  • 56 organisations across 66 countries recognised #PurpleLightUp and used the colour purple to build community around #IDPD
  • This celebration and social media support spanned individuals and organisations in countries such as Peru, Singapore, UK, US and beyond
  • 355,275 people were reached through Thunderclap
  • #PurpleLightUp trended on Twitter with in excess of 133,000 impressions

What people did:

  • Buildings were illuminated
  • Flags were flown
  • Websites were branded
  • Lapel pins and lanyards were introduced
  • Blogs and Vlogs where shared
  • Employees resource guides for allies and senior champions
  • where launched
  • Our personal stories elevated a positive narrative
  • Shoes, ties and socks went purple… and dogs wore bows!

For Further Information:

For any further information, contact Becki Morris via info@musedcn.org.uk

 

 

 

Jess Starns is included in the Disability Power 100 list 2018

Dyspraxic Me

Jess Starns, founder of ‘Dyspraxic Me’ was announced as one of the most influential people with a disability in the UK at a reception at the South Bank Centre last night (Wednesday 17 October).

The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. More than 700 nominations were received for the 100 places. The Disability Power 100 List is compiled by an independent judging panel, chaired by Kate Nash OBE. Kate is the world’s leading authority in ‘Networkology’ – the science behind the growth of workplace networks and resource groups. In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people. In 2013 she was appointed Ambassador to Disability Rights UK.

Jess set up Dyspraxic Me in 2013 as she couldn’t find any suitable support for young adults with dyspraxia offered practical help to develop skills – so she created the resource that she needed.

In November 2013 Jess received support from Fixers (ITV CSR programme) to make a resource book for other young adults with dyspraxia so they could set up their own support networks. Since then Jess has organised almost monthly workshops in London with practical and fun activities. Attendees can meet other people with dyspraxia and learn a wide variety of skills including cooking, sports, ballet, vlogging, and training to develop assertiveness and social skills.

Jess organises every aspect of the workshops from booking venues and finding experts to deliver the sessions, to updating the website, evaluating the events, and managing the budgets. Jess fundraises and has raised over £13,000 so far. She also organises a yearly Dyspraxia Awareness Week in October, and in November last year 2017 ‘Dyspraxic Me’ became a registered charity. Her work has already been recognised by Downing Street with a Points of Light Award.

Jess works at the British Museum as the Youth Volunteer Coordinator and is passionate about making museums inclusive. She is currently combining these interests with her masters degree in Inclusive Arts Practice. For her MA she’s researching how we interpret and curate the history of labelling people with specific learning difficulties (neurodiversity)

Jess, said “You don’t need to know everything, you just need to know how to find out the answer.”

Nick Bell, Interim Chief Executive of Shaw Trust – a charity helping to transform the lives of young people and adults across the UK and internationally, said: “Congratulations to Jess Starns. The judges were beyond impressed by the standard of nominations but selected the most influential people who are proving that disability or impairment is not a barrier to success. One of our aims for the Disability Power 100 list is to demonstrate to young people that they can achieve their ambitions. At Shaw Trust we work with government, local authorities and employers to support people overcome barriers which hold them back from achieving their potential.”

The full Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List can be found on www.disabilitypower100.com

A Changing Places toilet for The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield was initially contacted by Changing Places campaigner Alison Beevers in 2016, who visited with her family to talk to us about Changing Places, and the difference it can make for families like hers. We explored installing a Changing Places toilet, but at the time were unable to find the funds to do the work. In 2017, Alison got back in touch, and the Senior Management Team agreed to make a case to our Board to invest in a facility using the gallery’s reserves. The Board approved the investment in Autumn 2017.

We worked with Astor Bannerman to identify the best space for the facility, deciding to convert an existing female toilet in the Clore Learning Studios, and turn the neighbouring male toilet into a unisex facility.  We undertook consultation with users, particularly schools, to ensure that this would be suitable for them, and they were incredibly positive about the changes.  Astor Bannerman provided the changing bed, hoist and privacy screen, and we worked with a local contractor to make the changes. We were delighted to open the facility on 10 May 2018, which coincided with Changing Places Looathon on 11 May.

The Changing Places toilet is secured with a RADAR key. We explored several options, including open access, however we decided that for our venue, a RADAR key would be the best choice.  Users that we consulted with advised that they tend to have their own key that they can use, and we felt that this would help provide a sense of independence. We also have a RADAR key available from our Welcome Desk, should any users not have their own.

The housekeeping team carry out regular checks of the Changing Places toilet alongside all our toilets to ensure that there are sufficient supplies, and that all the equipment is working correctly. The Visitor Experience team check that the hoist is back in the charging position overnight. These checks have been incorporated easily and quickly into our procedures, and the impact on staff has been minimal.

The impact on visitors has been huge. We have been able to welcome visitors who may not have otherwise visited the gallery, and they have been able to stay for as long as they wish. All our staff are really invested in the Changing Places toilet, seeing it is a key facility as we strive to be accessible for all, and the positive feedback we’ve received has reinforced how important this is:

@bethfoden1 – Brilliant day out this weekend @HepworthGallery who really GET #inclusion #accessforall @CP_Consortium Thank you for making our treat for Daddy possible

@bethfoden1 – @HepworthGallery is what ALL museums and galleries should be like!

@PeterFoden – Free, family-friendly, noisy, alive, full of connectivities, and totally accessible

Hepworth Toilet tweet commenting on visiting the gallery with the CP toilet was a treat.

Stallholder from one of our fairs – “Congrats on your changing places toilet by the way- my brother needs to use one and I was absolutely delighted to see you’ve installed one – honestly, it’s a lifesaver for wheelchair users and their families!”

 

DCN Privacy Policy

Disability Co-operative Network

The Disability Co-operative Network (known as DCN) is committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of our users to our website, networks and mailing lists. We want to know that we do not share personal email lists with any companies and businesses for marketing purposes.  This privacy policy has information on when, how we collect and use personal data and how we store it.

When you visit www.musedcn.org.uk, we use Google Analytics to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor patterns. We use this information to understand how visitors use our website.  Information is processed in a way that does not identify anyone.  We do not make any attempt nor allow Google to find out the identities of visitors using our website.

As part of our events, networks and registration we will ask for your consent to share your email address with us to keep you updated with additional information in relation to access and inclusion in the Heritage Sector.  We will check with you from time to time that you are happy and satisfied with this process.

We do not rent or trade email lists with other businesses or organisations. We do not use a third party provider such as MailChimp.

We use Ping for our Neurodiverse Museum Professionals Group, our privacy policy in relation to this facility is here: https://ndmuspgrp.ning.com/main/authorization/privacyPolicy?previousUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fndmuspgrp.ning.com%2F

We do not share any information relating to our members of both our Neurodiverse Museum Professionals Group or Disabled Museum Professional Group with any organisation or business without the express consent of the member.

If you wish to go to an event organised and/or co-hosted by DCN, we use online booking facilities such as Eventbrite to enable us to run our events and support us in our understanding of who and what organisations are attracted to our events. We do not share your information with any business or organisation without your consent.

You are entitled to view, amend or delete the personal information that we hold.  Please email your request to Becki Morris, Data Protection Lead
at info@musedcn.org.uk

This policy was published on 18 September 2018.  We will review this policy annually as from this date, or if we are aware of any changes in policy to EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Next Review: 18 September 2019.

Special Schools and Museums Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Accessible and Inclusive Museum Experiences

South East Museum Development Programme

This toolkit is developed by South East Museum Development Programme in support of Arts Council England.

It contains practical advice and case studies regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabled People, particularly in relation to Special Schools.

There are key tips for museums to adopt, as well as highlighting important facilities such as Changing Places toilets.
Information and resources to Changing Places toilets link is here: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/category/resources/equipment/changing-places-toilets/

The toolkit is via this link:  http://southeastmuseums.org/Training?item=3045#.W5uGkKZKjIU

Arts Council England

 

Event: Disruptive Design: Disability Driving Architectural Innovation

Victoria and Albert Museum
Friday 28 September 2018
At Hochhauser Auditorium

Two hands touching a floor plan
© Don Fogg Photography

Too often, considering access has been just a tick-box exercise rather than a creative driver
for design. This symposium will enable participants to explore how the experience and
expertise of disabled people can be a force for innovation within the architectural design
process. A series of presentations about specific projects and design processes will highlight
how collaborating with people who have personal experience of disability can enhance and
enrich architectural design, both for practitioners during the design process and for users of
the resulting buildings and spaces. The day is specifically geared towards architectural
students and practitioners, as well as designers and design educators, but all are welcome.

Speakers include Dr Jos Boys, co-founder of The Dis/Ordinary Architecture Project, Dr
Graham Pullin, author of the manifesto Design Meets Disability (MIT, 2009), Mecanoo
Architects and Chambers McMillan Architects.

Tickets are £15 full-price, £7 concessions, free for Support Workers/Personal Assistants.
Book online at https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/ewo2J3GW/disruptive-design-sept-2018 or call 0207 942 2200.

We provide BSL interpretation, Speech to Text and this venue is wheelchair accessible.
If you have any other access requirements please let us know. Owing to the capacity of the venue,
there are only 6 places for wheelchair users: they will be allocated on a first-come, first-served
basis. To confirm availability please call 0207 942 2200.

This symposium accompanies the display Without Walls: Disability and Innovation in Building
Design (V&A, Gallery 127 and 128A until 21 October 2018).
In collaboration with Accentuate, History of Place (www.historyof.place).
Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Accentuate, History of Place, Screen South and Heritage Lottery Fund

Is Your Organisation Disability Confident: Support materials from 6 September 2018

The Disability Co-operative Network held its first informal meet up on the topic of the Disability Confident scheme at the Natural History Museum on 6 September 2018.

The Disability Confident Scheme was launched in 2013 to replace the Two Ticks scheme for organisations to work towards inclusive practice to attract and retain talent for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

Recently the Westminster Achieveability Commission report identified as part of their recommendations, that the Disability Confident scheme lacked profile and marketing.  Therefore on 6 September 2018, DCN held an informal meet up at the Natural History Museum to discuss the Disability Confident scheme with DDCMS, Tate and Victoria and Albert Museums and fellow attendees.

This is the supportive material for people who could not attend the event and those who are interested in the Disability Confident Scheme and inclusive practice in the workforce.  We will have a transcription and recording of the event shortly.  Check twitter @museumDCN for further details.

This is an ongoing action which we welcome conversation, collaboration and action. Do get in touch with us via info@musedcn.org.uk or Direct Message @museumDCN

New Network launched at the first informal event

We have a new staff network for people who identify as disabled who work in the Heritage Sector.
This membership is free and open to emerging professionals, students, voluntary and paid staff.
If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Leigh or Becki via info@musedcn.org.uk

The aims of the group are:

  • Connecting people who identify as disabled and working (both paid and unpaid) in the museum/heritage sector.
  • The recognition of disabled talent within the heritage sector as a workforce.
  • Identification of key skills and training needed within the workforce to enable a diverse workforce such as flexible working, working within capacity and strategy.
  • Support employers and employees in creating safe spaces to talk.
  • Reduce risk of workplace bullying and illness due to poor working practice.
  • Working together for positive, practical change in the service delivery and workforce of the heritage sector.

Why Inclusive Practice matters?  This is a great film on how inclusion is all of us.

How can my organisation work towards Disability Confident?

The Disability Confident Scheme:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

Current reports relating to the recruitment and retention of disabled and neurodivergent people in the workforce:

Westminster AchieveAbility Commission Report:
(Neurodiverse Voices: Opening the Doors to Employment): A collaborative report on the barriers facing neurodivergent talent in recruitment and retention in the workplace.
http://www.achieveability.org.uk/files/1518955206/wac-report_2017_interactive-2.pdf

CIPD:
http://www.achieveability.org.uk/files/1518955127/neurodiversity-at-work_2018_tcm18-37852-2.pdf

I Can Make It Project by Disability Rights UK
A great film featuring Carrie Boyce who works for the Royal Society of Chemistry (non-profit making organisation) and how she manages her chronic health condition as well as work.

The Importance of Neurodiversity in the Workplace (CIPD)

Museum Professionals Neurodiverse Network:
https://ndmuspgrp.ning.com/

Access to Work:
Access to Work is a Central Government funded scheme to enable purchase of equipment and coaching for people with disabilities and neurodiversity in post.

Information on Access to Work here:  https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/access-work

The Department of Work and Pensions has a number of films regarding Personal Independent Payments and Access to Work which are available on Youtube.

Here is the film ‘What is Access to Work?’

 

 

 

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Glaring injustice: Scope launches campaign for equality as half of disabled people feel excluded from society

Scope
  • Half of disabled working age adults (49 per cent) feel excluded from society [1]
  • Two in five (41 per cent) of working age disabled people don’t feel valued by society [2]
  • Less than half (42 per cent) think the UK is a good place for disabled people [3]
  • Scope launches Disability Gamechanger campaign calling on everyone to show support
  • Premier League team to wear Scope-branded shirts this weekend to highlight campaign

Disability charity Scope has launched a campaign for equality and is urging everyone to show their support after new research revealed half of disabled people feel excluded from society.[1]

The findings have been published today in a report by Scope which reveals how undervalued and disconnected from society many disabled people feel. Based on Opinium polling of 2,000 working age disabled adults, the research reveals:

  • Two in five (41%) working age disabled people don’t feel valued by society [2]
  • Less than half (42 per cent) think the UK is a good place for disabled people [3]
  • Half of working age disabled adults (49 per cent) feel excluded from society because of their impairment or condition [1]

Further research carried out by BritainThinks for Scope identified five priority areas that need to be improved – public attitudes; employment; care, support and social connections; transport; and access to digital technology; [6]

The report contains five key recommendations to enable disabled people to have an equal chance to live the lives they choose:

  • Attitudes: The Government’s disability strategy group should have an explicit objective to improve attitudes and reduce prejudice towards disabled people
  • Work: Ensure disabled people can access specialist employment support on a voluntary basis, without it being a condition of receiving out-of-work benefits, and removing sanctions for disabled people.
  • Social care: Stabilise the existing system of support, social care must be reformed to meet the needs and aspirations of disabled people so that care and support better enables the ability to have a family life, work, engage with communities, and socialise. This can only happen if disabled people are involved at every stage of service design.
  • Public transport: Public transport systems need to be reformed to ensure that disabled passengers are treated fairly and equally. Alongside improvements to accessibility, disabled people should be able to travel without fear of negative attitudes from staff and other passengers and have access to straightforward routes for recourse if things go wrong.
  • Digital: Close the digital divide which exists today and ensure the next wave of digital innovation – what some are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution – includes disabled people as a core consumer group.

Scope is calling on everyone – businesses, politicians and the public – to become Disability Gamechangers and share what they are doing to create equality for disabled people. Anyone working to challenge stigma and negative attitudes is a Disability Gamechanger. Change requires action at all levels in society and everyone can play their part.

To mark the campaign launch, Scope’s partner Virgin Media has donated its multi-million pound shirt sponsorship of Southampton Football Club to Scope for Saturday’s match (August 25) against Leicester City FC. Instead of the usual Virgin Media logo, the home team will wear a kit sporting the Scope logo.

Scope has also released a 60-second film charting the story of equality and human rights movements across the decades to inspire everyone to join the campaign. By working with others to build on the rich history of the disability rights movement, Scope wants the next chapter of the story to be about making equality for disabled people a reality.

 

The video is narrated by the charity’s Patron, TV presenter and award-winning disability rights campaigner Sophie Morgan, who was paralysed from the chest down in a car crash aged 18.

Anna Bird, Executive Director of Policy and Research at disability charity Scope, said:
“It’s a glaring injustice that half of disabled people feel excluded from our society.
“In the past century, we’ve seen action lead to dramatic changes in our society, but there is still a long way to go until all disabled people have an equal chance to live the lives they choose, free from barriers and low expectations.
“From poor attitudes to lack of focus from Government, and from being overlooked in the workplace to being humiliated on public transport, life for many disabled people is still much tougher than it needs to be. It’s time that changed.”This report and campaign are a call to action to anyone who supports disability equality. We’re urging everyone – Government, businesses, disabled people and non-disabled people – to become Disability Gamechangers and work together to achieve equality and fairness for disabled people.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Laura Burnip in the Scope press office on 020 7619 7200 or email laura.burnip@scope.org.uk

For out-of-hours press enquiries please call 0784 3467 948.

References:

1-5. Opinium research

Scope commissioned Opinium to conduct 2,000 online interviews with UK working age adults with long-term impairments or conditions between May 18 and 30 2018. A quota sampling method was used and the survey was conducted online.

6. BritainThinks research

BritainThinks conducted ethnographic interviews, qualitative workshops and an online community with over 60 disabled adults living in England and Wales between January and May 2018. A wide range of different impairment types were represented throughout the research.

Notes to Editors:

We’re Scope, the disability equality charity. We won’t stop until we achieve a society where all disabled people enjoy equality and fairness. For more information go to www.scope.org.uk

 

Sensing Culture: Resources and Information supporting blind or partially sighted visitors

Sensing-Culture

Sensing Culture has been a three-year multi-partner project with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as the lead partner, and funded by £438,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with one mission at its heart – to remove the barriers that prevent blind and partially sighted people (BPS) from accessing their heritage.

It was born from an identified need within access organisations’, as well as the heritage sector at large, that more could and should be done to facilitate good museum experiences for people who experience sight loss.

Link to information, case studies and films here: https://www.sensingculture.org.uk/

Creating Accessible Conferences and Presentations

Disability Co-operative Network

Accessible Conference Guidance
These guidelines and tips come from Government Digital Service:
https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/13/advice-for-making-events-and-presentations-accessible/

Evacuation Plans
What evacuation plans do you have in place in getting people safely out of the building?
See: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422202/9446_Means_of_Escape_v2_.pdf

Assistance Dogs Guidance:
https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2018/01/12/assistance-dogs-uk-information-the-law-and-what-your-organisation-can-do/

For further information on captioning and BSL go to:
Stagetext:  http://www.stagetext.org/

Presentations:
Vocaleyes:  Making your presentations more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
http://bit.ly/2M4FCi9

Ensure that handouts are available for neurodivergent people in advance.
Ensure that people are able to record the presentations to support their note taking.

British Sign Language for beginners training: Workshop at RBSA Gallery (Friday 17 August 2018)

Cupped hands holding small lights

Approximately 145,000 people use British Sign language (BSL) in the UK. Cultural venues and organisations have a range of audiences, including members of the Deaf Community. Therefore, we have included a ‘British Sign Language for Beginners’ class in our summer workshop programme to help us learn more about the language and how to use it. The workshop will take place at RBSA Gallery on Friday 17 August and will be led by Tanvir Ahmed, a  Senior Campaigner for Action on Hearing Loss with years of experience in promoting BSL. Through his workshop, Tanvir will introduce key skills and signs that are useful in everyday interactions with members of the Deaf community, such as finger-spelling and common phrases.

RBSA Members and Associates, Friends, students, and professional contacts receive a discount – paying £20 instead of £30. To book your place, call us on 0121 236 4353 or e-mail us at rbsagallery@rbsa.org.uk. Payments can be made by card, cash, or cheque. You are welcome to share this e-mail and offer with your contacts and students.

Setting Up a Disability Advisory Group: Horniman Museum and Gardens

The external Access Advisory Group (AAG) at the Horniman Museum and Gardens has been running since 2007. In 2013 we re-recruited a Chair and twelve of the fourteen current members. The group name reflects access rather than disability as it aims to challenge barriers to access at the Horniman.

AAG benefits the Horniman significantly:  prompting us to solve access issues in areas from signage campaigns to public programming, helping us ensure access is embedded in capital projects, discussing our access questions and sharing best practice/ pitfalls from members’ experiences of physical and intellectual access in other organisations. Members have joined us on interview panels and celebrated our good practice via social media.

AAG also benefits its members. Tincture of Museum, a group member, says, “Being a member of the [AAG] has… given me a sense of involvement and empowerment in museum decisions and exhibitions…  [I]t has brought me into contact with other members of the panel and helped me appreciate… the range of barriers visitors can face. I really feel a part of the museum.”

The way you set up your group will be unique to your organisation but here are some points to consider:

  1. Ensure your organisation is ready to act on the group’s advice

Establish awareness and buy-in for the group across your organisation. Set up an internal structure to ensure the group’s advice is useful, timely and acted on. Our Director: Collections Management & Special Projects is our internal champion who works with Learning and Exhibitions teams to identify issues the AAG should be consulted on. Advice from AAG is followed up by project leads and monitored by our quarterly internal Equality Action Group.

  1. Ensure you have the resources to run the group long-term

Resources include: staff time to coordinate the group (AAG is administered by Community Learning and Exhibitions); expenses including payment for the Chair, lunch and refreshments, members’ travel, access support such as BSL interpreters; an accessible space for the group to meet; other benefits for members such as free access to paid exhibitions. We prioritise resources for AAG to meet 4 times per year.

  1. Appoint a group Chair

Museum sector research shows it is best practice to recruit an external, disabled Chair to ensure impartiality and to benefit from their expertise and contacts. This is not essential and some museums chair access groups internally. We sent out a role description and simple application form to some of our access heroes and recruited Barry Ginley, Disability and Access Officer at the V&A.

  1. Recruit members

We recruited local people with daily lived experience of disability who were interested in museums, world cultures and making museums more accessible physically and intellectually. Other museums focus on particular disabilities and you will have your own criteria. Your Chair can also help recruit members. We sent out simple application forms with the option to complete them over the phone or in person. We held the first meeting as an informal group interview for everyone to decide if it was for them.

  1. Schedule meetings

Think about the timing of meetings (this can be discussed and amended at the first meeting). We schedule meetings to avoid members having to travel in the dark or in rush hour. Schedule meetings at useful points in project timelines (when you are able to provide concrete information but before binding decisions have been made).

  1. Provide opportunities for all members to contribute fully

When recruiting members, find out their access requirements (including how they would like to receive information about the meeting and any extra support needed). This can be done by the Chair.  We circulate all paperwork two weeks before each meeting.  Keep your agenda to a maximum of four items and always include an AOB for members to share current projects, examples of best practice, etc. Use the first meeting or group interview to jointly create a short Group Agreement. This could include communication rules (we always raise our hand and say our name before speaking), and other rules to ensure everyone can contribute. Ask members if they are happy to be contacted individually or as a group for support between meetings and add their response to the Agreement.

  1. Invite staff and external contractors to meetings

It is much more effective if staff members, designers, architects hear advice from the group directly. Prepare staff in advance by sending them the Group Agreement, highlighting any communication strategies and chat to them about any concerns they have.

  1. Act on the group’s advice!

Act on advice or discuss why you haven’t. Tell the group when you have acted on their advice and its impact. This builds trust between the group and the museum which is vital to a productive relationship.

  1. Evaluate the group on an ongoing basis. We are working on ways to make more staff aware of AAG as a useful source of advice and support and are trying to find the best method for small group working within AAG.

Julia Cort is Community Learning Manager at Horniman Museum and Gardens and part of the working group for Disability Cooperative Network

Rachel Harrison is Community Engagement Officer at Horniman Museum and Gardens

 

AROUND THE TOILET: A research project report about what makes a safe and accessible toilet space (2018)

cropped sinks in public toilets

This new report was published in May 2018 and written as part of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project: ‘Around the Toilet’.

Around the Toilet has key findings taken in collaboration with groups of people between April 2015 to February 2018 in what makes an accessible toilet space.

The original consultation group consisted of people who identified as trans, queer and disabled, carers, parents, workers and people whose religious beliefs impacted on toilet use. As well as urban planners and architects in the context of environmental design.

Key Findings (from aroundthetoilet.com) include:

  • Toilet provision in the UK is currently inadequate for a wide range of people, due to both relational and functional flaws. We need more public toilets, more accessible designs, and different attitudes and ways of understanding the space and our fellow occupants.
  • Many trans and disabled people experience significant difficulties in accessing a safe, usable and comfortable toilet away from home.
  • Toilets labelled as ‘accessible’ are often in fact inaccessible for many disabled users for a range of reasons.
  • There is a lack of toilet research, particularly in the UK, which takes seriously trans people’s experiences of harassment and violence in binary gendered toilets.
  • There is a need for more all-gender toilet provision (sometimes known as ‘gender neutral’ toilets). This would benefit a range of people including: parents with children of a different gender; those who care for people of a different gender; some disabled people who have a personal assistant of a different gender; and some people whose gender is questioned in the toilet, including some trans and non-binary people (and, to a lesser extent, some cisgender people).
  • A ‘one size fits all’ approach to toilet design doesn’t work – there is no one toilet design to suit all users’ needs. Nevertheless, consideration of all users and moves towards improvement are crucial.

The report features potential solutions and designs, however as recommended in the report.  All designs must be in consultation with relevant agencies.

The full report is here:http://shura.shu.ac.uk/21258/1/Around%20the%20Toilet%20Report%20final%201.pdf

 

 

FREE EVENT: What is a Disability Confident Museum? Extra tickets available

Join us for a free event hosted by the Disability Cooperative Network for Museums (DCN) and the Natural History Museum.

Date:  06 September 2018  Time: 10.00 to 13.30
Location: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Background:
Disability Confident is a government scheme that is designed to help organisations recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions for their skills and talent. Currently only a small number of museums have signed up to Disability Confident, this event is to support those in the museum sector who are interested in what the scheme entails.

Source: www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

During the event we will:

  • explore the benefits of being a Disability Confident employer.
  • examine the Disability Confident journey through case studies from the Tate and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
  • explore barriers and solutions to becoming a Disability Confident employer: from the perspectives from an employer and employee.

Outcomes you will take away from the event:

  • Have a better understanding of Disability Confident scheme
  • Enable your museum to become a Disability Confident employer
  • Develop an action plan of where to start
  • Develop a peer to peer support network

Who should attend?
This event is aimed at decision makers (managers, officers, HR, directors etc.) working in museums who are interested in access and inclusion of disabled people in the workplace.

How to book? https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-a-disability-confident-museum-tickets-46532142892
Please note places are limited so booking as early as possible is advisable.  There is a limit to two people per organisation.  Stagetext will be provided.  The venue is accessible.
For more information please email julie.reynolds@artinfo.org.uk.

Global Disability Summit Survey – Young Persons with Disabilities

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#GlobalDisabilitySummit Survey Young Persons with Disabilities we want to hear their views on the Summit themes as they have the right to be included, share their suggestions, have their voices heard & be part of the change#IncludeMeTOO #NowIsTheTime

Please share this survey widely as we want to hear from 11-30 years old to influence the discussions being held at the Global Disability Summit on 24th July 2018 and ensure the commitments made include what matters to disabled children and young people #IncludeMeTOO

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2MFK2NV

Include Me Too

I Need Straws: The importance of the availability of plastic straws on request

There has been a great deal of discussion about banning single use plastic straws to reduce waste and toxins in our seas and oceans leading to environmental pollution.  A number of heritage organisations are now replacing plastic straws with paper straws in their cafes due to this reason.

By removing plastic straws we are excluding disabled people from being able to drink independently in our museum cafes.  Is this fair to exclude people, when there are other causes (wrapping, bags) too?

So, can we work together so our journals and magazines don’t arrive on our doorsteps wrapped in plastic?
Or can these be available online instead of printed?
For our meetings and conferences, can we print less?

Museum cafes have plastic straws available on request for people who need them.

Tourettes Hero, Jess Thom has written two excellent blog articles on the need for plastic straws in her day to day life.

Link: https://www.touretteshero.com/2018/03/19/the-straw-fan/  (read this article first)
Link: https://www.touretteshero.com/2018/07/11/ineedstraws/ (second article)

Penny Pepper, writer and Disability Activist has written for the Guardian on how plastic straws are vital to her and other disabled people.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/09/disabled-person-plastic-straws-baby-wipes

BBC:  Plastic straw ban disadvantages disabled people, says Paralympian
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43485362

Have you written a blog on how banning plastic straws will effect you? Do let us know via info@musedcn.org.uk