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Accessibility

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When considering accessibility, we need to think about not only access to buildings, but also access to services provided to the public and access to information. Services should meet the needs of all service users. Accessible services are important especially when organisations provide services for everyone. Improving accessibility will benefit the wider community, not only those who have a disability.


Legislation

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  • Legislation

    • The Prevention of Discrimination (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2022 came into effect on 1st October 2023. It provides a legal framework to protect the right of individuals not to be discriminated against and advance equality of opportunity for all. It protects individuals in Guernsey and Herm from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society.

  •  Reasonable adjustments

    • It is recognised that achieving equality for a disabled person may mean changing the way that employment is structured, or services are provided, in order to create a level playing field for all.
    • The Prevention of Discrimination Ordinance requires employers and service providers to take steps to remove, reduce or prevent the obstacles that a disabled employee, job applicant or service user may face in those contexts, where it is reasonable to do so. This is known as the duty to make reasonable adjustments. A reasonable adjustment might involve making a change to a process, policy or procedure, or to a physical feature of a building*, or providing an auxiliary aid, such as a piece of equipment or service, for a disabled person.
    • * the obligation to make adjustments to physical features does not come into force until 1 October 2028 at the earliest.
    • Examples of reasonable adjustments include providing a document in a different format when requested by someone with a visual impairment, or providing an adapted keyboard, chair, or speech to text software. More information and examples of common reasonable adjustments can be found on the 'Chapter 3: Duty to make reasonable adjustments' page of the Employment and Equal Opportunites (EEOS) website, www.eeos.gg

Communications

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  • Accessible communications

    • It is important to ensure that information is available in a range of formats and is easy to understand. 
    • The following should be considered:
      • Contact options
      • Avoiding PDFs
      • Images
      • Contrast and colour use
      • Providing links in context
      • Accessible fonts
      • Use the accessibility function on your computer
      • Keeping formatting and structure simple
      • Use of clear and simple language
    • More information is available on the Accessible communications webpage.
  • Resources

  • Easy Read documents

    • Easy Read is an accessible format. It is a way of translating difficult information and making it  easier to understand. It is used by people with learning disabilities and is also beneficial for people with other conditions affecting how they process information and also for people where English isn't their first language.
    • Information about how to put together this style of document can be on the Easy read guidelines webpage.

Services

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  • Inclusive services

    • All organisations should aim to make their services as inclusive as possible. This can be done proactively by considering the needs of different people and how these can be met. This can also be done reactively by carefully considering all requests from disabled people for reasonable adjustments and making those adjustments whenever possible.
    • Organisations need to consider different things, depending on what service they provide. For example, an organisation that provides transport to the public will need to consider different aspects of service delivery, compared to an organisation that runs a mobile hairdressing business.
    • Organisations should consider:
      • what service is provided
      • who accesses the service?
      • how the service is accessed?
      • do service users face any challenges in accessing the service? and
      • can the service be provided in a different way for people who can't easily access the service at present (e.g. home visits)?
    • This information could be collected from customer surveys, complaints processes or an accessibility audit. Consideration could be given to developing an 'Access Action Plan' with a view to improving accessibility. For more information, please see the section below titled 'Access Action Plan'.
  • Development of services

    • When developing services, it is important to consider the impact of those developments on all customers. When services are provided online, options for non-digital engagement should be considered for those members of the public who are digitally excluded.

  • Contact options

    • It is good practice to offer different ways for people to get in touch with you, as one method will not suit everyone. Examples are by email, text, telephone or in writing

Premises

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  • Premises

    • Improving access to premises benefits everyone. People have different access needs and challenges due to their condition or impairment. Consequently, there are many elements to consider. Undertaking an accessibility audit is a good place to start.
  • Accessibility audit

    • An accessibility audit should review many areas of a premises including:
      • The approach to and arrival at the building
      • Reception
      • Moving around within the building
      • Means of escape in an emergency.
    • The audit should also include any facilities that are available within the building.
    • The findings of the audit should be laid out in an easy- to-understand format and recommendations should be set out in priority order. Estimated costings for each recommendation should be set out if possible.
  • Self -assessment resource

  • Access auditors

    • Access audits can be carried out by appropriately qualified individuals and organisations.
    • The National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) is an independent UK wide accreditation service for individuals who provide access consultancy and access auditor services. It was set up with UK government backing to provide a single source for organisations seeking competent advice in relation to inclusive environments and accessibility. 
    • Alternatively there are a number of local organisations and individuals, who are not on the register, that can undertake these accessibility audits.
  • Accessibility action plans

    • In the future there will be a duty on public sector service providers and public sector school or education providers to prepare and implement an accessibility action plan. This duty will not come into force until 1st October 2028 at the earliest.
    • This requirement only applies to the public sector, but other service providers might choose to prepare an accessibility action plan as a way of showing their commitment to improving accessibility for disabled people and to assist with meeting the proactive reasonable adjustment duty in respect of disabled persons generally.
    • An accessibility action plan sets out how an organisation will improve access for disabled people to the service. It should consider the following main topics.
      • Access to services
      • Access to information
      • Access to premise
    • A basic template can be found on the Accessibility Action plan page of the EEOS website. More information about developing an accessibility action plan can be found in a training session called 'Course 5 - Accessibility and Reasonable Adjustments' on the States of Guernsey YouTube channel.
  • Complaints about accessibility

    • The duty to make reasonable adjustments in relation to the physical features of a building will not come into force until 1st October 2028 at the earliest. Therefore, formal complaints about the accessibility of premises can't be made until then. This delay is to allow time for organisations to assess their premises and consider accessibility for a range of people with different access needs. You can find further information on the Implementation dates for the Ordinance page of the EEOS website.

Customer service

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  • Customer service

    • Good customer service is important. Well trained staff members who are aware of the needs of their customer, particularly people with specific needs or challenges, will ensure that their service is more inclusive and accessible.

  • Training

    • Disability awareness training is designed to increase awareness and understanding of disabilities. The training is intended to provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to interact effectively with individuals with disabilities and create a more inclusive and accessible environment.
    • Different training and awareness opportunities can be found on the Disability Awareness Training page on our website.

Being inclusive

 

 

 


Downloads

Accessibility audit template How accessible are your buildings Purple Tuesday- how can I help you? Purple Tuesday Customer service How to improve your printed documents How to make your website more accessible

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