Guidance for organisations
What are we trying to achieve?
Communication Access UK’s (CAUK’s) aim is to introduce the Communication Access Symbol to the UK; akin to existing disability access symbols such as the international Symbol of Access (commonly referred to as the wheelchair access symbol). Our aim is to make the CAUK symbol as recognisable as other disability access symbols under the banner of CAUK.
To accredit your organisation as Communication Accessible in the first year of adoption of the Communication Access Symbol and standards, we will seek an initial commitment from you to implement the standards and to deliver the eLearning package to your staff. This will include an indication of your organisation’s ambitions to deliver against our standards below; as well an estimate of the number of staff members that might receive the training.
Once accredited, your organisation will be encouraged to display the Communication Access Symbol.
For annual renewal of accreditation, we will seek examples of how your organisation has met the stated ambitions against the standards and/or mitigation and an indication of staff members that have received the training, against the previously stated estimate (which will be treated as a performance indicator).
CAUK will never actively seek to deter or discourage an organisation’s participation in this initiative, but we will actively seek to support and encourage progress.
The framework below has been developed to support implementation of the standards with helpful indicators.
|Standards (applicable at organisational and individual levels)||Actions: How to meet standards at an organisational and individual level||Operational Indicators: How do I know I am getting it right|
|Recognise every group includes people with communication support needs||Put in place:
• A public commitment to communication access
• Basic communication access good practice guidelines for all modes of communication
• Communication access training to be incorporated into all core staff training
|• Adoption of Communication Access symbol
• Rolling programme of staff training
• Offer a range of options for people to contact and interact with you
• Staff know and apply TALK prompt
|Find out what support is required by the people you are set up to serve||• Use available data on communication preferences of your potential users, and where appropriate collect further data
• Ask people if they have communication support needs and what helps them understand and communicate with the organisation
|• Mechanisms in place for individuals to share their communication preferences
• Where appropriate communication preferences are recorded, highlighted and shared with others
|Take action in all communication:
• Adapt physical environment
• Match the way you communicate to the ways people understand.
• Respond positively to the different ways people express themselves
|• Consider communication access from the beginning of all activities from designing physical environments to service delivery
• Rolling programme of staff training including knowledge, skills and attitudes
• Share inclusive communication resources within the organisation
• Verbal/written information available in accessible formats
• Given time to communicate, process information and ask questions
• Listened to
• Given verbal and written information accessible to them
Feedback on Communication Accessibility from service users and staff
|Keep Trying||• Monitor performance against standards at organisational and individual level
• Take action to improve where required
|• Annual re-accreditation by the Communication Access UK
• Regular public statement on meeting standards, and actions to be taken to improve
Inclusive communication is about recognising that a person might have communication support needs and to consider the best way to communicate to help them as an individual.
Inclusive communication means sharing information in a way that everybody can understand.
For service providers, it means making sure that you recognise that people understand and express themselves in different ways.
For people who use services, it means getting information and expressing themselves in ways that meet their needs.
Inclusive communication relates to all modes of communication:
- Face to face communication
- Phone communication
- Written information
- Online information
Inclusive Communication helps to achieve successful outcomes for individuals and the wider community. It enables people to live more independently and to participate in public life.
Communication Access UK aims to:
- Improve awareness, knowledge and understanding of communication difficulties and their impact
- Promote positive attitudes and behaviours
- Provide guidance on changing communication practices to make them more inclusive
Communication Access UK has 4 key standards
1) Recognise every community or group will include people with different communication support needs
- Some people may require the support of a British Sign Language interpreter or a palantypist
- Some people may require information in alternative formats, for example audio or large print
- Some people may need the support of advocacy services
- Some people may have difficulty using a phone and may prefer an alternative way of communicating such as text or e mail
- Some communication needs are less obvious and other support may be required. This might include head and body language, simple gestures, photographs, drawings, or symbols
- To ensure you can provide communication accessible services, it is good practice to allow time to arrange different formats or communication support depending on the needs of your audience
2) Find out what support is required by the people you are set up to serve
- Adapt physical environment to provide a welcome
- Use symbols on signs outside and inside buildings, or to represent service on appointment cards, information leaflets and letters
- Staff training through Communication Access UK
Ensure relevant staff are trained to use the TALK prompt:
- TIME allow extra time as is required
- ASK what helps and recognise specific support needs of an individual (simplify speech, speak clearly, provide written support)
- LISTEN and check you have understood and they have understood
- KEEP TRYING and learn from mistakes
3) Take action in all communications
- Adapt physical environment to provide potential for a quiet space
- Be welcoming in manner-eye contact, hello my name is …
- Match the way you communicate to the ways people understand
- Respond positively to the different ways people express themselves
- Consider how accessible your face to face, phone and written communications (including websites) are
4) Keep Trying
Put in place:
- A public commitment to Inclusive Communication
- Basic Inclusive Communication good practice guidelines for all modes of communication
- Communication Access UK eLearning modules in all induction core staff training
- Review communication accessibility on an annual basis.
Small, simple changes to the way you communicate will make a big difference to your service delivery. Some changes may take longer, but will deliver positive outcomes, resulting in cost efficiencies and an increase in user satisfaction.
Changes need to be ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’. Changes in culture will take time.
The aim is progress not perfection!
The 10 performance indicators (based on Scottish principles of Inclusive communication)
1) Public commitment
Senior Management will give a visible and public commitment to deliver services that support inclusive communication.
2) Data collection on need
Service uses a range of data sources and statistics to show they fully understand the range of communication support needs of the people in their area.
3) Inclusive communication review
Percentage of services that have undertaken an inclusive communication review. For example, by using appropriate self-assessment frameworks and/or as part of an Equality Impact Assessment.
4) Service development
Demonstrate range of people with communication support needs for whom services have been fully adapted or where services are being developed.
5) Staff training
Percentage of all staff who have undergone specific training on recognising and responding to a wide range of communication support needs.
6) User involvement (quantitative measure)
Percentage of service development and review processes that have included people with diverse communication support needs, reflective of local area population needs.
7) User involvement (qualitative measure)
Percentage of people with communication support needs who are involved in service development and review processes satisfied with their overall input to process of change. Service must demonstrate that the method used to capture this feedback is accessible to all who should respond.
8) Matching communication to service users’ needs
Percentage of people with communication support needs who use services who agree their needs and preferences were responded to sensitively when interacting with the service. Service must demonstrate that the method used to capture this feedback is accessible to all who should respond.
9) Use of services
Percentage of people with communication support needs who access or use services, reflective of local area population.
10) Annual improvement
Year-on-year results which demonstrate improvement to meet the above.