The online event, held on 14 July 2020, brought together clinic coordinators from across the LawWorks Network to discuss the best ways to develop and deliver accessible clinic services. Sarah Parkes, Age UK; Amal Beyrouty, Women Connect First Cardiff and Andrew Lee, People First; each shared their experiences of supporting people to access services.
Sarah shared how One Digital at Age UK helps older people to build their digital skills and have the confidence to live an included and independent life. They work with other partner organisations and deliver their services through a network of local Age UK branches.
Andrew from People First raised a number of important communication points to carefully consider when working with people with learning difficulties.
Amal from Golden Years project (Chances4Change) explained how they work to find ways of addressing the economic and social issues faced by older BME women in an integrated way. The project offers a holistic and tailored service with a sustained programme of support which will enable the older BME women to feel more independent, empowered and equipped with life skills which will help them to have a better sustainable life.
- Ensuring your written and spoken information is accessible.
- Thinking about how you will find out a person’s particular need, as everyone has different communication needs.
- Being aware that people with learning difficulties may need to have longer sessions than the usual half an hour.
- Being considerate of people’s past experiences - for example not being listened to, bullied, ignored.
- Understanding the ‘social model of disability’ and the language you use. What is respectful?
- Reaching out to the wider disability community and working closely local user-led self-advocacy organisations.
- Helping people understand the law in terms of what is ‘normal’ to them and what is unacceptable/unlawful.