Camphill Scotland helps new agency to implement inclusive communication dutiesType: Consultations | News
Topic: Disability rights | Learning disability
Community: Ochil Tower School
Published on: 20th November 2019
During the recent passage of the Scottish Government’s Social Security legislation in the Scottish Parliament, Ruth Maguire MSP worked with Camphill Scotland, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland and Inclusion Scotland to secure significant changes to the legislation.
These changes placed a statutory duty on the Scottish Ministers and on the new Scottish Social Security Agency, Social Security Scotland, to have regard to the importance of communicating in an inclusive way with those requiring assistance under the legislation. This was a major change to the Bill, which will be of considerable benefit to individuals who have difficulty communicating in relation to speech, language or otherwise.
Stakeholder group established
Since the passing of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018, Social Security Scotland has established a stakeholder reference group, and Camphill Scotland and the other members of this group have been working with Social Security Scotland to help implement its statutory duty in relation to the use of inclusive communication.
Camphill Scotland is represented on this stakeholder reference group by Dahlia Somerville, a Speech and Language Therapist from Ochil Tower School. Dahlia said:
The group has met twice so far, and it has been very interesting to hear from people from a variety of backgrounds. It has considered various issues and challenges, such as how solutions that might work for one group could make access to information more difficult for other people.
Having stakeholders with different backgrounds in the room helps to generate discussion and reflection straight away.
Dr Neil Henery, Camphill Scotland’s Director, said:
We are delighted that the expertise held in Camphill is being used to help Social Security Scotland communicate effectively with people with disabilities. Dahlia is doing invaluable work that will benefit many people across Scotland.
The role of the stakeholder reference group includes advising on the particular service needs of people facing communication disadvantage, identifying practical solutions that will improve Social Security Scotland’s ability to communicate effectively with clients and staff members who have additional communication needs, and helping to embed an inclusive communications approach across Social Security Scotland.
The stakeholder reference group is currently working on giving feedback on the roadshows and materials that have already gone out, and what needs to be changed to make them more accessible. The group has also discussed what ‘inclusive communication’ means, and discussed access to specific services such as a BSL translator.