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Inclusive Communication in Scotland (ICiS) project. Regional Seminars ‘Simple is Smart - changing our communication behaviour to ensure everyone within our communities is included'. Our chair for today. An Expert . Housekeeping & Ground Rules. Fire alarm Mobile phones Breaks Toilets

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Inclusive Communication in Scotland (ICiS) project

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Inclusive Communicationin Scotland (ICiS)project

Regional Seminars

‘Simple is Smart -

changing our communication behaviour to ensure everyone within our communities is included'

Our chair for today

An Expert

Housekeeping & Ground Rules

  • Fire alarm

  • Mobile phones

  • Breaks

  • Toilets

  • Comfort

    When doing the exercises –

  • Respect

  • Listen

  • Confidentiality

The cards

The red and yellow cards

Hold up the yellow card if you want us to slow down or repeat something

Hold up the red card if you want us to stop and explain something

The Identity card

Think about the person on the card as you take part in the seminar today.

Consider their communication support needs and what they would need in place to carry out the exercises etc

Materials on your tables

  • On your table there are laminated copies of 5 of the principles

  • There are also laminated copies of the 10 Public Service Improvement Framework (PSIF) Indicators

  • Later we will tell you what you are going to do with these

The ICiS Project Managers

Claire Edwards

  • Parent of 12 year old son with communication support needs

  • Trainer

  • Visitor for the Mental Welfare Commission in Scotland

  • Former director of a voluntary organisation supporting families of disabled children and young people

    Shirley Young

  • Parent of two young men with communication support needs

  • Trainer

  • Committee member for Big Lottery Scotland

  • Former director of a voluntary organisation supporting families of disabled children and young people

  • Celebrant

Inclusive Communication in Scotland project

  • Funded by Scottish Government

  • A project of the Communication Forum Scotland (CFS) – an informal alliance of individuals and Pan-disability organisations

  • Working with Experts – people with communication support needs to on developing information including the seminar content

  • In partnership with Improvement Service

  • 9 month, short life project – a catalyst for changing communication behaviour within public bodies


An opportunity for you to:

  • Develop your understanding of inclusive communication

  • Work with the Experts

  • Familiarise yourselves with the Principles of Inclusive Communication and indicators

  • Discuss and share good practice on inclusive communication behaviour

  • Find out how to make practical changes to improve service delivery

  • Be supported to improve your inclusive communication practice

Context & background

  • Independent Living in Scotland – Inclusive communication one of four priorities

  • Development of the Principles of Inclusive Communication by a Scottish Government Working group

  • Involvement of Improvement Service

  • Incorporation into Public Service Improvement Framework (PSIF)

  • Development of indicators linking inclusive communication with PSIF Criteria

  • Four regional seminars and an end of project reception at the Scottish Parliament

What do we mean when we say communication support needs?

You as an individual –

Can not make sense of what is being said to you

Do not hear what is being said to you

Struggle to pick out key information from the ‘gabble’ of words

Need a visual aid to help you to ‘see’ words in your head

Need time to process new concepts

Take instructions literally

Do not understand why other people ‘don’t get it’

Find it hard to express what you want to say

Are distracted by environments that are unfamiliar to you

Need noise or peace and quiet to think

Cannot see written material

Who are we talking about?

In a room of 100 people in your community –

  • At any one time 25 will have mental health difficulties that compromise their understanding

  • 20 will have a degree of hearing impairment

  • 45 will need glasses and ? will have forgotten to bring them!

  • 4 will have dyslexia

  • 1 will have an underlying health condition affecting their memory and cognitive reasoning e.g. Dementia, Parkinson’s

Who are we talking about?

  • 2 will have had a stroke that has left them with language processing and speech impairments

  • 2 will have a learning disability such as Down’s syndrome

And also…….

  • 25 will have below functional literacy affecting the ability to make sense of written information

  • 25will have economic barriers to receiving information e.g. no internet access

  • 1 will have had a life event that morning that has disorientated them

  • 20will lack the education needed to make sense of complex language

  • 8 will have English as an additional language!


  • Any one of us at any time could have or develop communication support needs – this is about ‘us’ …

  • ......not ‘them’

  • Meeting the needs of people with communication support needs = meeting the needs of everyone

  • Let’s make Scotland ‘The Inclusive Communication Nation’

What’s the cost of not including everyone?

Engineer’s time wasted because tenant did not understand the letter was an appointment @1.5hrs of skilled labour @ £/hr

Arrears costs with council tax because resident couldn’t return the form initiating debt collection @ £/hr

Responding to complaints about services @ £/hr

Escalation of issues to be resolved by management because front line staff could not understand the problem x hrs of management time @ £/hr

Miscommunication causes…

  • Increased stress amongst staff with days lost to sickness

  • ‘Presenteeism’ – a waste of everyone’s time

  • Development of a ‘blame’ culture and scapegoating

  • Seeing other people as the problem rather than changing the systems and processes including communication behaviour

Questionnaire feedback

  • What is working well

  • What needs changing

Key Themes

  • People did not know what inclusive communication would look like

  • There was an expressed desire to find out and to get it right

  • ‘Paralysis by analysis’

  • Lack of leadership

Making ‘live’ the principles

The first five principles and what they mean for the Experts



Paul on DVD

David on DVD

Rob/ Helen/Alan

As you will see six of the ‘Experts’ are male….this represents three things:

  • gender ratio of congenital impairment is 4:1 male to female

  • gender ratio of acquired in adulthood impairment is 2:2

    However -

  • in terms of communication support needs specifically this ratio is 3:1

Examples of some of the ‘live’ experience

We have worked with a ‘core’ team of Experts

to make the Principles ‘live’ –

what follows are some of their words and experiences from

Barry Smith

Principle 1‘Communication accessibility and physical accessibility are equally important’

Barry Smith in Glasgow and Edinburgh -

‘Today I am going to read out a short poem called Communication and Access.

Communication aid I may use please give me time to hear me out.

Over years I been told what to do there are no need for that the person who

Has communication need I will need more time to be heard.

Mouse in the house can step in but I cannot because no access for my

wheelchair, what isn’t right all full the night I wait for a past by to walk by and

support me into place.

My legs may don’t work but my brain do.

Underlying people put me under but it is not raining. No one remember I got

free will.

Ice is cold in weather what make it very hard for access wheelchair get on.

Coffee I loved to drink right into the night, what makes me high as a bird in the


Principle 1‘Communication accessibility and physical accessibility are equally important’

An non-disabled body can run around without thinking about wheelchair


Tree looked nice at Christmas and everybody is so happy with this time of year.

I would like everyone who need communication support get it no matter who

they are.

Over work and under pay but we all need the same access into places no

matter who you are. No money people say.

Anyone who say they don’t know about communication and access they will by

end of today.’

Principle 2‘Every community or group will include people with different communication support needs’

Clifford Hughes in Glasgow, Dumfries and Edinburgh -

My name is Clifford Hughes

I enjoyed three voice-centred careers


A diagnosis of Cancer of the Larynx

My voice had been my life:

Can't speak. Might as well be dead.

Ministry to the Disabled....

I joined Communication Forum Scotland.....the Hidden


Are we seen in 3 D ?

Good practice example ......cheers!

Principle 3Communication is a two-way process of understanding others and expressing yourself



Principle 4Be flexible in the way your service is provided



Principle 5Effective user involvement will include the participation of people with different communication support needs

Rob Gale in Dumfries & Galloway -

  • Involvement is more than consultation. It takes more input and will give more meaningful results. 

  • A range of involvement methods is beneficial for everyone. 

  • Be creative. New approaches keep everyone engaged. 

  • Be clear about expectations. Let participants know what can change and what can't. 

  • Recognise participants as experts. You're benefiting from their knowledge - what are they receiving in return?

Principle 5Effective user involvement will include the participation of people with different communication support needs

Helen Gowland in Edinburgh –

I am Helen Gowland

I have aphasia following a stroke....words disappear

I want to talk about three things -

  • Transport

  • Using phones and email

  • The NHS

Principle 5Effective user involvement will include the participation of people with different communication support needs

Thank you for being -



enabling sharing


caring powerful


Table exercise

  • Working with the principles

  • You will have a facilitator to support you at your table

  • Collectively identify a service one of you delivers

  • How are you going to communicate this principle in a PowerPoint presentation to your staff and/or colleagues?

  • Taking into account the implications for staff who might have communication support needs and for service users

  • Agree on and design 3 screens that would be your PowerPoint about this principle

  • You will get a chance to look at each other’s presentations over lunch

The Indicators

Public Service Improvement Framework

  • There are 10 indicators

  • The PSIF criterion describes the type of evidence needed to achieve the indicator

  • This process will identify good practice and gaps

  • Role of Improvement Service is to show how these indicators fit into the PSIF Framework through incorporation into the PSIF guidance

User-led evaluation

  • A number of tools are available for users of services to evaluate a service

  • We are interested in the tool that was developed by the Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) as this is a well validated approach

  • It requires slight adaptation to enable people with communication support needs to use it

  • This will enable users of services to provide coherent and concise feedback

  • In addition, we welcome any other examples that you might know of: please e-mail them to us:

Table exercise

  • Each table has copies of the indicators and examples of the evidence of how each indicator can be achieved

  • Can you identify one of the indicators that one of you is already meeting?

  • What’s your evidence?

  • If not, is there an indicator that you think you can work towards over the next few months?

  • How will you begin to work with this indicator? Who will you need to talk to? What evidence will you need to collect?

  • From your discussions choose one person to report as a best practice example

Community resources

Examples include –

Case studies and the ‘Talk for Scotland’ toolkit can be found on the Communication Forum Scotland website

Visual timetables

Use of photographs

Use of symbols

There are people and organisations who can help you to access

resources, including your local Speech & Language Therapy services, disability-led organisations such as Scottish Accessible Information Forum, pan-disability groups and impairment specific organisations

A national resource

Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF)

Contributed by Susan Burn, Project Officer

  • A Scotland-wide project set up in 1997

  • Funded by the Scottish Government

  • Supported by disabled people’s organisations and information and advice providers

  • With more than 50% disabled people or carers on our advisory body

Work to make information more accessible

  • Publish good practice guides

  • Offer advice, consultation, support and training

  • Work locally and nationally on a range of initiatives

  • Promote the use of alternative formats

Written documents

  • Use plain language

  • Use a minimum type size of 14 point

  • Use a clear font such as Arial

  • Use matt paper

  • Justify type on the left

Electronic documents

  • Format Word documents using style sheets or provide a plain text version

  • Make your website accessible by following W3C guidelines

  • Send plain text or well formatted HTML emails

  • Use the accessibility options when creating PDFs

SAIF resources

  • A Brief Guide to Making Your Information Accessible

  • Making Websites Accessible

  • Making Services Accessible

  • Making Information Accessible

  • A Brief Guide to Easy Read

Next steps

  • Continue to build on your good communication practice

  • Adopt the principles in your local area and become ‘Champions’ of inclusive communication

  • Work with the PIC Experts and local resources to meet the indicators

  • Come to the reception at the Scottish Parliament ‘Scotland – The Inclusive Communication Nation’ in March 2012 to showcase developments and share learning

Principle 6


And finally.....



Concluding remarks and goodbye from chair

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