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Inclusion Scotland Reg. Ch. No. SC O31619 Company No. 243492 IS……………. Nothing about disabled people without disabled people Edition 13, July 2005 Get Heard! Policy Forum on Disability and Poverty in Glasgow Inclusion Scotland and the Poverty Alliance held their first series of policy forums on disability and poverty, in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dumfries in June and July. The events were an excellent opportunity for disabled people and their supporters to voice their opinions on the topical issue of poverty. Feedback from these disability and poverty workshops will add to workshop reports produced throughout the UK from other diverse groups with experience of poverty. These reports will be presented to the Department for Work and Pensions at national and regional conferences, with Scotland-specific reports providing substantial evidence for local policy making. Scotland‟s final conference will be held late October 2005, with the UK conference following in early 2006. The resulting reports will be available on Inclusion Scotland‟s website and forthcoming newsletters. The joint project came about as a result of the hard work and enthusiasm of Lynn Burnett [pictured far left] who is currently working with the Poverty Alliance along with the support of Inclusion Scotland. Inclusion Scotland and the Poverty Alliance will be holding another series of the policy forums in the Highlands in September. To register your interest in the Highland events, please contact Joan Taft on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone her on 0141 887 7058. Access Improving Access to HBOS ATMs Following the recent news that Northern Irish bank, the Northern Bank, has installed two ATMs designed to be able to be used by visually impaired people, Inclusion Scotland asked if other banks have any plans to introduce similar schemes in mainland UK. Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) told us that it is starting to plan for 2006 over the next few weeks and intends to put the 'talking ATM‟ forward to see what action can be taken by the bank. The bank currently provides large print or Braille diagrams and audio cassettes to help visually impaired customers use the main services at their cash machines. They told us that, when HBOS makes changes to the way that customers operate their cash machines, they personally advise those customers who receive large print/Braille statements before the changes are made. The bank also liaises with one of their colleagues who is visually impaired when changes to the diagrams/cassette are required. Over the past few years HBOS has upgraded their cash machines to meet the guidelines issued by the Centre for Accessible Environments, these include:- All cash machines have colour screens and use white font on a dark background They use a mixture of upper and lower case text and a font type that was designed in conjunction with RNIB (HBOS wasn't involved in the design, but purchased a licence to allow them to use it) HBOS says in many cases font sizes are larger than the minimum recommended All the function keys (e.g. CANCEL button) on the cash machine keypads are coloured with raised symbols. The number 5 key has a raised dot to help visually impaired customers locate the rest of the keys and they have also increased use of audible indicators ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Access to Public Services for People using British Sign Language A new study has been done which looks at the experiences of British Sign Language (BSL) users when trying to access public services. Eighty-nine BSL users were interviewed for the research, which also looked at alternative methods that were used when BSL was not available and possible alternatives to BSL that would be useful to users. To see the full report, go to the website addresses below or telephone 0131 244 7565 or email email@example.com Report: www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/930/0012107.pdf Research findings: www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/930/0012106.pdf Access Computers for Blind People – The Next Step The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) recently held a meeting on computers for blind people in Perth. The meeting passed a motion calling for computer facilities for all blind and partially sighted people to re-enable everyday tasks such as reading and writing. The event was well attended by both members and non members, some of whom came from a distance to be there. A common thread through the meeting was the difficulty of getting information. There are many sources of help and advice, some local, like the Perth Library for the Disabled and the Forfarshire Society for the Blind and others national. Beginners especially have problems in finding help, and as a first step, information on these will be collected and made more widely available. Ron Bernard of Scottish Central Branch has volunteered to keep an information file. If you have had help from a firm or an organisation, let Ron know. He can be contacted on 0131 229 1456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Pauline Topham of NFB says, “This is not going to be our only effort. We then have to see how best to publicise what is available and whether we can encourage increased computer use in other ways.” To make suggestions, contact Pauline by emailing her on email@example.com or telephone 01382 668 543 or write to National Federation of the Blind Scotland, 8 Seymour Street, Dundee DD2 1HG. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Access Standards for All Telecoms Providers All communications providers - fixed and mobile - who provide publicly available telephone services are obliged to provide the following services to their disabled customers: free directory enquiry services for customers whose disabilities prevent their use of a printed phone directory (this is the PIN-protected 192 service) - providers must also offer a through-connection service (i.e. connecting to the number requested) but this service is not free – and often costs more access to a text relay service (offering short code access to the emergency services) with charges discounted to compensate textphone users for the extra time that text calls take (ie talking is faster than typing); safeguards for vulnerable disabled customers to protect their phone connection including priority fault repair & a nominated third-party scheme (so a trusted person can deal with the phone company on their behalf); bills and contracts in alternative formats for people whose disabilities prevent their reading a conventional bill or contract. News People's Millions Goes on Air Television viewers had a chance to see how they can vote for their local charities and voluntary groups recently when news programme Scotland Today reported the start of the Big Lottery Fund's new People's Millions competition for National Lottery Funding. The £15m TV contest for grants of up to £50,000 will call for viewers' votes by telephone, text or online. Over the next two years, the project will involve funds worth £66.6m to groups throughout the UK. In Scotland, 7 grants of up to £50,000 will be awarded this year to community groups who win votes. This comprises three awards in the Scottish TV region, two awards in the Grampian TV region and two awards in the Borders region. The winning projects will be announced across ITV regional news and on GMTV in early November. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Radio Station Wins Local Government Oscar VIP ON AIR, Europe‟s only radio station serving blind and partially sighted people, has been awarded an Excellence Award 2005 by Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) for its Innovative Use of Technology. The award, which is the equivalent of a local government Oscar, was one of only eight handed over at a special ceremony held on June 15 in Glasgow. VIP ON AIR is funded and supported by Glasgow City Council in partnership with RNIB Scotland. It currently broadcasts over the Internet from a specially adapted studio located at the Council‟s Centre for Sensory Impairment in Gullane Street, Partick, providing tailored, accessible information. By tuning into VIP ON AIR, a blind or partially sighted person can listen to a selection of newspapers on the same day they hit the street, thus overcoming the situation where it can take up to three days for them to receive an abridged audio recording of newspapers. The station also has a regular and popular line-up of news and entertainment programmes, supported by live studio debates and phone-ins. Councillor Jim Coleman, the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of VIP ON AIR. He said, “It is always immensely rewarding to be acknowledged by our peers in local government, and I am thrilled that VIP ON AIR has picked up this unique award. This project is achieving a great deal, not least helping to break down the barriers faced by blind and partially sighted people in having quick and easy access to information.” VIP ON AIR began broadcasting on 20 November 2003 and has recently been awarded a radio licence for Glasgow. Currently, it can be access by going to www.viponair.com Entertainment A Chance to have ‘The Last Word’ TV company Mentorn is looking for an audience from the voluntary sector for help in making a live programme for BBC Scotland, 'The Last Word...with Nicky Campbell'. The producers describe the show as 'a high-octane take on the week, with a studio audience, four guest panellists and no holds barred', and promise it to be '100% professional politician free'. They're making 9 one hour programmes, plus pilot, to be recorded every Thursday at the BBC studios in Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow starting July 10. The format is a topical discussion programme with a panel of celebrity and specialist guests to debate on Scottish, UK and international issues. The producers are looking for articulate, well informed members of the public to take part in their live studio debate through raising questions, voicing opinions and electronic voting. If you're up for it, email Frances Porter on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Mentorn on 0141 204 6613. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Opportunities for Deaf Actors Soundproof is a forthcoming single film for BBC Two, which will be work shopping & filming from mid-September to the end of October, in London. The organisation is looking for three deaf or partially deaf actors and would love to hear from anyone (whether or not they have previous professional experience) who feels they would be suitable. First up, they're looking for a very talented deaf actors in his 20's or 30's to play the leading man, Dean. The character is profoundly deaf and uses lip-reading and sign language exclusively. He's attractive, charismatic, sexy and could be dangerous! He has been in trouble with the police before the story starts - but he is an innocent man wrongly suspected of murder. He's also one half of a love story - his partner being the female interpreter assigned to him by the police. Also required is a partially hearing actress in her early to mid-20's to play Jak. She lip reads, but also speaks with the aid of powerful hearing aids. She chooses to speak most of the time, but does sign when with deaf friends. Finally, they're also looking to cast a deaf actress to play a smaller part. Heather is in her 20's, lively & fun and she signs. Do any of those descriptions sound like a part you could play? Or do you know someone who might fit one of the roles? If so, email email@example.com, or apply by post to: Jill Trevellick Casting, 123 Rathcoole Gardens, London N8 9PH. All applications should include a photograph. Funds from Futurebuilders Two social enterprises in Fife and Paisley are to be given £300,000 from Communities Scotland's Futurebuilders Scotland programme to boost their services for vulnerable people in the community. Fife Society for the Blind Enterprises is to receive around £110,000 to recruit 3 staff. Two of the jobs created will be for people with sensory impairment or loss. Kibble in Paisley, which works with over 100 teenage boys who have a complex mix of social, emotional, educational and behavioural problems, has been awarded over £180,000. The investment will support a new 5-in-one building to house its research to practice institute; a therapeutic play area; changing rooms with disabled access; and accommodation for its community asset development project. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Employment Tribunals Family of deaf worker wins discrimination claim A deaf Inland Revenue worker who committed suicide after being accused of misusing his work computer was discriminated against, an employment tribunal has found. The family of Nigel Osborn-Clarke brought a discrimination claim on his behalf - and will now proceed with a claim for damages - after he hanged himself in February 2004. The tribunal found that the Revenue breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 by failing to provide Mr Osborn-Clarke with an interpreter for an induction process relating to its computer misuse policy. Mr Osborn-Clarke, who was deaf from birth, was accused of misusing his computer to access his wife's file and became „extremely distressed‟ as a result, because he feared for the future of his family if his earnings stopped. Mr Osborn-Clarke, 37, was married with a young child and a second on the way, and the tribunal noted that his deafness limited the jobs open to him. But in December 2003, following the complaint, he received a letter from the Revenue outlining the charge and stating that the organisation took a „very serious view‟ of the situation. In a statement, Inland Revenue said it expressed deep sympathy to Mrs Osborn- Clarke and her family, adding that the department had a strong diversity and equality policy and took allegations of discrimination very seriously. “Our policy on disability goes beyond our legal obligations by stressing the importance of making adjustments for any member of staff who needs them in order to work effectively and progress in the department," the statement read. "We will of course look in detail at the tribunal's decision in this particular case." Employment Tribunals Disabled Call Centre Worker Wins Unfair Dismissal Case A sales consultant who lost her call centre job after suffering a seizure at work has been awarded £3,800 by an employment tribunal. Daisy Cameron, 21, who was subsequently diagnosed with epilepsy, said she would have been willing to take a job as a cleaner after she was advised not to sit in front of computer screens for long periods until she saw a medical specialist. However, she lost her job with Excell Contact Centres at Riverside Business Park in Irvine, Ayrshire. An employment tribunal in Glasgow ruled the company had behaved unreasonably by failing to obtain proper medical information before coming to a decision. There was an element of „hard-heartedness in the way that the employers dealt with Daisy Cameron on September 11, 2003,‟ the tribunal added. “The manner in which she was advised that she was no longer required must have been especially hurtful to Miss Cameron.” A former employee of the month, she was one of more than 400 sales consultants who spent seven hours a day on the telephone in front of a VDU screen. Miss Cameron, from Symington, Ayrshire, told how she felt unwell while at work in August 2003. She left her desk and suffered a seizure. She said she would have accepted a cleaning job if offered but would probably have had to give it up after a couple of months because of her health. Her employment was terminated because of her illness. Miss Cameron told the tribunal she was very upset at being told there was no work for her. She had since seen a specialist, had her medication adjusted and suffered only two seizures since February 2004. Six months after her dismissal, the company offered her a job as a cleaner but she refused. She started another job as a waitress in Symington in March this year. In its written judgement, the tribunal noted that she was only 20 years old when she had her first seizure and was then advised she that she had epilepsy. The tribunal ruled that she was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against on the grounds of her disability. Miss Cameron was awarded £2,259 for her unfair dismissal, a further £1,500 for hurt feelings as a result of disability discrimination and £63 for outstanding pay. Taken from the Herald newspaper, May 31st 2005. Training & Employment Café Culture Capability Scotland's Café Mistura in Broxburn is celebrating the achievements of six trainees who have become the first group to gain Skills Accreditation Certificates from Borders College. Café Mistura is a training café run by Capability Scotland within the Strathbrock Partnership Centre. The café is unique because it provides employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and offers individuals the chance to train for a recognised qualification. The charity worked closely with the college and awarding body NCFE to develop the training programme, accessible to people with learning disabilities. Teaching materials include pictures and visual aids and unlike many other qualifications you don't have to be able to read or write to be successful. The subjects studied by the trainees include catering skills, food handling and work skills. Café Mistura's Antonio Lopez, commented, "Working at Café Mistura and completing the skills accreditation programme has really boosted the confidence and self esteem of each individual. Before coming to Café Mistura the trainees had never worked. Now they are a valued member of a team working within the local community. They have gained useful work experience and have the qualifications to back it up." Dates for Your Diary Inclusion Anne McGuire to Speak at Conference Scotland We are delighted to announce that the newly appointed Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, has accepted our invitation to speak our Conference and AGM which is scheduled to take place on Friday, October 21, 2005 in the Falkirk/Stirling area. To register your interest in this event please contact Joan Taft on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0141 887 7058. Inclusion Scotland welcomes new members, feedback, news and views for our newsletters. For more information and back copies of the newsletters look at our website – www.inclusionscotland.org and to contribute email: email@example.com For further membership information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Joan Taft at Studio 53, Abbey Mill Business Centre, Paisley PA1 1TJ Tel: 0141 887 7058 Fax: 0141 848 7551 Views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of Inclusion Scotland, who will not necessarily be bound by its contents.
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