Communication Forum Scotland brought together nearly 100 people in Edinburgh on 10 March 2011.
celebrated the success of our Civic Participation Network project 2007-2011 funded by the Scottish Government
identified future action to remove barriers for people with communication support needs who wish to be active citizens.
individuals with diverse communication support needs who had been active in the project
11 local authorities and 10 health boards
representatives from public and voluntary organisations including the Care Commission, the Scottish Parliament, and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
We welcomed old friends who had been involved.
For example through:
Civic Participation Network Reference Group
Inclusive Communication Trainers Group
range of joint activities.
There were new faces as well. People interested to find out how to make their communication more inclusive.
It proved a useful and challenging day.
Call for more action
Through short presentations, a video and questions from the floor we heard “from the horses mouth”.
People with communication support needs highlighted that progress had been made.
But they called for individuals and organisations to take more action. They are keen to work in partnership to make this happen.
“Don’t switch off when you leave the room.”
“Can everyone promise to keep the momentum going.”
“When we walk out of the room we must continue to spread the word”
We shared practical ideas and lessons through:
Short video featuring 4 service providers who had used the Talk for Scotland toolkit.
Presentations on the results of 2 of the case studies produced.
Presentation from NHS Health Scotland.
Questions from the audience and discussion.
Information about present and future actions posted up using text and visual images.
Building on the work of the Civic Participation Network
The Equality Unit of the Scottish Government highlighted their commitment to the work of Communication Forum Scotland and the Civic Participation Network. They reported that there is funding for 1 more year.
They are discussing the details about how to take the work forward with Communication Forum Scotland. It will help support their commitment to the promotion of independent living in Scotland.
Organisations which had not previously been involved expressed interest to take the issue forward.
Participants made links to build on work already done so as not to reinvent the wheel e.g. Citizens Advice Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland around training on inclusive communication for staff and volunteers.
Widening the circle
A theme running through the whole event was it is important to “widen the circle” and “take the messages back into your work place”.
Communication Forum Scotland welcomed new members to assist them “spread the word”. It is an informal alliance of organisations representing people of all ages with communication support needs.
Participants identified activities being done by themselves and others. Here are contact details for some of them if you want to find out more.
Short term Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) project funded by Scottish Government. The aim is to develop guidance and make recommendations on the provision of AAC equipment and services.
Contact: Alison Gray, Professional Lead
Consultation with Augmentative and Alternative Communication users Glasgow and Clyde area over next 2-3 months.