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Accessible Information Policy

  • Accessible Information Policy

    Introduction

    The National Disability Strategy and the Disability Act 2005 were established in an attempt to enable people with disabilities to participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life of the community and clearly confirms the Government’s commitment towards the promotion and encouragement of equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Significant responsibilities have been put on each public sector organisation to ensure that all the services being provided to the public are accessible to all, including the availability of accessible information for people with disabilities.

    Legislation

    Section 28 of the Disability Act 2005 states that :-

    (1) Where a public body communicates with one or more persons, the head of the body shall ensure –

    • if the communication is an oral one and the person or persons aforesaid has a hearing impairment and so requests, or
    • if the communication is a written one and the person or persons aforesaid has a visual impairment and so requests,

    that, as far as practicable, the contents of the communication are communicated in a form that is accessible to the persons concerned

    (2) Where a public body communicates in electronic form with one or more persons, the head of the body shall ensure, that as far as practicable, the contents of the communication are accessible to persons with a visual impairment to whom adaptive technology is available.

    (3) The head of a public body shall ensure, as far as practicable, that information published by the body, which contains information relevant to persons with intellectual disabilities, is in clear language that is easily understood by those persons.

    The Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and information provided by Public Bodies provides further information on how a public sector body is expected to meet these requirements. click here.

    Policy

    Printed information in forms and leaflets is one of the most important and useful methods of communicating information to the public. In many cases the method of communication used by organisations is inaccessible to certain members of the community, in particular people with disabilities.

    The Council will also ensure that information will be provided in an accessible manner when speaking to a person with a hearing impairment. All Cork County Council staff have undergone a Disability Equality Training Programme, in compliance with NDA guidelines, to educate them on issues dealing with people with disabilities. A programme of Irish Sign Language Classes has also been put in place in co-ordination with Cork Deaf Association to equip staff members with the skills needed to communicate with customers and colleagues with hearing impairments. Sign Language Posters/Dictionaries have been placed in all public counter areas to give further support and assistance to public counter staff.

    All Cork County Council publications will be written in as clear and jargon free a language as possible.

    In this policy, Cork County Council is committed to ensuring, where practicable and where funding permits, that all information available to the public is available in an accessible format, for example accessible HTML, Large Print, Easy-to-Read format, Braille, Audio file and other formats, if requested.

    The Council will endeavour, at all times, to ensure that all possible assistance is given to people with disabilities to access information on the wide range of services that are provided by the council. Sign language interpreters will be provided for public events, meetings, interviews and other events where necessary and where requested in advance.

    Examples of Accessible Formats available

    • Accessible format such as HTML and other electronic formats such as Plain Text.
    • Large Print Version in English (at least 16 point)
    • Easy-to-Read version
    • Braille
    • Audio version in English
    • Other alternative formats as may be requested

    It may also be possible to have certain documents translated into core foreign languages, where requested.

    In this policy we will:-

    • Ensure that all existing core documents are available on request in a wide range of accessible formats.
    • Ensure that all new documentation is completed in line with accessibility standards. Resource documents such as the NDA Guidelines takes NDA “First Steps in Producing Accessible Publications” and the RNIB “See it Right” Guidelines will be used as reference points for completion of such documents.
    • Avail of the expertise of reputed and experienced organisations involved in the conversion of documents to alternative format to ensure full accessibility is achieved wherever possible.
    • Openly advertise the availability of information in accessible formats to staff and members of the public and advise how it may be accessed.
    • Openly advertise the availability of information in accessible formats to staff and members of the public and advise how it may be accessed.
    • Ensure that all information and documents available on our website is available in a format that can be used in conjunction with adaptive technology.

    Policy Evaluation

    This policy will be evaluated on a regular basis through the following methods:-

    • Keeping a record of requests for alternative information and information in alternative languages.
    • Monitor our website to review demand for information in alternative formats.
    • Request and consider feedback received from the public on the usefulness and benefit of providing information in an accessible format.
    • The Database established in conjunction with the Information Audit will be monitored on a quarterly basis.
    • We will keep all members of the Disability Steering Group aware of changes in relation to legislation and policy regarding accessibility in provision of information.

     

    Contact Details

    The Disability Act required that a number of key public contact persons be made available within the council for assistance for people with disabilities and people with disability queries.

    Contact Details are as Follows:

    Maurice Manning:
    National Disability Strategy Co-ordinator
    Corporate, Community & Emergency Services Directorate.
    Telephone: 021-4285544
    Email: maurice.manning@corkcoco.ie

    Dolores Galvin:
    Equality & Disability Liaison Officer
    Personnel Department
    Telephone: 021-4285771
    Email: dolores.galvin@corkcoco.ie

    Siobhán Morgan:
    Access Officer
    Corporate, Community & Emergency Services Directorate.
    Telephone: 021-4285133
    Email: siobhan.morgan@corkcoco.ie


 
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