Communication Access UK – what the launch means to business leaders

Communication Access UK – what the launch means to business leaders

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Hello i'm nick you're president, of the royal college of speech and language, therapists, and today. We launch a project, developed with charity, and organization. Partners. All of which share our vision, and in the admission. That of improving, the lives of people with communication. Difficulties. We've called it, communication. Access. Uk. The initiative, provides, training, and resources. To businesses. And organizations. Across the uk. To enable, their staff to identify. And understand. Communication. Difficulties. And to improve their own communication. And in doing so. Improve the lives of millions of people across the country. Who experience. Communication. Difficulties, every, single, day. Those that register. With the communication. Access, uk, plan. And commit to implant. Implementing. And adhering, to its principles. Will become accredited. As communication. Accessible. And will be able to display. The communication. Access, symbol. A new disability. Access symbol, akin to the wheelchair. Access, symbol, to demonstrate. Their commitment. To inclusivity. Now joining me to launch this ambitious, program. Are some of the uk's, top business people. All leaders, of business sectors which importantly. Interface, with the public. Their support, is vital. In spreading the word, and encouraging, their desperate, memberships. To get involved, for their own benefit. And for the benefit. Of those with communication. Difficulties. And to host the discussion. I welcome the royal college's. Chief executive. And the driver. Behind this initiative, it's kamini, gadhaf. As our panel, we welcome, kate nichols, chief executive, of uk hospitality. Representing. The interests, of some 800, companies, across the country. From coffee bars, pubs. Bars, restaurants. A powerful. And effective, voice for the hospitality. Sector. Now joining kate we have tamara, hill, from the british, retail, consortium. The go-to, trade organization. For all uk, retailers, a sector. Which employs, almost three million people. And representing. The communications. Business. Be it commercial, or public sector pr we're delighted. To welcome francis, ingham. Director, general. Of the prca. The public relations, communications. Association. We're also pleased to welcome ian wright. Chief executive, of the food and drink federation. The voice of the uk's, largest, manufacturing. Sector, which employs, over 400. 000 people. And a warm welcome, to johnny timpson. Of scottish, widows. Who is also, cabinet, office, champion. For insurance, and banking. And last but certainly not least, we're delighted, to be joined by craig gould of skipton, building society. Who've been working with the communication. Access uk. Since his early days. And who we are proud, to have as an early adopter. So i'd like to thank you all for taking the time out to join us as we launch. Communication. Access, and now. Let me hand over to the driver the chief executive. Let me hand over to kamini, to leave the discussion, comedy. Thank you so much nick uh for that wonderful, introduction. And for all your support, so far. And uh big, thanks to all of you. Who have joined the panel discussion, today, we recognize, that this is a really turbulent, time for your industries. And the work that you all have. Is significant. So we do appreciate, that you have taken the time out. On something that we care very passionately, about. And it's really important, i think to reflect, on um. How communication, is something that we all take for granted, but, i guess the pandemic, has brought in sharp focus. How, barriers to communicate. Communication, can really affect us. And in particular the barriers, that, have been created, as a result of the need to wear masks, and having spoken to, all of you uh prior to this discussion, today. This is something that i know that you've identified. As a. An area that you've had to grapple with. And. Trying to, socialize. For people, day to day that's created, a problem for the for, the general public but also i guess for all of you in in delivering, a service. To your customers. So today i'm really interested, to hear from all of you what um you've been doing and what your sect has been doing. So i'm going to turn to kate, first, in with respect to the hospitality. Sector, so um, kate. What, impact, has the pandemic, had i think we're hearing about it a lot on the news already. Uh uh but how are the adaptations. Affecting. How business, businesses, are being run. And have you found ways that your, uh, industry is responding. Well thank you and i'm really pleased to be able to to join you here today because i think it's such an important, issue that we address and get right and in hospitality.

We Are. The ultimate, people, business. And we thrive, on face-to-face. Contact, communication. Socialization. And all of the work that we've put in in hospitality, to address the equality. Agenda. And access, agenda, has been focused, on communication. And one-on-one, discussions. And so. The, the. Impact of the pandemic, has been, really severe, on our sector commercially, but it's also. Resulted, in a fundamental, change in the way in which we deal with our customers and the way in which we approach communication. Which is probably what we're talking about today. Um it's put up so many barriers, between, people, and and between, people in hospitality. Venues. And the way that, customer service is delivered. So hospitality. Has had, the most severe, restrictions. Placed upon its operations. Um we are the only sector of the economy now that has legal restrictions. On our. Operations. And they hit. Both in terms of demand, but also in terms of supply which is quite unique. So we've got restrictions, on capacity. Social distancing. Occupancy. Space, having space between, people which clearly makes communication, more difficult, we have restrictions. On the way in which we can take orders, we have restrictions, on the number of people that can. Premises, any one time, and we have restrictions, on how we are able to seat and deal with them, so, overall. Our businesses, are probably, operating. At sort of 60. Of their previous. Uh revenues, pre precovered. Um, but, uh, in. City center locations, and those in tier two and tier one, you are talking about 90, to. You know 85, to 90, loss of revenue. And a loss of revenue that's been sustained, throughout the year, so really. And hitting our staff and our teams which is one of the most important, points to make. In terms of, what it's meant, uh operationally. And service-wise. We have had to move to a full, table ordering and table service. Rather than going up to a bar, and communicating.

In That way. It's all seated, it's all, it's largely. Uh. Reserved. In advance, online. Um and clearly now as a legal obligation, as well both our staff, members, and our guests, need to wear masks. Apart from when they are eating and drinking. So. It from a business that has gone, from. March, being, the place that you go, you socialize, with your friends colleagues. Family. And, you have a lot of interaction, with the team member who's serving you, we put so many barriers, in the way of that communication. Um, and we've worked hard to try and get our team members, to. Focus much harder on what they need to do to get messages across to customers. Rather than relying, upon electronic, information, because it's very easy to say, you need a qr code to scan in you need a qr, code to do online ordering at the menu. Which is what government policy is pushing us towards. For anybody, who has, any sort of. Disability. Or neurological. Difficulty, or communications. Difficulty. Moving online is not always, the best answer, and and clearly it gets in the way of what we're trying to do, so this is why it says such a good initiative, today that you're launching. Because it gives a very easy toolkit, for our team members to sort of work harder, and to think about how they are communicating, with guests in what is going to be quite a challenging, environment, for at least the next six months. Thanks so much kate for highlighting. Some of those challenges. And. Also, that i think you know as you said the training that we can provide will support. Um. Your, staff, to. Look at how to remove some of those barriers, to access. Yes, yes i mean it it, we've all had a little bit of an experience. Of what it must be like, to be, deaf. Or hearing impaired. To, uh. To, to struggle to be able to get ourselves, understood, it's it's humiliating. It's frustrating. When you're standing in a bank or a shop or a hospitality. Venue. And, you can't understand what the person is saying to you because you can't hear what they're saying through a mask. And and you're having to repeat yourself five or six times we've all had that experience. It gives us a small insight into what, many many millions of people will be living with on a daily experience, a daily basis. Um and and hopefully, as a result of that we can get some good coming out of crisis. That helps us all to be a little bit more understanding. About what people are dealing with and the challenges, they're dealing with. Thank you kate so i wonder if i could turn to ian then um. I suppose building what kate said with respect to the fact that. We're you know there's a level of. Getting. An understanding, of how. Um. This must feel like for people who live with communication. Impairment, on an everyday, basis, you know in terms of, uh. Having to work through. Communication. Through, through masks, and trying to get your message across but also hear what people are saying to you, are there some simple things that you think that all businesses, can do to help people. Yes i think, well first of all good morning and thank you for having me. And. Before i do anything else i should just, add to. Nick's words about kate nicholls. Astonishing. Impact, on the way in which the government thinks about. Hospitality. She has been the real star, of this uh, of this pandemic. And i've, been working very closely with her for several, years now not least because we share an office. Uh, sir an office space, so i just want to put that on record it's the first chance i've had to do so. Um. I think, i think our challenge is a bit different from hospitality. Because our members are almost all factory based. So we are with the largest manufacturing. Sector, in the country. And that means, that we have a very large number of factory. Type. Facilities, and by factories, i also mean places like bakeries. And other, food. Production, facilities. Which, which, may involve. Thousands, of people. Or they may involve. Dozens. Or just a few. And all of those, produ. Create different, challenges. For the businesses. That we represent. And one of the interesting, challenges. Is that they're already, quite. Highly regulated. Environments, because we're dealing with food. And drink. And as a consequence, people are wearing. Uh if not ppe, they are wearing work wear, that is often very prescribed. So you have to wear. In certain circumstances. You already had to wear a visor. Another, circuit in other facilities. You already had to wear masks. You almost certainly are not allowed to attend in your ordinary day clothes you have to change, into work where. In a place, in a changing room. And then, go through a, proper, sanitization. Process. Already you did that before, the arrival of the pandemic. Now, in some ways that makes the adoption, of of masks, or visors, and so on. Much easier but in other ways, it's actually a real challenge because there may be indeed there are.

Facilities. Where wearing a mask would be dangerous, because you're not able, to communicate, you're not able to see what your colleague is doing. And of course in many facilities, you may not ever be able to hear, what's going on because you have to wear ear defenders, because there's noisy, equipment. And in a. In a series of environment they're all very different, as well. Uh and health and safety, both in terms of food safety, and most importantly, of, the safety of the people working there are, major concerns. The other thing about our industry as opposed to say the car industry, or the or the aeronautics. Industry. Is that our factories, are widely, dispersed. So there's a food. Manufacturing, facility, with at least 50 people working in it in every parliamentary, constituency. In the country. There's no central, there's no, area like liverpool. Or birmingham. Or coventry, or dagenham. Uh as there are as there is for example. In the automotive, industry where there's a concentration. Um, the other final thing i'd say about our industry which is a bit different is that. We have multiple, languages. So in, in, for example, in the tate nile, factory. In, newham the famous sugar refinery, on the river. 45. Different languages, have spoken. And that means, that the challenges, of communicating. With people, who have. Any kind of communication. Difficulty. Is a really big one, and i think industry, therefore, has to our industry. Has, a preoccupation. With safety. But in its preoccupation. With safety, it has to begin to put, considerations. Of people's ability, to communicate. And recognize, the nature of communication. Front and center. And i'm not sure it's always done that it's it's seen, those, issues, through. The prism of different languages. Or different. Um. Or different cultures, but it hasn't always seen them through the prism. Of. Access. For, those, with. Uh with different, um, disabilities. To. Process, the information. And i have a very, personal, view of this because, about four or five years ago. My wife went deaf, in one ear. Overnight. Uh we still don't know quite why that was and we had a comedy moment the next morning, she'd been, quite poorly but not but could have could hear perfectly well, the next morning in bed the phone rang she picked it up she said. Uh there's nobody on the other end, i could hear the person on the other end from the other side of the room. And that's had a massive impact on her life and i we've lived with it, um, but, one very, small vignette, which i know, uh, will be very familiar, to those watching this, is that masks, are massively, difficult, for her, for two reasons, one is, she didn't know, that she lit bread, until. About the middle of the summer, when it suddenly became clear that when people are wearing masks, in all all situations. Uh that it's very difficult to understand what they were saying because she, she couldn't hear them and she couldn't see.

See Them speaking, and the other thing is and this is a really practical, but difficult, point. Every time she takes the masks, off mask off her hearing aids come out. Um, and it's incredibly. Annoying, and i've talked to other people in the same situation. Who simply, can't, there's no way that you can configure. That arrangement, around your ears and chin. To make it work better. And that is both practical. And extreme, could be extremely, expensive. Some of these pro some of these, hearing aids are very very expensive, and very small and difficult, to see. So, i think, business, needs to think about these things from the point of view of the sufferer, or the, person who has the condition. Whatever, it is and it may obviously not just be about hearing. Um. And i think it we need to be more more, employee-centric. In this. Uh going forward and that's why i so welcome this initiative because it makes us think. About every individual, in the workplace, and that must be a good thing, particularly. In the spirit of the pandemic, where we're all trying to look out for each other. Um so tomorrow you've just started touching, on the, you know the fact that the retail. Um, trade, has really tried to work. Hard right from the, beginning, i think it sounds like you said before. Um you know as the pandemic, first started to think about how you could adapt, to to look at supporting. Access to your customers, in terms of good communication. Did you want to just um. Tell us a little bit about more about that. Well yeah i mean retail, has, traditionally, been, quite very obviously very customer focused and i do echo the the points raised by caitlyny, and um in terms of, the challenges. Um that, these, this has brought with social distancing. The faith coverings, etc. Um, and. As nick mentioned in the intro three we've got three million employees, within retail but we've also got 100, of citizens, in the uk. That will have a sustained, interaction, with retail at some point whether that's either physically, by going into stores. Um or visiting, websites, purchasing, online, and obviously, receiving, emails. Um. From those so everybody needs to purchase food staples, and be clothed. Um so i think it's very important, that retailer, is on board with this and i think they are, well placed, trying to get these messages across. Um, and as i said they are they have traditionally, been been very customer, focused. We are at the moment, um undergoing, a, huge piece of work on diversity, and inclusion, and making sure that. Um. They are inclusive, employers. Um and they have a diverse, workforce. And we do have a lot, uh regular roundtables. Looking at how they are able to support. Um different. Uh characteristics. Under the, under the dni, spectrum. Um. So yeah just um. I did send out this to a couple of our members. And they did um. I guess. They are able to kind of get the messages, fed, through, quite well and they do sort of have um. Communications. Champions, in different stores. And they will promote, the initiatives, they will roll out um, the e-learning. With their. Employer communications. And they will um have. So that they, teach sign language as well so they will have like a champion. In each store, um obviously this is this is some of the bigger ones, um where they will they will be able to speak different languages or have that sign language, so very much focused, on their. Employees. And their colleagues, and making sure that they are diverse but. Inclusive, but also for their customer base as well. That's great. To hear tomorrow so as you know we've.

Developed, The training. To become an online, e-learning. Um. Module, and there are three. Different elements, as well as the sort of um. Initial introduction, it will you know the training covers. How to communicate, face-to-face. Uh on the phone, and also written communication, both, online. And. If you're going to provide, hard copy. Information. In writing. So do you think um, you've, you've mentioned, the, the retail, industry are really interested, in this initiative, do you think that training will then, help, with um. You know how they communicate, with customers, and enhance, the work you've already done so far. I mean, i mean obviously, the. The whole communication. For how this is communicated. To make sure the public are under, understanding, of what this access symbol will mean, and if they then see that displayed, in store i think they will have a certain expectation. Um that the staff within that store. Understand, what what it means and whether they need extra support, or how, how to communicate, so i think they're well placed. To kind of. Create that welcoming, environment. For anybody that would need it. That's great thank you. Um. So, i don't know if i can move on to francis, so francis. Um. You're, uh. Director, general of public relations, in the communications, association. And when we. Spoke you talked about how your organization. Represents, the whole, pr, profession. Um. And, you also then, talk to me about your own personal, experiences, of having communication, difficulties. I just wondered if you wanted to share some of those and how, this initiative, you think is going to be, very important for your industry. Sure thank you kamini, it's um great to be involved in this um. Let me talk about myself, uh first and then the organization. Second if that works. Um, so i've never publicly. Said this, so. As a kid, i. Had a, crushingly. Bad. Speech impediment. I. Absolutely. Hated, speaking to anybody. Outside of my family. Sometimes, including my family. For that matter. And, it ruined. Years, of, um, schooling. Um, because, i would just be. Completely, nervous. The whole way, through, the school, day. Um about being called by a teacher, to answer, a, question. Uh and i don't mean a little bit nervous, i i mean, sort of. Breakdown. Level of nervous, er to the, extent. That for a whole year, um i didn't go to school. Um, at all. And. Uh. My my mother's attempts, to sort out my problem. Uh were completely, ineffectual. And she gave up. In the end and then at secondary, school. Um, some of the teachers, were aware. Of this, and would never ask me a question. At any point, ever. And some of them either weren't or didn't care and would. And i even now remember, some of the occasions, where i was asked a question and completely, collapsed. And, as kate said, um, it was incredibly humiliating. And it felt as if i was, in a mask, currently. So i couldn't, communicate. Um, with anybody. And, it was only, by, forcing myself to do public speaking. Um then i overcame, it but even now, when i'm tired. Um i can feel the lisp. In my. Voice. And i'm constantly reminded. Of what it's like not to be able to communicate.

With People, and so that's my personal interest in this and that's why i'm personally very, happy to be, associated, with it, um. To the go to the corporate one. My members, work. Across, every industry, in the uk, and outside of the uk. Um, our, logo, says prca. The power of communication. And so we understand the power of it, and also how, absolutely, lacking in power you are, if you can't. Communicate. Um, our members are compelled, by our code of conduct to act in the public, goods and the public interest. Um, and their whole remit, is to bring down barriers, to communication. So that's why we're delighted, to be part of this. And. We will be, as the organization, that represents, the industry. In this country. We will be. Strongly. Strongly, encouraging. All of our members. To get, involved in this to adopt it, and where they are, agencies. To make sure that their clients. Do, the same as well. Um because. If we believe in the power of communication, then we believe it's important, for, everybody. And nobody should be excluded. Particularly, in these, incredibly difficult times, so thank you for inviting us to be involved. That's great thank you so much francis, um. Uh and thank you so much for your. Passion, and for your support, i think it's really clear that uh this is something that as you said you, you really can empathize, with so thank you so much for that, so i'm going to move on now. I'm sorry francis, yeah. I really can emphasize, and, i i know it's ironic, that somebody. Who would never. Speak. Uh represents, the pr industry, and you know when i stand up in front of a room of 800, people. Um. It reminds, me of how important it is to be able to, talk. Yeah, no absolutely. Thank you so much for that, so i'm going to turn to craig, next so, craig gould is head of the customer, experience. Uh, section of, skipton, building society, so craig. Um you're an early adopter. Of the communication, access, uk, symbol and the training so i just wondered if you could, talk about your experience. Yeah we are an early adopter, um. But what we've seen it is almost a natural extension, of our work that we've been doing with um, alzheimer's. Um. Uk, and scotland. Um. We're dementia, friends all of our branch network, 87, branches around the country as well as our call centers. With over 90 percent of our colleagues, all being dementia, friends. We just see there's a natural extension. Um, of what we've been doing there, um, but within that, um it's been a real life night opener for um the colleagues that we've. That we've been um, training, within our, trial branches. One of the things that it's, enabled. Them to do is create a huge amount of confidence. In interacting, with people. And recognizing. Um, and, and using the. The talk acronym. Um. And, um. And, really kind of listening to what that people's needs are. And there's some really great examples. Um. Where, uh in one of the branches that we had, that we're doing the trials in, uh there was a customer.

That Um. Had uh had had a stroke. Um and found it really difficult to communicate. Um with, our colleagues. Um, and the way that she would normally, uh come into the branch pre doing the training was should um. Ask someone to write down, um before she came in so she could hand the slip to one of her colleagues, or she would point, at how much money she'd like to um. To withdraw. From her account, or put money in or whatever the interaction, was, um, but through. Using the talk acronym, and the training which i'll go into a little bit more, detail on a second, um, what they were able to kind of. With confidence. Was. That the customer was able to sing. How much money she was um. Wanting to withdraw, or what her instructions, were so, with that little bit of confidence, you know kind of listening. Uh taking time. To um to understand what her needs were. Now now she has another way of communicating, with us that she's really confident in doing. Um and we would never have discovered, that without. Kind of working with um and. And and training our team and, there's numerous other examples, as well. Um but fundamentally, it's about i think it's about confidence, in in creating for our colleagues, to be able to kind of, talk and listen and and identify. Um. What our customer, needs are we believe. More than, um half of our customers, have some sort of communication. Need or. Need some help. So this is going to be fantastic, for our teams. And we're looking to roll it out the rest of our branch network, over the next 12 months. But part of the training. One of the speech therapists. That helped us with the training. Um. Just. Um. Just so that, our colleagues could empathize, a little bit with, with our customers. Um, i just asked them a simple question to describe, what they had for dinner last night without, speaking, or writing. So simple things like that, just, enabled them to try to empathize, more easily with customers, that had you know really challenging, communication. Needs. So that's kind of in the face-to-face. Environment. Um but we've also been looking at um. Uh, obviously. Everyone's moving to this more digital world. Um with a kind of email communication, so we've reviewed all of our communications. Um and made sure that we. Made them communication, friendly we've had. More than doubled the number of customers, that let us know that they have some um some communication. Needs um through written communication, as well, by doing this. As well as all of our systems, and app, enhancements, we're. Doing accessibility. Testing as well and again, we're discovering, things. Such as our terms and conditions, for somebody that's, using a um, a screen, reader. We listen to what it sounded, like and instantly, changed, it. Um, fundamentally, it was. I think 10 or 11 pages of terms conditions, that, just, kind of. Spoke the whole way through and if someone had to pause it would go back and start again. Um, and there's other kind of challenges, in there as well so we instantly we've gone and changed that way that we um, break down our terms conditions for people that have, these a screen reader. Um so there's lots of different advantages. Um. That we have, so um we i'm really proud to be part of an early adopter but we're already starting to see some of the benefits, for our, customers, but also our colleagues because we're adopting. This as part of our you know it's over about 1500, employees, who skipped in around the country. Um and of course, um, our colleagues also have communication, needs as well so, it's enhancing our customer experience but it's also, enabling, us to have a better colleague experience, as well. That all sounds, amazing. Um, and, i think you know the fact that you're. Actually, identifying. As you're going through the process, of the fact that you know that the things that need to be changed because they, are really.

Quite Complex, if you try and translate, into. Other communication. Formats, so, that's great that you're doing that and i'm sure that you'll get really good feedback. So that was really interesting, craig i don't know if there was any anything anyone wants to pick up on what craig said or. If. We should move on to johnny then johnny over to you so johnny. Simpson, um, your. Financial, protection, specialist, at scottish widows but you're also working. With a cabinet office as a, disability. Champion, for insurance, and banking. So you have a particular. Interest, in this initiative. Community. And, nick good morning, and and thank you for inviting me to participate, in, in this. Very important, initiative. You can tell by my accent that i'm scottish and i live in scotland, and i have to say. I'd like to just put on record my appreciation, of the work that, the royal college of speech and language therapists have done. In influencing. The new consumer. Act actually. In scotland. And making sure that inclusive, communication. Sits, at the heart of that consumer, legislation. I think that's really important because if i just talk about what we're doing within the cabinet office at the minute. In addition to my ambassador. Role in, both banking. And well actually protection, and sorry in insurance. Which is my principal, role. I'm, actually. Obviously picking up the the banking goal as well because they don't have a a banking champion. At this moment in time. But i have been i'm also working on the development of a new national disability, strategy. With the cabinet, office. And, the work that this initiative. Is focused, on really speaks to the themes. Of that developing, new disability, strategy. Breaking down the barriers. That prevent, people accessing. Jobs. Products. And services. And. Supporting, people live, independent. Lives. Supporting, people access. A whole raft of products and services, across all sectors. Of our economy. So i've been. I've made the cabinet office. Disability, unit, very aware. Of this piece of work and asked them to engage. With you. And i've also reached out to. Um in terms of the insurance, sector. Um it's, it's a little bit of them that i heard in cats because i'm dealing with, two professional, bodies. And 13, trade bodies i've engaged, all of them, and equally, banking's, a little bit easier, because they only have one. Body which is uk finance so, the good news is, everyone's aware of this piece of work, and everyone wants to get engaged, so that's a good starting point, i think people just kind of pick back go back a little bit because, my sector both insurance and banking is highly regulated. And, in a pre-covered. It was transitioning. From. A, face-to-face. Model with the main. To, an an online. Model. Um so but there's still a big high street retail, footprint, and so and it that speaks to a lot of the issues that tamara. Uh katie, and and ian raised and actually fight, the very same. Issues but you know dealing with people in in branch. High street environments. Uh with masks on how can we communicate with people. Effectively. And, how can we recognize, them you know that they may have, a.

Visible, Or, non-visible, disability, so the lanyard, scheme. Is. Helping that there too. But you know, um, but equally, you know if i take us back to the. You know to the the. Online, environment, because, what covert has done is really accelerated. And. That switch, to into digital, online, training. Actually quite interesting for people with disabilities, isn't it amazing, how. The the all the, the barriers. Disabled, people, faced. In accessing. Jobs. Products and services, you know and. Particularly, jobs you know it's too difficult too expensive, to make workplace, adjustments. All of that's suddenly gone away isn't it so so i think to some extent there's you know, the. The the new digital environment is empowering for people with disabilities, but, we need to make sure. That, our communication, our. Online, communication. Our voice communication. Is accessible. As as is, inclusive. Uh so it works for everybody. And if picking up ian's point about employees. You know. Because it's important that we think about colleagues, too and we you know because obviously we want to, encourage, and support. The number of disabled, people, in in the world of work and help help them with great careers. But. You know the way that people, you know enter the the, the workplace, now you know the days of the face-to-face. Interview, gone it's now been replaced by, an online interview, the, the, the, performance. The, managing. Management, the coaching, mentoring that takes place, is now online. So line managers now need to readjust, their way of working, the way of thinking, we i've met so many, older managers, you know basically put great store. And their ability to read people to read body language well, that's a whole different, issue. When you're having to deal with people with visible and non-visual disabilities. And you're doing it, online. On phone you're doing it by zoom or you're doing it, by teams, so there's a whole new skill set needs to be adopted there, but if they bring you back to some of the things that we are doing i mean. I've established, the access to insurance. Working group across, my sectors. And that's basically, focused, very much it was we started this work before corvette. Um because access, was becoming an issue just because of the digital, transition. So i wanted to make sure that you know we were improving access to products and services. That were making people aware. Of their quality act, obligations. That we were raising the importance, of the social model of disability. And. Particularly. The language and communication, that supports, that. Language and communication, that. Respects. Disabled, people. As active, citizens, empowered, to make their own decisions. And you know respecting. Making sure that our language. Spoke to. You, spoke to what they could do, and identified, the barriers that they were facing. We didn't, you know we didn't use medical terminology. That. Label people, these are important. So you know we've, yes we have tried to encourage people to to get engaged with disability, confident but you know that that's just a badge and scheme isn't it it's actually doing it making a difference. Is is important. So, you know focusing on inclusive language, focusing, on language that respects people. Removing, labels. Accessible, websites, except, accessible. You know. Formats, and fonts and font sizes. Having, alternative. Um. Options like you know like um, braille, or. Large print. Voice loops. Text to speech and speech to text subtitles. And trend and translation, services, these are all important, but. The issue i see across, the. The banking, and insurance, there's lots of good things taking place.

But What we do need to do is to set a standard. And, thank you because i think this work that you're doing, establishes, that standard. Uh and the accreditation. Scheme, gives us all a baseline, to shoot for, but that's the baseline, because the challenge is, how do we build in it so i think this isn't one and done, this is start, of an active, ongoing, relationship, and i think that's what we we need to embrace. Uh across, all of our sectors, and, certainly you know be assured i mean the work the the you know the the. Uh the opportunity, i've got to influence within the cabinet office i will be taking to to land, this this, the importance of this this initiative. That's, uh great johnny thank you so much and you've really highlighted, and brought to life the importance, of, quality, of life. For people. You know we all want to be able to go to the shops we all want to be able to, go to the pub or the restaurant, obviously, uh pandemic, restrictions. Are in place at the moment but you know how do we support. People to to live as normal a life as they can and respect. Them and show that we respect them and we will adjust our communication. To, empower them to be able to access, things i think we all take for granted, and have done, um, and, you know it's it's great that everybody's, really, on board i think to see how we can, work together. Um, and i think it is about as ian was saying earlier about you know the pandemic, is bringing people together and how we, create a sense of community. And to support some of the most vulnerable. Who might feel even more excluded. At the moment. But i don't know if anybody's got any other, comments to make on what you've heard, from, colleagues, or, panel members nick did you have any reflections, or anyone else, i would also just like to say that we have here a group of people, that represent. Hospitality. The communications. Industry, retail. Finance, manufacturing. If we. Sort of put all those together. As a sort of a view of this country then you're pretty much or, between you reaching, every aspect. Of. This country, and, i'd like to think you will go forth as it were, and spread the word, and, actually, infuse. Everybody. That you deal with in your own sectors. About. The uh, the project. That uh you know kamini, has uh. Kicked off, so that you know before, long it will really become. You know part of the fabric of this country, and. Kate i hope that uh. Our symbol. Will join the other symbols, like drink aware and all the rest, on every. Doorway, to every. Um. Hospitality. Outlet, if i can use that dreadful, word. And and will take his rightful, place there is an important, part, of what we're all, seeking to achieve. To help people with those uh, difficulties, but also you know in a sense to help every industry in the country. To improve. Other people's. Situation. So that would be my sort of, take on the conversation, so far. And, i guess we could say that together, you sort of embrace the whole of. Society. All. Those, areas. I ran through them before hospitality. Comms finance, and all the rest of it and so. I'm not suggesting, that you're disciples, but i'd like to think that you could be sort of sent out. Not only to spread the word but to implement, the word amongst your own, communities. And uh, if that's done with enthusiasm. And belief. And vigor. Then this, initiative, will really catch fire and will become. An important, part. Of britain's society, really and it's um. That would be a wonderful, achievement, that's all i'd say. It really would it's a, really important. Moment for us i think and. Very very um. You know important to hear how we might go forward as you said nick both for, colleagues to go forward but also how we can work together, because i think what i'm picking up from johnny is there is an opportunity, to see how we might work together, to share some of those, examples, of um. Working. And. Coming up with creative, solutions, which i think you've all talked about, at length which is fantastic, so thank you, um i don't know if there's anything else anyone wants to, add but i'm, just so impressed, and quite blown away actually, by all of the this is, you know, i think for somebody, you know who's been. In the profession, for many, decades, now and we've been, talking about this initiative, for a few years to hear. Your commitment, is is. Incredible. Really is and we're so grateful. You know it's it's brilliant, thank you.

2020-11-23 00:22

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