Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Inquiry Panel - Accessible Southampton - Thursday, 20th January, 2022 5.30 pm

Venue: Virtual Meetings - Virtual meeting. View directions

Contact: Mark Pirnie - Scrutiny Manager 023 8083 3886 

Link: Link to meeting

No. Item


Apologies and Changes in Membership (if any)

To note any changes in membership of the Panel made in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4.3.



The apologies of Councillor Guest were noted.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting (including matters arising) pdf icon PDF 150 KB

To approve and sign as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2021, and to deal with any matters arising, attached.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2021 be approved and signed as a correct record.



Additional documents:


The Panel considered the report of the Service Director – Legal and Business

Operations for the fourth meeting of the ‘Accessible Southampton Inquiry’.  The Panel considered ‘Accessibility to information and communication’ and noted the presentations.


Summary of information provided:


What contributes to good accessibility in information & communication from Disabled People’s Viewpoint – Ian Loynes, Chief Executive, Spectrum CIL


·  A presentation was delivered by Ian Loynes, summarising the key issues raised at the Accessible Southampton Focus Group meeting. 

·  Key points raised in the presentation included the following:

o  Information and communication should be written to be understandable to the audience in question – This is not applied by all SCC services

o  If information or communication is aimed at the ‘general public’ then it needs to ensure that it will be accessible and understandable to all equality groups (including Disabled People)

o  Consider if all the intended audience will be able to access your chosen communication method

o  Use Plain English

o  Make it easy for staff to get it right - Provision of accessible info should not be a cost issue

o  SCC should consider having an Accessible Information Standard (Sans Serif font, minimum size 14pt)

o  Ability to easily produce other formats ‘on demand’

o  The language of disability is important – words matter (Best practice provided by Spectrum CIL and added to the Inquiry evidence log)

o  Just common decency: Don’t use words that people don’t like - words to describe Disabled People, that we find offensive such as ‘Handicapped’ or ‘Bed/House Bound’ are still routinely used (and often inaccurate!)

o  Just as some people prefer information in non-English languages, some Disabled People need information in other formats - ie:  BSL, Braille, Audio, Easy Read, Makaton

o  Client information should include preference for how they would like their information provided and should be applied consistently across an organisation

o  All general information should say that other formats are available on request

o  Whilst its hard/dangerous to generalise, many people still do not have access to the Internet - Yet more and more the only way to gain a service or information is via the Internet

o  Access to services/information must remain available in a variety of ways. Invest in schemes which provide equipment / training to encourage more to benefit from the Internet

o  Internet should provide a range of accessibility controls

o  Provide easy access to a human being (easy to find Phone number)

o  Far too many public meetings are still inaccessible to Disabled People

o  To include as part of an access statement (eg public meetings will always be held in accessible venues). Checklist to ensure meetings are accessible

o  Opportunity for accessible communication standards and language to be included in staff/cllr inductions and training to improve awareness.


Communication Access Symbol – Rosie Dowty, Lead Speech & Language Therapist, at Southampton Community Learning Disability Service, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust & Kate Dench, Learning Disability Joint Commissioning Manager at the Integrated Commissioning Unit


·  Key points raised by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.