deafscotland has called on politicians to ensure Scotland becomes the first inclusive communication nation
A charity has called for politicians to remember the million Scots who are affected by deafness.
deafscotland has unveiled its manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections.
The charity has said it is essential that party policies and methods of promotion address the communication poverty that is endemic in Scottish society.
Janis McDonald, chief officer of deafscotland, said the election give all parties the opportunity to make Scotland the first ‘inclusive communication nation’.
She said: “In 2020 we made big inroads in securing laws requiring inclusive communication to be at the heart of public sector decisions and actions on tackling Covid-19. We need to maintain the momentum as well as expand the lessons learnt to cover economic, social, cultural, civil, political and environmental matters in everyday life. We invite each party to formally announce that it supports our five “asks”, during and after the election campaign. We also urge candidates, activists, trade unionists and people in Scotland to support inclusive communication as we all have a part to play in making a fairer Scotland.”
deafscotland developed its asks in response to members experiences and practical solutions. The five asks are:
1. That politicians support Inclusive communication to move from only being about “disability” to the mainstream in democracy, government, services and information.
2. That they commit to making sure the Principles of Inclusive Communication are at the heart of everything they do – manifesto, strategy, the way a party operates, and should candidates be elected, their party will push for an Inclusive Communication strategy to be at the heart of government.
3. Scotland’s children and young people, including deaf children, should be supported to reach their full potential. Politicians will support an Inclusive Communication strategy in education to make sure this happens.
4. Health and Social Care Partnerships support our most vulnerable, including deaf people. Politicians will promote Communication For All to make sure service planning and delivery is inclusive from the start, person-centred and rights based.
5. Data collection in Scotland needs to change. Politicians will support changes to the way data is collected to make sure there is accurate information on the numbers of deaf people and the barriers they face daily to ensure the services and information that they use and get, are fit for purpose.
The charity says deafblind people have been particularly let down during the Covid-19 response as they need hands-on communication to relate with others, to receive information and support. Social and physical distancing means they have been left much more isolated and vulnerable to mental and physical ill-health, and unsure of what has been happening daily during the crisis.