Sensory Action Alliance

An alliance of organisations representing different sectors who have pledged to make changes to improve the lives of those with sight and/or hearing loss.

What is the Sensory Action Alliance?

It is an alliance of organisations representing different sectors who have pledged to make two small but widespread and impactful changes to improve the lives of those with sight and/or hearing loss. Pledges will be published here and reviewed annually.

We will support Sensory Action Alliance members to consider ways they could improve access and the steps needed to achieve their pledges.


Why do we need a Sensory Action Alliance?

One in six of us has a hearing loss and one in thirty has a sight loss. In Essex this equates to nearly 350,000 people and this figure is set to grow. This isn’t just something which happens to other people and so we all need to play our part in making the world we live in more accessible and inclusive.

Barriers to access can be environmental, personnel, system or information-based but often cause people to stop going out, lose confidence, independence and become excluded from society. The knock on is poorer health and quality of life, missed appointments, less footfall on the high street and higher complaints and dissatisfaction.

It is this we are seeking to change through the Sensory Action Alliance by sharing our expertise and supporting providers and wider communities to become more accessible.


The benefits of being a member

  • Publicly demonstrating your integrity and commitment to improving access for all.
  • Promotion as a founding member of this new and exciting initiative.
  • Improved customer and staff loyalty and positive feedback.
  • Opening up your business to thousands of potential new customers and the ‘purple pound’.
  • Reduced missed appointments and a chance to promote your achievements to the CQC.
  • Equalities Act 2010 and NHS Accessible Information Standard compliance.
  • Networking and training opportunities with us and other alliance members to share best practice.
  • The ongoing support of the ECL Sensory Team and partner organisations for information, guidance and advice.

If you’d like join us in the UK’s very first Sensory Action Alliance and help us to build a sensory friendly Essex, please contact us at sensoryactionalliance@essexcares.org


Healthwatch Essex

Healthwatch Essex logo.

We are an independent charity set up under the Health & Social Care Act 2012 and we use your voice to improve health and care in Essex. We undertake high-quality research and engagement to uncover your experience of services and use it to shape health and care.

Pledge 1

Sensory Awareness Training for all staff.

Pledge 2

Provide accessible information for all volunteers.

02/06/21


ECC Mental Health & Wellbeing team

ECC logo.

The Adult MH Wellbeing team provide short term, early intervention support to adults living in Essex aged 18-65 who are experiencing symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety, low mood, emotional difficulties, stress and who are not already receiving a service from secondary NHS mental health teams. We cover the whole of Essex and we offer information, advice and social prescribing; occasionally providing direct work with the adult with the aim of connecting people to find ways to understand and better manage their mental wellbeing.

Pledge 1

To ensure mental health awareness is promoted to people with sensory impairments within Essex.

Pledge 2

To ensure we are an accessible service to people with sensory impairments, delivering the right kind of support co-produced with the person.

13/05/21


CHP

Chelmer Housing Partnership Logo

Based in Chelmsford, Essex, CHP is a locally managed and governed housing association, registered as a Community Benefit Society Established in 2002 to deliver its core social purpose of meeting housing need by providing homes for rent and sale, CHP owns or manages over 10,500 homes and provides services for over 25,000 customers across the eastern region. In the financial year 2019-2020 CHP completed over 32,000 repairs and modernised nearly 1,000 homes. The organisation let 961 properties in the 2019-2020 financial year and built 375 new homes. Most of its new homes are for affordable rent whilst others are for shared ownership and open market sale.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

We pledge to train our employees to understand sensory loss/impairment issues so that we can tailor our services and customer engagement to meet customer needs, and to raise awareness and create an open dialogue in the workplace.

Pledge 2

We pledge to find out more about the sensory needs of our customers and use this in how we communicate and work with them.

Pledge 3

We pledge to make our website and digital communications accessible.

11/03/21


Spin Mobility Ltd

Spin Logo

Spin is the micro mobility unit of Ford Motor Company. The company currently operates dockless electric scooters and bikes in campuses and cities across the United States, Germany and in the UK with the mission of enabling movement for all types of communities. Spin is working with the UK Department of Transport and local councils as part of a national e-scooter trials scheme. Spin is currently operating in Milton Keynes and several locations across Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Clacton and Colchester).

Pledge 1

Commit to training at least 6 members of staff to have one at each hub across Essex

Pledge 2

Commit to engaging with local disability groups and access organisations to create a better, safer and less fearful relationship between e-scooter riders and people with sight and hearing loss.

02/03/21


Essex Libraries

Essex Libraries Logo

Essex Library Services is a large public library service run by Essex County Council with 74 libraries and two mobile libraries, spread across the county. We also offer eLibrary services and a Home Library Service, delivered by volunteers, to people unable to get to a library due to age, disability or caring responsibilities. The council is the second largest library authority in the country, serving a population of approximately 1.5 million.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

To ensure our service is accessible to people with sensory impairments we pledge to train the equivalent of one member of staff per library as a Sensory Champion.

Pledge 2

To help make our libraries are accessible to people with sensory impairments we will carry out an access audit for one of our main libraries such as Chelmsford or Colchester.

21/01/2021


The Essex Alliance

Essex Alliance logo.

The Essex Alliance is a co-operative group made up of charities, community groups and social enterprises. We work together to ensure the third sector of Essex is kept informed and involved.


Pledge 1

Promote the Sensory Action Alliance and the ECL Sensory Service throughout the voluntary sector.

Pledge 2

To create an accessible communications policy.

28/02/20


Maldon and District CVS

Maldon and District CVS

Maldon and District CVS is the voluntary sector infrastructure charity for Maldon district.

We provide support, information and good practice advice to over one hundred local community groups and charities as well as hosting the local voluntary sector and a range of projects aimed at increasing community involvement.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

Maintain or increase the proportion of staff trained as sensory champions.

Currently 2 of our staff are trained champions. As a team of 8 this represents 25% of our workforce. Champions are encouraged to engage in regular meet-ups and share learning and we will look for opportunities to increase knowledge in the workforce.

Pledge 2

Create an accessible communications policy.

Develop a policy that outlines the expectation that documents and other communications are produced with sensory access in mind. Including but not limited to text only word documents, screen reader friendly social media posts and multiple contact options.

28/02/20


Chelmsford Talking Newspaper

Pledge 1

Chelmsford Talking Newspaper

Volunteers at Chelmsford Talking Newspaper read and record a version of the Essex Chronicle each week. Real people with real voices – not computerised. We make a 90 minute recording onto USB mp3 sticks of the local news and events. We also include family announcements, to help to keep track of old friends and colleagues.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

We will improve the audio quality of recordings by review our recording equipment, techniques and training.

Pledge 2

We will seek to widen our distribution channels. We will research and develop podcasts for Alexa and mobile apps etc. We will work with other recipient groups.

23/01/2020


Intu Lakeside

intu Lakeside

Anchored by some of the biggest and best brands, intu Lakeside draws from an affluent catchment of 11m.

The new £72m leisure development increases the size of the centre to 1.6m sq ft and is set to increase footfall by more than two million a year, transforming the centre into a major south east tourist destination.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

Loop Systems

Purchase loop systems for the customer services lounge, desk and shopmobility and train staff how to use them.

Pledge 2

Guided assisted shopping

ECL Sensory Service to assist with training our staff. Aim to launch guided shopping service before the first half of 2020.

14/01/20


Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Essex county fire and rescue service

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service provide FREE Home Safety Visits for everyone living in Essex. Our Safe and Well Officers are all Sensory Champions and receive on-going training, so can tailor their visit to accommodate specific sensory needs. The Service provides sensory smoke alarms for people with hearing impairments and can provide specific fire plans and safety advice.

Two of our Safe and Well Officers are also training in British Sign Language (BSL) so we have a better understanding of, and communication with our Deaf community. The Service works closely with other organisations to ensure those with sensory needs can access all the resources and support available.

Our two Sensory Action Alliance pledges are as follows:

Pledge 1

Our Safe and Well Officers and contact centre staff completed Sensory Champion training earlier in 2019. In order to maintain best practice, we pledge to review our training, keep it up to date, and also arrange a shadow visit for our Officers with ECL Sensory Service to gain further feedback on the quality of our assessment, communication and information provided during the Safe and Well Home Safety check visit.

Pledge 2

We want to ensure our service is accessible to people with sensory impairments, from the point of booking through to receiving a visit. We pledge to work with ECL Sensory Service to review our systems, processes and information, making changes and improvements wherever possible.

09/01/20