Information

Letter of Rights - accessibility delivery working group minutes: September 2021

Minutes of the meeting of the group on 22 September 2021.


Attendees and apologies

Attendees:

  • Scottish Government – Access to Justice Team
  • Scottish Appropriate Adult Network
  • Autism Network Scotland
  • DeafScotland
  • Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice
  • Scottish Commission for Learning Disability
  • People First Scotland
  • SOLD (Supporting Offenders with Learning Difficulties) Net
  • Enable Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome, approval of minutes and update on interim work carried out

The Chair welcomed members of the group and sought approval for the publishing of the minutes of the previous meeting.

The group was updated on the work that has been carried out following the first meeting of the group in April which includes meeting with Police Scotland and internal colleagues from the Youth Justice and Children’s Hearings Team

Discussion on the content and format of any new Letters, including various specific issues which will help inform further work on reforming the Letter

The group agreed that the current versions of the Letter are not fit for purpose and going forward, a version that is truly easy read and accessible should be produced alongside a separate children and young people’s letter. While there are issues around producing several different versions of the Letter to suit different user groups, it was felt that it was important for there to be a separate children and young people’s Letter as there is information specific to children and young people that must be conveyed by the Letter.

The issue of a lack of a BSL version of the Letter was raised, however consideration will have to be given to the particular dialect of BSL used to ensure that it is understood by BSL users in Scotland. Issues around the disparity between reading age and chronological age in deaf individuals would also have to be considered.

The Chair emphasised the importance of joined up working and the group was informed of work that was being carried out by Police Scotland on how best to inform children and young people of their rights while in custody.

The importance of linking up with the relevant charities, services and user groups throughout the entire process of producing new versions of the Letter was also emphasised.

The group was asked to consider whether it would be more appropriate to start from a ‘blank slate’ in producing these new versions of the Letters or whether existing material on rights in custody should be incorporated.

The question of whether it would be more appropriate to commission a group of people with learning difficulties to produce  the easy read Letter, rather than internally producing a document that would then go out to user groups for testing was raised and there was agreement from the group that this would be the best way forwards. It would be vitally important, however to ensure that there is adequate time provided as part of the project to allow for meaningful user testing and stakeholder engagement to be carried out.

The group then discussed the importance of ensuring that any user groups include those with lived experience and the importance of engaging with a wide range of individuals and with the correct people at the right timer was emphasised.

The overall budget for the project and the importance of providing the appropriate remuneration to user testing groups was also discussed but a one size fits all plan for remuneration will not work as different user groups will have different financial requirements. Consideration of the appropriate level and means of remuneration should be carried out on a group by group basis in conversation with those groups.

The lack of information in the Letters on who to contact if individuals have any questions or concerns was raised and it was suggested that information on Contact Scotland BSL could be included.

Finally, the Chair requested that group members share any material they have around accessible and easy read communications, information on the groups that members engage with and on how they provide remuneration to user groups.

Next steps

The Chair summarised the next steps following this meeting, namely that the SG will conduct a scoping exercise involving information gathering and consider the timeline and structure of the project and consider the number of further times the Accessibility Delivery Group should meet.

AOB

No other business was raised.

Action points

  • SG to approach Police Scotland regarding their representation on the Accessibility Delivery Group and their work on children and young people in custody
  • Group members to share relevant information and resources with SG
  • SG to consider project structure and timeline to be shared with group members
  • SG to conduct scoping exercise and gather information on current easy read and accessible resources and appropriate user groups and stakeholders to approach for user testing
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