Engagement was carried out with both service users and professionals working in the sensory field. Five focus groups (held January through to May 2019) for service users and carers were held with a total of 27 citizens (ten hard of hearing people, four Deaf BSL users, one person with a cochlear implant, six with vision impairment, two deafblind people and four carers). An additional five people with a vision impairment were also involved in a citizen’s forum for the Physical Disability Commissioning Plan. Results from these groups were used to shape a service user questionnaire.
The online adult needs assessment had unique features to ensure that people with sensory impairments could fully participate and record their views.
- The questionnaire was sited on the Council’s Consultation Hub on the edinburgh.gov.uk website which is designed to comply with the AA level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 issued by the World Wide Web Consortium WC3. These guidelines are designed to meet the needs of visually impaired people using websites.
- A BSL video was made and embedded on to the Consultation Hub, which we understand to be a Scottish first, which outlined to BSL users how they could access an interpreter to record their views.
- Deafblind Scotland enabled their members to answer the questions through guide communicators, who recorded answers manually.
The online consultation ran for the standard six weeks from June to mid-July 2019, and yielded 62 responses, with a variety of people with all forms of sensory impairment and their carers. The largest group of respondents was in the 45-54 age group, probably reflecting that fewer older people are online.