Project IIRP20

Talking Together. A review of Communication Access for Saffron Housing Trust

Saffron Housing Trust wanted a review of the quality of its communication access because it knew from concerns raised that there were problems and that it was likely in breach of The Equality Act 2010 in its provision of reasonable accommodations.

Background

Saffron Housing Trust has approximately 230 staff and over 10,000 residents. It provides social housing for residents in Norfolk and Suffolk. Many of these residents have disabilities some of which impair communication. Saffron wanted a review of the quality of its communication access because it knew from concerns raised that there were problems and that it was likely in breach of The Equality Act 2010 in its provision of reasonable accommodations.

A review of documents, databases, and online interviews with three Saffron residents, a pair of carers for a Saffron resident (with significant learning disabilities) and one member of staff with a range of communication access needs identified areas of concern and possible solutions.

Project Aims

  • To identify communication access needs of staff and residents and create policies, guidelines, and tools that support communications access.
  • To ensure Saffron consistently meets the disability access needs in its communications with staff and residents in line with the requirements of The Equality Act 2010.

Project Activity

A review of documents, databases, and online interviews with three Saffron residents, a pair of carers for a Saffron resident (with significant learning disabilities) and one member of staff with a range of communication access needs identified areas of concern and possible solutions.

Anticipated or actual outputs

The project identified many systemic issues that were impairing Saffron's ability to communicate in a clear and accessible manner consistently with residents. This was found to have particularly negative impact on disabled residents. Saffron Housing Trust have created an action plan looking to address the identified issues. This includes creating a database of access needs that is linked to all of Saffron's teams. Changes in communication protocols are being changed in order to ensure consistent and accessible information and communications are made in all facets of Saffron's business. A new person has been appointed to coordinate the care of residents with more complex needs. It is anticipated that much of this work will be implemented within one year.

Who is involved?

Katherine Deane, PI, UEA

k.deane@uea.ac.uk (sole researcher)

IIRP20