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access to information and services

Introduction

The national disability strategy and the Disability Act 2005 put in place a framework that seeks to make significant and long - term improvements to the lives of people with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments. It is evidence of the government’s commitment to a fairer society. Significant responsibilities have been put on each public sector organisation to ensure that all the services being provided are accessible to all. This includes the availability of accessible information for people with disabilities.

Who are our customers?

Our external customers are any individual, business, government department, statutory body or community to whom Clare Local Authorities provide a service. Our internal customers are members of staff, departments and the elected members.

Communications

In accordance with Section 28 of the Disability Act 2005, communications by a public body to a person with a hearing or visual impairment must, as far as practicable, be provided in an accessible format, following a request. Information provided electronically must, as far as practicable, be compatible with adaptive technology. Published information, relevant to persons with intellectual disabilities, must be made available in easy to read formats. The code of practice on accessibility of public services and information provided by public bodies provides further information on how a public sector body is expected to meet these requirements. See the National Disability Agency website for details.

Policy

Clare Local Authorities are committed to communicating effectively with all our customers including those with disabilities and welcomes feedback to establish their communication needs. Where it is practical and where funding permits, the organisation will ensure that information provided is available in an accessible format, for example HTML, large print, easy-to-read format, braille, audio file and other formats, if requested. All new publications will be written in clear and jargon free language, where possible. Oral communications as far as practicable will be made accessible to individuals with hearing impairments.

Clare Local Authorities will endeavour, at all times, to ensure that all possible assistance is given to people with disabilities to access information on their services by means of the following:

  • The appointment and availability of access officers will be promoted in each section of the organisation, and how they may be contacted.
  • Clare Local Authorities staff undergo equality / diversity awareness training programmes, run periodically, in compliance with NDA (National Disability Agency) guidelines, to educate them on issues dealing with people with disabilities.
  • Irish sign language interpreters may be provided for interviews, public meetings and other events where necessary, upon receipt of such a request in advance.
  • Continued development of information communications technology on the Clare County Council website

All of the content pages in this site are designed and developed in accordance with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and conform to all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints (AA Compliance) and most Priority 3 checkpoints (AAA Compliance). Accessibility of the interactive systems on some of the sites such as the register of electors and planning search will be improved. For more information on the accessibility of this site, please refer to the accessibility web page. Clare Local Authorities will continue to maintain and improve accessibility of their public websites, and the councillor extranet, the council meetings system and the intranet.

  • Clare Local Authorities are committed to improving procedures for creating and publishing accessible information.
  • Clare Local Authorities are committed to ensuring that all public computers, kiosks and other public access terminals in place are compliant with the NDA (National Disability Agency) accessibility guidelines.
  • Clare Local Authorities will provide training in sign language to staff and may, upon being requested to do so in advance, provide people proficient in sign language to assist members of the public.

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Documents

Clare Local Authorities are committed to providing documents in accessible formats. We will continue to improve document creation and publication procedures to improve accessibility of documents and ensure that they can be converted to other accessible formats.

Clare Local Authorities will offer alternative methods of support where possible and practicable, if the requested format cannot be provided.

Accessible formats available

  • Accessible electronic formats such as HTML and other electronic formats such as Accessible Word or Plain Text email.
  • Large print version in English (at least 16 point)
  • Easy-to-read version
  • Plain English
  • Braille
  • Audio version in English

We will also:

  • Ensure that existing core documents are readily available in a range of accessible formats. Where it is not possible to provide the entire document in accessible format, the executive summary will be provided in this format.
  • Ensure that all new documentation is completed in line with accessibility standards. Resource documents such as the NDA Guidelines takes NDA “First Steps in Producing Accessible Publications” and the RNIB “See it Right” Guidelines will be used as reference points for completion of such documents.
  • Ensure that all information and documents available on our website(s) is available in a format that can be used in conjunction with adaptive technology.

You can contact the Access Officer Cliona Corry (contact details below) with requests for alternative formats/accessible information.

Policy evaluation

This policy will be evaluated on a regular basis through the following methods:

  • Keeping a record of requests for alternative format information.  
  • Review demand for information in alternative formats.
  • Consider feedback received from the public on the accessible information policy and practice.

The access officer, in consultation with the accessibility steering committee will monitor the general implementation of this policy and will review it periodically.   

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Compliance with the Disability Act 2005

We have established a complaints procedure under the Disability Act 2005. This allows for complaints to be made by people with disabilities accessing the services and information of Clare Local Authorities. 
 

Contact details

Other key public contact persons available within the organisation for assistance for people with disabilities and people with disability queries are: 

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 01/06/18