Scottish Widows and other financial service companies have joined a new business initiative designed to provide better support for consumers with a range of communications difficulties.
As a result of this initiative a new disability symbol has been launched (see pic) for businesses and organisations which have undergone training and met standards for improving communications access.
Currently it is estimated that 14m people in the UK have additional communications needs, and for many their situation has become more challenging due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This Communications Access Symbol has been created by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in partnership with a range of charities, including the Stroke Association, MIND association, Headways, Disability Right UK and the Business Disability Forum.
Business and organisations will have the opportunity to improve accessibility across different communication channels – with free online training on accessible face-to-face, telephone and online customer service. Those that undertake this training will be able to display the new symbol, demonstrating their commitment to this cause.
Scottish Widows financial protection specialist Johnny Timpson, who is currently the cabinet office disability champion for the insurance and banking industry, is part of a business panel that has been promoting this initiative.
RCSLT president and former TV presenter Nick Hewer says: “People who have communication difficulties often feel marginalised by society because their needs can be hidden in a way that other disabilities are not.
“Achieving the Communication Access UK standards and displaying the symbol will be a great way for organisations to show they value all their customers by being keen and able to communicate inclusively with people who currently have difficulties accessing their services. It’s a lifeline for millions of people.”
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