Enabling shops and businesses to improve communication with customers who have communication disabilities is the goal of a new rating scheme – with Livability Victoria School as an ‘early adopter’ of the project.
Livability Victoria School’s speech and language therapy team took the scheme’s training – called the Communication Access Symbol UK (CAUK) – which is now being rolled out to all Victoria School staff. Before current social restrictions, students got involved as ‘mystery shoppers’ by visiting local shops, cafes and pubs to rate them for the level of communication support given. Supported by VEC staff, students can also be involved in training the organisations’ staff.
Livability Victoria’s participation has been commended by the scheme’s coordinator, Cathy Harris: ‘This is such a good example of using CAUK creatively in an educational organisation.’ CAUK is endorsed by leading disability charities and business organisations, including Headway and the Business Disability Forum.
How it works
The scheme uses a ‘TALK’ prompt for better communication:
- Ask what helps
- Listen and Look
- Keep trying
Those who reach CAUK’s communication skill standards – like Victoria School – are awarded the scheme’s dark blue symbol. ‘Communication support is a customer’s right, and this scheme will really help to improve things for disabled people and for the businesses themselves,’ says Sarah Gilling, Victoria School’s Interim Head of Therapies. ‘Students are very invested in taking part in this and have given us feedback on how much they enjoyed being involved, plus comments including “People need to look at me and not my carer”.’
Find out more about Livability Victoria School.