Usability recommendations for engaging with deaf citizens

At a time when many public services are undergoing significant changes, it remains vitally important that all community groups, including the disabled, are able to have their say in any consultations or engagement activities regarding issues that affect them.

Engaging with deaf citizens

There are around 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, which is about one in six of the population. Of these, 800,000 are severely or profoundly deaf. When communicating with those that are hard of hearing, Action on Hearing Loss recommends using both British Sign Language and subtitles and/or text to make the information as accessible as possible.

As both our Dialogue App and Citizen Space engagement apps allow for the embedding of videos, British Sign Language translations can appear throughout consultations. We’re currently hosting two consultations aimed at engaging with those that are hard of hearing:

International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD)
Dialogue App

The ICSD are using Dialogue App to consult with the public about changes in the governance of the organisation. The consultation spans twelve key themes and asks users to provide ideas and suggestions on any of the themes.

Screenshot of ICSD Governance Review Consultation PageTo make the consultation fully accessible to the hard of hearing, the overview and a description of each of the themes of the Dialogue are available in both text and British Sign Language.

Stockport CCG
Citizen Space

Stockport CCG are using Citizen Space to garner views from all community groups in the area about its services to help manage change within the NHS. They’re running a separate online consultation aimed specifically at engaging with the deaf community.

Screenshot of Stockport NHS BSL SurveyThis consultation was set up via the online survey tool in Citizen Space. Accompanying each question is a video of the British Sign Language translation of both the question and the answer options.

Accessibility and Usability of Our Apps

Both our Dialogue App and Citizen Space have been tested by The Shaw Trust Web Accreditation Group. As our apps are web-based, font sizes and the colour contrast can be adjusted through the user’s web browser, operating system or device. Our apps are also W3C AA and WCAG 2.0 compliant and use Arial font by default, as recommended by Pesky People, a business start up that works to improve digital access and inclusion.

If you’ve got any view on online accessibility and usability, feel free to leave a comment.

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