Get involved

Support our Health Messaging for All project

About the Project

 

The pandemic has disproportionately affected disabled people and people with long term health conditions. Not only are they more likely to experience life threatening symptoms and die of the virus, but information and services during this period have not been made accessible to different impairment groups. This means that many disabled people have not had the necessary information they need to stay safe, and make informed decisions about their health during the pandemic. They have been left out of the Covid narrative.

Over the last 6 months, Real has been working together with deafPLUS, ICM Foundation,and Healthwatch to understand what the barriers have been for different groups of disabled people in understanding Covid-19 health information, and co-producing recommendations with local disabled people as to how services and information can be improved.

This has been done through a series of workshops, 1-1s, and surveys.

 

Disabled Voices: Learning from Covid

On the 5th August, Real organised an online event with its project partners to share the findings from this engagement project. The event was attended by project participants, public health officials and other key figures working with disabled people in Tower Hamlets. The findings from this project are deeply concerning, and shine a light on the deep inequalities experienced by disabled people in accessing health and social care services. However, they also offer hope, as the key recommendations, which are co-produced with local disabled people provide us with the opportunity to implement structural changes to the way services are shaped and delivered.

As part of the event, we shared personal stories from 6 participants of the project – these testimonies provide a glimpse into some of the inequalities experienced by disabled people during the pandemic.

You can watch the testimonies from Beatrix, Mahendra and Faiz here

You can watch the testimonies from Lisa, Sam and a member of deafPLUS here

There will be a full report published later this year but until then, here is a link to the powerpoint we shared during the event which highlights some of the key issues affecting different impairment groups and the key recommendations submitted to public health.

Our partners have also produced a number of resources during this project:

Healthwatch: North East London Report – Voices of Disabled residents and Covid-19

ICM Foundation:

1. Easy read poster produced by CORE Projects trainees 

2. Group feedback video

3. Covid-19 Health messaging video: How to be safe when going out

 

Stage 2 of the project

Due to the success of the last 6 months, the project is expected to be extended for a further 6 months. This gives us the opportunity to build on the work we have already carried out, and ensure more local disabled residents are actively involved in helping us shape solutions to accessible health information and services.

 

Get involved

There are lots of different ways to get involved and support this project moving forward:

  1. If you are a disability organisation we haven’t worked with yet, help us run a co-production workshop with your members to ensure their voices are heard too
  2. If you are a health professional, help us escalate these issues to decision makers and integrate the recommendations into your own work places
  3. If you are a disabled person, or a person with a long term health condition, get in touch and join one of our workshops or have a 1-1 and help us create solutions to implement these important recommendations
  4. If you have any other ideas about how to support this project, please do also get in touch
Contact Hannah West on hannah.west@real.org.uk 

 

What to expect? 

Workshops: We want to hear about the health information you have or have not received around Covid-19. Did you find it accessible? How easy was it to understand? We also want to work with you to create new, improved health messages for other people with your disability. This will help to keep people safe during the pandemic and save lives.

The workshops will take place online and are small, informal and confidential. If you are interested in joining a workshop please contact Hannah West at hannah.west@real.org.uk.

1:1 Chats:1:1 chat’s will take the form of an informal chat online or over the phone. They will be a way for you to share your personal experience with us and the impact that it has had on you.

Community Champions: We would also like to engage some Real members to be Covid-19 community champions. This is an opportunity to get firsthand information from the council regarding Covid-19 by attending weekly meetings, and also support you to feedback this vital information to your community.

How to get in touch 

To get involved in a workshop, share your experience 1:1, or find out how your organisation can support Real’s work contact hannah.west@real.org.uk.

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