Disability charity Disability Equality Scotland held a webinar on the 1 November 2022 to look for new members to join the new access panel in Moray, Scotland, to help promote inclusive design and accessibility in the area.

Disability Equality Scotland is a membership organisation for disabled people and disability groups/organisations, working to make life more accessible, equal, and inclusive for disabled people.

It is the umbrella organisation for all disability access panels in Scotland, providing them with support and guidance to improve the lives of disabled people at a local level throughout Scotland.

The webinar discussed the typical work of an access panel, as well as what being part of a panel might be like, including different roles on offer.

Information provided by the access panel is used to help advocate for and enable change to improve lives when meeting with key decisionmakers who are responsible for ensuring equality and human rights are in place with policies and the law.

Panel members have the opportunity to learn new skills, help with promotional campaigns, give support at events, and help with research and publicity.

Volunteers can be disabled people, those who represent disability organisations, or others with an interest in accessibility, or have experience they can bring to the group, which increases its capacity to work effectively, and have the opportunity to, meet new people, learn new skills and raise awareness of the issues facing people of all disabilities in day-to-day life.

To find out more about the Access Panel Network and how to join an local Access Panel contact Disability Equality Scotland via telephone: 0141 370 0968, or email: ian@disabilityequality.scot

As the charity is involved across a variety of key topics, the Disability Equality Scotland website features a series of online information hubs which are easy to access online spaces that provide information, resources, case studies, and news.

Some of the topics covered by the hubs include: accessible travel; providing articles and information on accessible transport; and inclusive design, which aims to improve awareness and encourage the take-up of inclusive design and inclusive communication, providing tools and guidance on how to make information accessible.

The charity is also involved in other areas of disability advocacy, for example, on behalf of the Scottish Government, Disability Equality Scotland administers the distribution of Face Covering Exemption Cards for situations where some people are unable to, or it would be inappropriate for them, to wear a face covering.

Disability Equality Scotland also works with transport providers and partners to launch a national Hate Crime Charter, which aims to encourage transport providers, members of the public and other services to support a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime.

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