As the UK continues to reopen following COVID-19 lockdown, we are delighted to launch the ‘EMBED Reopening Recommendations Support Service’ created in collaboration with the Disability Collaborative Network (DCN) and the School of Health Sciences University of East Anglia.
The 'EMBED Reopening Recommendation' guidance has been created to support organisations in their decision making prior to reopening following COVID-19 lockdown. It considers potential barriers faced by disabled visitors and customers and offers solution based guidance for organisations of all types with the ultimate aim of keeping stakeholders, staff, volunteers visitors, students or customers as safe as possible.
We have paid particular attention to the needs of a diverse visitor and user base. The guidance is based on our experience of accessibility for disabled and neurodiverse people and was reflective of known evidence and research about COVID-19 at the time of writing.
These actions are recommendations only and as such are not mandatory. They provide useful, practical and pragmatic actions to support reopening and should be used to underpin Government, sector and industry specific advice.
This guidance has been designed as a living document and will continue to evolve in line with the latest UK Government advice on Coronavirus (COVID‑19).
Advisors & Contributors:
You can view and download the 'EMBED Reopening Recommendation' guidance here or find out more about the six different sections below.
Please note: updates were made to the guidance on 15 October 2020, specifically the Service Delivery and Built Environment sections.
Please share any feedback or recommendations for improvement by emailing us at email@example.com.
If you would like to build on this general best practice guidance and work towards a full built environment, digital, service or workplace access audits tailored for your organisation and considerate of COVID-19, please get in touch for an informal chat or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Covid-19 is a highly contagious virus and preventive behaviours such as social distancing, hand washing and enhanced cleaning are essential to maintain control.
There is also indirect negative impact on some groups of disabled people from the behaviours undertaken to control the spread of Covid-19.
For example, face masks will impede communication, particularly with those who lip read.
This checklist is to support you in inclusive practice and raising awareness of accessibility in your organisation.
We have considered how the virus directly impacts on access to the built environment.
For example, how will you ensure that access routes for disabled people who use assistive aids e.g. wheelchairs – take into account current social distance guidelines and the size of the wheelchair?
This checklist will help to raise your profile as an inclusive organisation committed to engaging in new ways.
We have considered the steps you need to take to help all visitors use and navigate your website and online services with ease.
For example, if you're planning to deliver more future services via podcast, have you factored in the need to provide captions for d/Deaf or hearing impaired people?
This checklist is about how you support customers and visitors.
We have considered how post COVID-19 safeguarding is likely to change the way that you deliver customer service.
For example, where you have a customer service or reception desk with a plexiglass screen, are there clear markings to help customers or visitors with visual or cognitive impairments?
This checklist is about supporting volunteers and staff as they return to work.
We have considered changes to policies and processes to ensure colleague safety.
For example, staff will need to wash their hands on a regular basis to minimise risk of transmitting COVID19. Have you put steps in place to advise of these changes and arranged for appropriate supplies of hand wash and paper towels?
Our guidance has been created with reference to a set of commonly used access standards and guidance.
These are some of the standards we refer to: