Gippsland Regional Communication Service started in 2005.
Over the years the service has become an integral part of local communities in the geographically large area of Gippsland.
Working in partnership with people with communication disabilities, the Regional Communication Service has identified opportunities and needs in the local community and worked to address them.
A huge number of mainstream services (such as local bus and transport companies, emergency response workers, tourism providers, hospitals, primary health providers, and local government offices), as well as disability-specific services, have been able to improve their access and responsiveness to people with communication disabilities through their work with Gippsland Regional Communication Service.
Great work, Gippsland Gals!
Meg Irwin (Communication Access Network Coordinator)
The North-West Regional Communication Service (NWRCS) recently worked with members of the Brimbank Disability Network to evaluate the communication accessibility of Brimbank libraries. St Albans, Keilor, Sunshine, Deer Park, and Sydenham libraries were all involved.
It’s great to have community members with complex communication needs so passionate about making community services accessible to everyone.
How did the project start?
The North West
Regional Communication Service met with the Metro Access and Libraries
Coordinator from Brimbank City Council. We spoke about Communication Access and
the importance of having people with disabilities involved in the projects.
We decided to work with the Brimbank Disability Network to do an evaluation of the libraries and provide recommendations about what is needed to improve the experience of people with disabilities.
Each person involved had a meeting with the North West Regional Communication Service to talk about Communication Access and the project. Then each person went out to the libraries and used a ‘Library Audit Form’ or other tools to record their experience.
Community consultation meeting
After the the library audits were completed, a meeting was organised for everyone to share their experience at the libraries. The Libraries Coordinator from Brimbank City Council came to the meeting to listen to everyone’s experiences and suggestions.
There were many positives but also some areas for improvement.
The group spoke
How staff can have better interactions with people with disabilities
The use of communication boards at the library
Signage and wayfinding
Having written information available in Plan Language or Easy English
This has given
Brimbank City Council lots of information about ways to improve customer
experiences at Brimbank libraries.
Where to next?
The North West Regional Communication Service aims to continue to work with Brimbank libraries to create inclusive and accessible environments for everyone.
Stephanie Popovich, North-West Regional Communication Service