Is the Accessible Information Standard working?

If you’re deaf, visually impaired or learning disabled, share your views on how well the NHS meets your communication needs.
Photo of blind man with guide dog

People with sensory impairments or learning disabilities are being asked to judge how useful the national Accessible Information Standard has been in helping them use health services.

A joint public survey is being run by eight charities, including patient champion Healthwatch England, to get views.  They hope the findings will inform an NHS England review of the standard, expected to report by March 2022.

Share your views

Go to the online survey

The survey is being run by deaf charity SignHealth on behalf of eight charities and is aimed at all people with additional communication needs.

There are videos of British Sign Language (BSL) translations of each question. You can also request the survey in alternative formats.

The standard was introduced five years ago as a new legal requirement on every NHS and adult social care organistion. It is designed to help people get communication support they need, such as a translator or information in Braille or Easy Read.

The consortium of charities seeking views also includes: Learning Disability England (LDE), Sense, SignHealth, Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD), Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) and Visionary.

Our role in collecting evidence 

To complement the national survey, our team at Healthwatch Reading is one of six local Healthwatch chosen to run targeted engagement with people who do not speak English as a first language. This will help inform a decision on whether the standard should be widened to cover spoken language. We are working in partnership with local charities to carry out one-to-one interviews and a focus group.

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