Considering the needs of our users is at the heart of all our services and r&d projects are no different.
Littered throughout our digital service work you’ll see reference to Government Digital Service’s ‘Service Manual’ which has helpful guidance on considering accessibility in their resources on ‘assisted digital‘ which they define as:
“Assisted digital is support for people who can’t use online government services on their own.”
We need to consider assisted digital support in two steps, understanding who are the ‘assisted digital users’ and have the ability to provide ‘assisted digital support’. The purpose of offering assisted digital support is to ensure we provide a great experience for all and ensure ‘take-up’ of the project is as fair as possible.
At this point it’s worth noting that we also provide an alternative service for the public by using both visitor assistants who are trained to support our visitors and we offer audio descriptions using the Penfriend technology. We purposely chose galleries and engagement activity that has excellent alternative support in case our project outputs weren’t directly accessible using our approach. We will ensure that the project is delivered within legal and policy constraints , such as the Bristol City Council’s Equality Plan and Equality Act 2010.
Assisted digital action plan
- Baseline our % of general visitor who have stated they have a disability using our annual general visitor exit survey to better understand the potential ratio of required support
- Test our app and assisted digital in-person support with our inclusion officer
- Provide assisted digital instructions to support a visitor ahead of their visit via the website
- Ensure visitor assistants are aware of the assisted digital support that may be required and provide appropriate training via the digital team to support visitors in person (staffing permitting)
- Monitor the volume of assisted digital support activity including wait times
- Record and monitor feedback by users and experts with the aim of getting ‘fairly or highly satisfied feedback’ in accordance with our standard survey
- Test, measure and iterate our app procedures for supporting assisted digital users during our Beta phase
- Ensure our support offer is sustainable and consider using volunteers for additional support
- Provide guidance that will support any user to complete the tasks of the project on their own
- Document steps 1-9 throughout the period of the grant as the information will be valuable to others seeking to provide similar support