Publish consultation documents in good time before consultation – it’s an equality issue says concerned mum

The mother of a dyslexic teenager has asked Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group to publish the hospital cuts consultation materials in good time before the consultation starts, to allow time to read them. Not to do this amounts to discrimination against people with SPecial Educational Needs, she believes.  Here is her email:

 

To whom it may concern,
Following a telephone conversation on 29/02/2016, I was advised to send an email to request a specific type of consultation document. My daughter is dyslexic and as a result, could not read the draft consultation document as it has coloured backgrounds and therefore her overlay does not work. I would therefore like to request that a copy of the document be produced that is either black writing on blue paper or black writing on white paper with no colours in the background.

 

I would also like to add a comment to this consultation in relation to equality issues. As the parent of a dyslexic child, I know she needs a longer time to read and digest a document than someone without dyslexia, however, I was told quite firmly that she would be given the same amount of time as someone without dyslexia as the document will NOT be released until the 15th March.

 

However, if one applies logic to this, she will actually be given LESS time to read the document as she will have to have a different format mailed to her and unless this can be delivered on the 15th she will have less time.

 

Having said that, I believe that the consultation does not begin until the public are being asked for their opinions and not as the lady said on the telephone, when the document is released and therefore it should be released as soon as possible to prevent further discrimination to those with special educational needs and give them adequate time to understand what they are being consulted upon.

 

While I accept that there will be an easy read document available, for this document to be produced, some information must be taken out. I do not feel that it is fair to expect her to have to read that rather than the full document just because she is dyslexic. She should have the same opportunity as anyone else. It is also my understanding that the Equality Act 2010 would also agree. As a result of this, one can only surmise that this is an intentional move by the CCG to not allow people time to read and digest the document and therefore not formulate any questions to seek the answers they need.
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