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Disability: Coronavirus

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 50631, tabled on 16 September 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Government’s covid-19 communications and in particular for disabled people.

Answered on

27 September 2021

The Government constantly monitors public awareness of its communication campaigns. We use regular evaluations to maximise the impact of our campaigns across the UK.

We are committed to supporting individuals with disabilities through every stage of this pandemic. Progress in this area means that COVID-19 guidance is available across multiple channels in a range of alternative formats. Many of our most crucial content assets come in alternative accessibility formats including Easy Read, large text formats, videos with British Sign Language interpretation, and audio. Important health communications, also, regarding COVID-19 symptoms, Stay Alert and NHS Test and Trace content, are available in alternative formats, including Easy Read, British Sign Language and Audio. COVID-19 statements and speeches from the Prime Minister are now also made available in transcript form on GOV.UK, aligning with accessibility standards.

We continuously engage with disability charities using polling and focus groups with hard-to-reach audiences to better understand how our communications are received and how this affects COVID-safe behaviours. We use these insights to improve government messaging, mitigate anxieties and challenge misinformation.

Examples of new guidance are discussed in regular sessions with disability charities and experts in accessibility; this provides an opportunity for these groups to review and make recommendations on how to better government communications. We will continue to work with these organisations to ensure COVID-19 communications are as accessible as possible.

Answered by

Cabinet Office
Named day
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Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.