Public Sector and other organisations often run consultations to find out the views of the general public. Under the Human Rights Act 1998 deaf people have the right to full information about and access to consultation processes.
Scottish Council on Deafness recommends the following:
1. A range of consultation methods should be offered. People should always be asked what form of consultation suits them best – public meetings, face
to face meetings, questions in plain English, online questionnaires, formal meetings or forums.
2. Consultation meetings should be publicised through SCoD, deaf organisations, in the local press, and on deaf media networks.
3. Consultation should involve as many people as possible who are affected by a decision including more hard to reach people. It is not appropriate to simply consult with deaf organisations or a small group of deaf people as this will not be representative of the diversity of the deaf population in Scotland.
4. Sufficient time must be allowed if consultation is to be meaningful.
5. Consultation must take full account of people’s communication needs and stated preferences.
6. Documents should be sent out at least two weeks in advance of any meeting and where possible be available in BSL (British Sign Language). Material should be in plain English with no jargon. If the document uses technical or legal information, then this should be simplified in an appendix.1
1 Further details in our Information Sheet on Accessible Information