Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Envision Teleconference:
Tuesday, August 19th

The Envision steering group and I had a teleconference tonight to touch base with each other on how our progress is going regarding distributing the coffee shop mystery shopping questionnaire, and to also start discussion on our next steps in the campaigning process for accessible menus in coffee shops.

I have so far promoted the questionnaire through the Envision Facebook page and Twitter page and I have also used Henshaws Society for Blind People's quarterly Hello! Newsletter to present the questionnaire to service users, as well as their online e-mail mailing list.

You can help with Envision's campaign for accessible menus, in the 4 main coffee chains in the UK, by downloading the survey form here and detailing your past experiences when choosing what to purchase without an accessible menu provided. You are free to share with other visually impaired friends and family members too; the more responses, the stronger our voice!

Responses are to be sent to the Envision mailbox (envision@rnib.org.uk) by September 12th.

Here are my notes from tonight's teleconference!

Recap of last meeting's agenda
What key points from the agenda had been signed off and completed. Action plans - discussion of the learning points from the Campaigner's Convention that have been received so far, any outstanding ones are to be completed ideally by the end of the week and e-mailed to Lindsay. These will be compiled into one document to then be e-mailed to the steering group as an attachment.

Now signed off and being distributed. Kimberley has shared it with the Henshaws mailing list, Henshaws Hello! Newsletter (Autumn edition) and through Envision's Facebook and Twitter pages, Naomi has shared it with the RLSB group and Nina will be sharing with Focus and the Birmingham Actioneers. The campaigns planning group will then sift through the responses, identify key themes, e-mail out the evidence and promote the findings to implement into our campaigning. Aim for September 12th to have all questionnaires sent back.

Update to the wider network
Discussion around the update to be sent out to the wider Envision network which is now signed off. Agreement to keep communications regular, possibly monthly as a guideline, but be flexible to whenever seems appropriate to share important news items and issues. Rotate the duty of writing updates between each other, particularly comms and co-chairs, to provide everyone with the opportunity to write something. September 19th is penciled in for the next update.

The bus charter used in the 'Stop for Me, Speak to Me' campaign was sent out as an attachment recently, to use as a foundation and a formula for our own coffee shop charter. We need to identify what our asks are and to think internally as to what the best mechanisms are. For example, do we just want to focus on menus or look at the whole package of the coffee shop experience? Do we want VI awareness training implemented into the manual, included in a full training day or slotting into the half-day training session?

Once identified we can build our asks around those. Cover the key areas, keep consistent to the focus and responses received in the questionnaires and be logical when pulling all of this evidence and information together under headings to then translate when presenting to providers. It was agreed to draft something for the charter and ideally have something to agree on in time for our October meeting in London. This will enable us to have the charter then signed off and put our focus into planning and lobbying the industry.

Two suggestions came up in the teleconference - one was that we could suggest that each store has a designated supporter for visually impaired people. Looking at the bus campaign, using their charter as a guide, a champion is mentioned to oversee that visually impaired people have found their seat, are aware of the bus number and destination, that drivers do not pull away from a bus stop, etc. We could use similar points, tailored to coffee shops. Another suggestion was to perhaps reach out to a contact within the environment and industry to give their input too, and to help with research in regards to what coffee shops currently provide.

Upcoming Teleconferences
Teleconferences in the near future, include; one for the Campaigns Planning group on Monday, 15th September between 7pm and 8pm, one for the Communications sub-group held on Wednesday, 24th September between 5:30pm to 6:30pm, and the Co-chairs will have their teleconference on Wednesday, 1st October (time to be decided nearer to the date). Ideally 4 members from each group would be beneficial, though if one or two can't attend then we will try to keep things moving forward as much as possible rather than rescheduling. It just provides the opportunity to touch base with each other, though between those times do feel free to keep in touch and converse, and give input regarding important items.

Meeting in London
Our next face-to-face meeting will be on Thursday, 23rd October from 11pm to 3pm at Judd Street. Think about the agenda and discussion points you'd like to include; discussion of drafted charter, the practicalities of how to get chains signed up to the charter and the area of focus for the next campaign.

Next Campaign
Think about putting the question out to the wider network, in the next e-mail update perhaps, of what they think the next campaign should be focused around (employment and built environments were mentioned during the teleconference). This allows them to feel more involved and empowered, in the confidence that they have contributed. Ask that question beforehand prior to the October meeting. Follow it up again through e-mail, and even through social media, to push for more responses.

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