Research Support for the 2015 Transport Accessibility Summit
2.1 A Working Group was established by Transport Scotland to co-produce the Summit. The members included Disabled People's Organisations (DPOs), Transport Providers, and representatives of Transport Scotland. The full list of members is at Appendix 1.
2.2 A researcher from Research Scotland met with the Working Group to agree on the format for facilitation of the group discussions and again after the Summit to feedback initial findings. During the discussion two researchers from Research Scotland fed back what people were saying in their groups to the plenary sessions ensuring that people knew what was being said around the room during the day.
2.3 Research Scotland conducted a practical, focused review of transport accessibility issues in Scotland. Transport Scotland provided us with relevant information and we conducted searches through various online tools such as IDOX Information Services, which gathers evidence and research from across the UK. We used a wide range of key words, to ensure that we identified both academic research and practical information, including guidance, policy documents, equality impact assessments, strategic plans, reviews and evaluations which provided relevant information. The evidence review is included as Appendix 2.
2.4 Building on local sessions undertaken across Scotland with access panels by the Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF), a discussion guide was prepared for use by facilitators at the small table discussions during the Summit. This focussed on the same four themes used to divide up nearly 50 issues identified during an engagement process which included the consultation on the Scottish Government's disability delivery plan which is being developed in response to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The four themes were:
- Information and Assistance;
- Training and Customers Service;
- Deliverability; and
2.5 Each theme was to be the topic of a small group discussion for approximately 30 minutes to identify two priority issues from each theme. The purpose of this was primarily to start a discussion about the isssues which would bring out disabled people's experiences and potentially identify some solutions for transport providers. A secondary purpose was to consider the priority issues for inclusion in the transport response to the Scottish Government's draft disability delivery plan in response to UNCRPD. It was made clear however that none of the issues gathered would be discarded (whether prioritised or not) and all would be considered going forward in partnership discussions.
2.6 To assist the groups to do this in the short time, each of the issues were printed onto individual A5 cards. On one side of the card was an Easy Read symbol depicting the issue; and text on the reverse side to explain the issue in Easy Read text. The cards were amended to contain the symbols based on feedback from the facilitator briefing session – (see below). Facilitators were to use these cards to help the group identify their priorities.
2.7 A questionnaire (attached as Appendix 3) containing all of the issues had been devised by Scottish Disability Equality Forum and was available in easy read on line or in hard copy. This was also publicised by Disabled People's Organisations represented on the working group to their members. In addition copies of the survey were sent out to all disabled people attending the summit in order that they knew the issues in advance of the summit, although some did not have time to read through these before attending.
Briefing material for facilitators and scribes
2.8 Research Scotland prepared a facilitator pack with instructions and advice on how to run the small group discussions. This pack also set out the role of both facilitators and scribes on the day. Scribes received a template for recording information in a consistent format.
2.9 Research Scotland held a session on 19 March to brief the facilitators and scribes on their roles at the Summit. At this event, we held a 'mock' run through of the themes and facilitators had the chance to try out the discussion guides and cards in advance. A subsequent facilitator briefing took place on the morning of the Summit for those unable to attend the first briefing.
Profile of participants
2.10 Delegates were invited to attend through a network of Disabled People's Organisations with whom Transport Scotland had engaged, many of whom were also represented on the summit working group. They included representatives from:
- Deafblind Scotland
- Disability Agenda Scotland
- Action on Hearing Loss Scotland
- Enable Scotland
- Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
- Sense Scotland
- Royal National Institute for the Blind Scotland
- Guidedogs Scotland
- Inclusion Scotland
- Profound and Multiple Impairment Service (PAMIS)
- People First Scotland
- Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance (SATA)
- Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD)
- Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF)
- Scottish Older People's Assembly (SOPA)
- Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS)
2.11 In total, 45 disabled people attended the Summit, (many accompanied by their support workers, including sighted guides and BSL interpreters). They were seated at 13 tables along with people from their representative organisations, many of whom facilitated the discussions or scribed. A further 40 representatives of transport providers joined the groups to participate in the discussions. Transport providers represented the following organisations:
- Abellio Group
- Association of Transportation Coordinating Officers (ATCO)
- Bus Users Scotland
- Caledonian Maritime Assets
- Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Scotland
- Community Transport Association (CTA)
- FirstGroup plc
- Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership (HITRANS)
- Lothian Buses
- McGills Buses
- North East Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans)
- Network Rail
- Northlink Ferries
- Nu-Track Ltd
- Scottish City Link
- Serco-Caledonian Sleeper
- South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran)
- Stagecoach, East Scotland
- Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)
- South West Scotland Transport Partnership (SWestrans)
- Tayside and Central Scotland Transport Partnership (Tactran)
- Transport Focus
- Virgin Trains
- Shetland Transport Partnership (ZetTrans)
2.12 In addition, representatives from organisations such as the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and Transport Scotland officials attended, some acting as scribes at the group discussion tables and as guides during the day.
2.13 The Summit was also attended by Mr Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands. Mr Mackay spoke at the end of the Summit, answered questions and listened to a summing up of the day. He welcomed the positive response and enthusiasm from participants. He stated that he was committed to sharing the findings from the Summit and taking forward the actions identified.
"I look forward to feedback to improve travel and address gaps, and to work with all partners to fill these gaps. Today is the beginning of a new journey as partners."
Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport and the Islands
2.14 During breaks in the Summit, People First were showing a DVD in a break-out room about hate crime. This was well attended and people found the film 'thought-provoking'. Also at the Summit was a stand by PAMIS, providing information on Accessible Changing Places Toilets - http://www.changing-places.org/. PAMIS found the Summit very useful in terms of making contacts, such as links with Calmac Ferries and Northlink Ferries.