Inclusion and Diversity – On the right track
Today, TTTP attended The Department of Transports Inclusion and Diversity week launch event/conference, at The Department of Transport in London. We were kindly invited by Richard Burningham from Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and Great Western Railway (GWR) kindly provied our travel tickets to attend and be involved in the coming together of transport organisations across the country – primarily rail organisations and community organisations.
This is not the first time we have been to an ‘Inclusion’ event. However, it is the first time that have attended an ‘Inclusion’ event directly associated with the transport sector.
There were several organisations and representatives there, and stories of ‘Inclusion’ were shared by 3 of them - an hour was spent listening to the speakers and watching the videos they had prepared. This included people working on the platforms beautifying the gardens (not too dissimilar to what we have been doing at the Crediton Station platform) whilst recovering from drug abuse, a graffiti project in Bristol to make the platform attractive and part of the community and a project to make the rail more accessible to people with Dementia – focusing on training staff and making it a more welcoming place.
There was also talk about making carriages more accessible, and a team of 1000 people being a part of this – this included people with and without labels, seemingly primarily focused on people physically disabled by the carriages… but very little talk about people with ‘learning disability’ or ‘autism’ labels and how they access the transport.
Going forward, signage was briefly discussed, making it more accessible to (not just disabled people) people in general. If signage is good, it should be accessible to as many people as possible. We took the opportunity to share our SmallTalk approach with some of the MDs there who were discussing the issue of signage and the opportunities to improve it when platforms are renovated/painted.
Often, ‘Inclusion’ events are more about celebrating what has been achieved and the small successes (which are steps in the right direction), and not so much about going forward and what steps need to be taken next; a plan of action and a group effort. It will be interesting to see how the week progresses and what opportunities are created as we all work together to turn our country’s infrastructure into a more inclusive network that connects communities.
To the organisations that were there (and those that could not attend) – our expert trainers and evaluation team are always willing to be a part of creating an inclusive rail network if we are invited. Feel free to come to our Tea Rooms on the Tarka Line, Crediton Train Station, if you want to have a chat. Alternatively, you’ll find us on social media, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on the phone: 01363 772512.
Thank you for inviting us to be a part of your day.
Written by Dom Palfreman, Published by Dom Palfreman
Sam wrote a blog without even know she'd done it, you may have seen the 2 part post on Social Media - hopefully you didn't miss either half. Here's the 2 sections together in full, as Sam intended:
Today didn’t quite go to plan, but then when does anything? When I think a plan or situation isn’t going the way I intended it to I always smile and think of my favourite #Turningtidesbigband song “Missed my Station” you can find lots of our songs on soundcloud.
Today we visited Crediton and had coffee whilst chatting to a new member of the team who will be doing some 1-1 support. We then went to Exeter to have a bumble around Sports Direct and the big Tesco’s- not much of a selection regarding items desired. Yet again plans may change- it’s sometimes good though as it pushes those little desires to keep things safe.
We finished up in the Sawyers Arms, quite a busy pub, not expensive and really nice staff. Saw a parent I’ve recently come to know, and the conversation of school cropped up - (now the photo may begin to make sense) only to find out how awful it had been for her children. I know from experience it can be one of the best and yet one of the worst times of your life as pupil or parent pushing you through every hurdle or boundary you may hold up.
So Roger and I spoke about school in the 50’s and 60’s a time when Labels weren’t really known and about how it’s changed in the last 30 years. Things have moved on slightly, unfortunately there will always be bullying- which is sad but true. Knowing how to deal with it is the hardest thing. It really doesn’t matter if you have a visual or non-visual label, different skin colour, if your a different size, if you’re an outsider, don’t have parents, use visual aids to help you or whatever it maybe someone may find a way to use it against you. I wonder if we all started to educate everyone around us how much of an impact it would have on society as a whole- whatever it maybe?
So If ‘disability’ is created by society, then surely we can each do something that contributes to changing that!
I wonder how the headmasters/headmistress’s of 50’s/60’s would have done things differently if a ‘disability’ had been addressed or recognised.
Would society have had a better understanding? Would there be have been more equal access? More differentiation? More inclusion? We are now starting to see these things happening more and more, as a parent I really wish it could’ve happened a lot sooner.
Since being with #TTTP I’m seeing this become a reality- it is happening. Society is beginning to understand. Which is why we have a flexible timetable with lots of fantastic sessions that you can see and get an idea of what we can do but you can also give your ideas.
We also have #epicenabling with differentiated levels of 1-1 support. Plus we have the tearooms up and running because we believe that in an #inclusive environment everyone can and does make valuable contributions. Being #inclusive means everyone is equal and included, which in turn means that they achieve, gain the confidence to interact, follow through and get an end result.
#bethechange #seethechange #makethechange
Written by Sam Perkins, Published by Dom Palfreman