Jersey’s public buildings are being independently assessed to determine how suitable they are for people with disabilities to access.
Liberate Jersey, an equality and diversity charity, is conducting audits of the Government’s property portfolio.
So far, the Jersey Library, States building, Central Market and the Opera House have been assessed against a checklist of more than 100 building criteria including car parking, lifts, lighting and handrails.
Liberate’s Accès Scheme delivers audits which enable organisations to meet their obligations under the Disabilities Law. The audit’s results are allocated a blue, orange or green status depending on the level of improvement that might be needed. Training is given to employees on how to improve inclusion for people with disabilities.
Paul McGinnety, Director of Customer and Local Services said: “The work Liberate Jersey are doing supports government’s Disability Strategy which focusses on ensuring disabled Islanders are able to have greater access to public buildings and the services they provide. The work is ongoing, and we welcome the findings of the audits.”
Vic Tanner Davy from Liberate Jersey said: “Today is the United Nations as International Day of Persons With Disabilities, so it’s an appropriate time to remember how important it is for people with disabilities to access our public buildings.
“We know that the audit will not be without challenges, particularly in listed buildings. For example, when assessing a building like the States Chamber there will be significant barriers in place. Making reasonable adjustments to remove these barriers aims to provide everyone with equal opportunities to engage fully in the public life of the Island.”
This year’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week will take place from 10– 17 October 2020.
Jersey is a multi-cultural island and whilst some celebrate this rich diversity, others can directly or indirectly affect people’s enjoyment of life by acting on their prejudice, discriminate or even commit crime motivated by hatred toward people who are different to them. Here are some of the communities or different strands of diversity that can be affected by hate:
Race Religion Gender Disability Age
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression, and Sex Characteristics
The States of Jersey Police will be promoting the Hate Crime Awareness Week on their social media platform and have a number of activities planned in schools, businesses and across the community. The Police recognise that hate crimes and incidents are under reported and would appreciate anything you can do to support any victims of hate crime you encounter and encourage engagement either directly with the Police or reporting indirectly and in confidence via Stop Hate UK.
Some hate crimes or incidents may not be so obvious and may happen in your workplace or perhaps socially. I hope you join us in standing together and putting a clear message out across your network that there is no place for hate in Jersey, thus promoting a safe place for all. You can do this by posting some of the international hashtags below on your social media accounts, learning more about the subject and talking with those around you about diversity and hate – the more we talk openly about hate, the more visibly unacceptable it will become.
#NationalHCAW #WeStandTogether #NoPlaceForHate #SafePlaceForAll #SpreadLoveNotHate #StopHateStartsHere
For further information regarding promoting the week, please visit https://nationalhcaw.uk/ and https://www.stophateuk.org/hate-crime-awareness-week/ You can use published ideas on how to participate, print off and display some posters and find resources regarding this matter – you can make a difference in stopping hate.
Liberate are delighted that The Channel Islands Co-Operative Society have signed up to the Accès scheme. The scheme is designed to help organisations to meet their obligations under the law by offering an accessibility audit of their premises and training for employees on how to improve inclusion for people with disabilities, whether they are customers or employees.
Paddy Haversham-Quaid, CXO of Liberate, said: “A number of organisations have said to us that they aren’t sure what a ‘reasonable’ adjustment is for their business, and many fear that adjustments will cost them a lot of money. Accès provides an independent view that helps organisations navigate the process of making those adjustments.”
There are three parts to the scheme: over the next few weeks, Liberate will be auditing all Co-Op stores with our Accessibility Ambassadors to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities; we will then train all staff on disability discrimination and how to make reasonable adjustments; and, finally, the Co-Op will get a visit from a mystery shopper – one of our RAMS (reasonable adjustment mystery shoppers).
Dave Chalk, Chief Operating and Risk Officer at the Co-Op, said: “As a community retailer we have always prided ourselves on being accessible for all and are delighted to continue our partnership with Liberate, by being the first retailer to sign up to their new Accès scheme. Accès is aimed at increasing education around accessibility, and Liberate will provide training for our colleagues, as well as working with their Accessibility Ambassadors to review our store estate and provide input in how we can improve access for all of our members and customers.
“We welcome the audit and will continue to keep our stores accessible for all islanders with disabilities.”
Liberate are also reminding Jersey organisations this week that they have until 1 September 2020 to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features in their premises in order to make them accessible for people with disabilities.
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Channel Islands and the start of the end of WWII, and as we continue to be living in a restricted way due to coronavirus, it seems a good moment to consider what freedom means. The Arthouse Jersey project The Face of Liberation posed the question of islanders, ‘What does freedom mean to you?’, as they took their photos earlier this year for a huge photo montage. A huge photo and a huge question.
Liberate’s vision is for an inclusive society where all citizens of the Channel Islands are accepted equally by government, organisations, society and themselves regardless of their personal characteristics. If you cannot access the education you deserve, if you cannot get the job or promotion you are qualified for, if you cannot register the birth of your biological child, if you cannot have your identity legally recognised, if you cannot live without fearing assault, if you cannot enter premises on the island because no consideration has been given to your needs, if you cannot feed, clothe or house yourself, how free are you? And, how free is the society in which you live?
For us as a charity, then, freedom means nobody being left behind in our islands. Easy to say, much harder to achieve. Our work involves holding up a mirror to government, corporations, charities and individuals and asking the question, ‘Is this what inclusivity really looks like?’. It is easy to be complacent when you live in a democracy that is economically rich and to assume that everyone is doing as well as you. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the fault lines in British society in a starker way than any other national happening in recent times.
This week Liberate was due to be part of a human rights conference in Jersey that would have seen some inspirational international speakers visit the island to discuss how far we, as an island, have come from Liberation Day to today, and how far we have yet to travel.
When the world saw the horrors of the Second World War it made a promise. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948. It set out a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations and, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected in order that future generations should not have to suffer what millions had suffered between 1939 and 1945.
The Declaration remains an ambition that 70 years on has not been fully realised. Countries still go to war, commit genocide, sponsor terrorism, sanction torture, violate human rights, silence free speech, rig elections and deny citizens access to basic essentials. This will continue to happen until populations – everyone, you and me – speak up and take a stand against those who profit from the denial of others’ freedoms.
As individuals in Jersey, this means engaging with politics and electing those who seek to unite not divide us, telling our leaders in the workplace that we want to work for ethical organisations who put people before profit or power, intervening where we see people being treated unfairly in society, and volunteering our personal resources to help those who need our support. The UN’s 17 Global Goals provides organisations and individuals with ways to start acting on inequality in human rights.
The world was forever changed 75 years ago. Britain was not the same country in 1945 as it had been in 1939. The joyous celebrations of VE Day and Liberation gave way to a period of grieving, hardship and austerity in the years that followed. 75 years on and the crisis we are living through is also likely to give way to a period of severe deprevation. We are going to need to tackle the post-COVID period with a determination, similar to that shown 75 years ago, that the world will be a better place following the death and hardship we have endured. It will take our collective effort to ensure that nobody is left behind and that we truly are a society in which everyone feels free.
Liberate is launching its new counselling support service, but its focus has changed…
Like many other charities, Liberate’s income for 2020 dropped off a cliff edge three weeks ago. It was there one day and gone the next! Since then Liberate has been looking for ways in which it can use its resources to support the island’s effort to manage COVID-19.
Vic Tanner Davy, CEO of Liberate, said: “We had been working on a new counselling offering as part of our HIV work and it was ready to launch when the coronavirus outbreak arrived in Jersey. As we watched the news and heard stories from people struggling with various mental health issues due to the crisis, we realised this was the service that we could repurpose to respond to the islandwide effort.”
The new service is offered to anyone who needs it for no charge. Due to anticipated demand, clients will be offered three sessions of one hour per week over video link or telephone. Liberate aims to assist those experiencing stress, anxiety, panic, depression, grief and other mental health issues due to the conditions imposed by the crisis, such as:
Liberate hopes that the addition of extra mental health support into Jersey’s system at a low level will provide capacity to mental health professionals higher up the chain to deal with more acute cases. In particular, the ability for mental health professionals in the Health Service to support their colleagues on the frontline, who will need help in the coming weeks to cope with stressors including home pressures, workplace stress and traumatic exposure.
If anyone would like to use the service, they can sign up at https://liberate.je/counselling/
On 31 January 2020, Liberate and Les Landes School are launching the DIFERA Jnr scheme with a day of diversity and inclusivity activities created by the school’s pupils and staff.
DIFERA is Liberate’s accreditation scheme for organisations that has members across the Channel Islands from all business sectors.
Paddy Haversham-Quaid, CXO Liberate, said: “We wanted to include schools in the DIFERA scheme, but knew that the offering to them needed to be a bit different as it had to include students as well as staff. We decided to partner with Les Landes school to pilot a junior variation of the DIFERA scheme as we were aware of the work they were already doing in this area.”
As well as auditing the school as a workplace for its staff, DIFERA Jnr also contains a day of activities for the pupils to encourage them to think about diversity, inclusion, fairness, equality, respect and acceptance in their lives. A staff champions group is also given training that enables them to train their colleagues and gives them material they can use and adapt in their lessons.
Vicki Charlesworth, Headteacher of Les Landes, said: “We were delighted to be asked to be the DIFERA Jnr pilot as we are a school that tries to embed the DIFERA values into everything we do. The year groups have each been asked to work on one letter of DIFERA and the day of activities has developed from there. Les Landes is the first Jersey school to be accredited in Philosophy for Children, and we will be using this framework to facilitate the discussion and enquiry work with the children. DIFERA Junior also supports our Rights Respecting School work; we are committed to promoting children’s rights. We hope that it will be a fun and thought-provoking day for staff and pupils.”
The DIFERA Jnr scheme has the ministerial team’s support and will be rolled out across other primary schools this year. If primary schools would like to find out more about the scheme, they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The development of the scheme’s training material was supported by RBC Wealth Management.
Jersey Pride in Sport week is taking place from 3-9 February 2020.
Racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexism and other prejudicial language can all too often be heard on the pitch or in the changing room, and gets dismissed as ‘banter’. The words we use matter and make the difference between an inclusive space or one that feels exclusive and intimidating for people from minority groups.
This is why we are asking as many sports people as possible to show their support for ‘sport is for everyone’ by wearing rainbow laces to celebrate Jersey Pride in Sport week, ideally during your sporting activity, or before or after for sports that do not involve shoes or boots requiring laces. Whether you are a school, football or rugby team, cycling or walking group, aerobics or dance class, the free rainbow laces demonstrate your commitment to making sport an inclusive and discrimination-free space.
You can collect your rainbow laces from the offices of Jersey Sport at the FB Fields and EY’s office in Liberation House, Castle Street. Laces will also be handed out during Jersey Sport’s launch of the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Sport and Physical Activity workshop on 5 February 2020.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of rainbow laces and let’s make this a Pride in Sport week to be proud of! Please share pictures of your team in their rainbow laces across social media using: #JerseyPrideInSport and tagging Instagram: @EYCICareers @JerseySportje Twitter: @EYnews @JerseySport @LiberateJersey Facebook: @EYChannelIslandsCareers @jerseysportofficial @LiberateJersey
Jersey Pride in Sport week is supported by EY: “At EY we believe everyone should be respected for the skills and talents they contribute and the impact they make – not by their race, gender or sexual identity. We are pleased to support this initiative to help make sport everyone’s game.”
Sport really should be for everyone, but there are some groups for whom significant barriers to participation in sport exist. In the UK, more than 55% of LGBTQ+ people are not active enough to maintain good health, 34% of people with a long-term impairment are inactive compared with 21% of those without a disability and 89% of sport participants are from white and 11% from non white backgrounds.
Changing these statistics requires all of us to understand what we can do make our clubs, teams, schools and associations inclusive.
Jersey Sport’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Sport and Physical Activity workshop launching on 5 February 2020, but repeated throughout the year, has been developed in partnership with Liberate and with the support of EY.
It aims to give players, captains, coaches, referees, umpires, volunteers, club officers and other supporters an introduction to issues around diversity and inclusion, and is as essential for sports clubs and associations as safeguarding, mental health awareness and first aid – which is why it is part of Jersey Sport’s SportsMark Essential scheme. For details of all the scheme workshops, please visit: www.jerseysport.je/workshops
Contact Jersey Sport – email@example.com or 757700 – for more information.
On International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), Liberate are reminding Jersey organisations that they have until 31 August 2020 to make reasonable adjustments to physical features in their premises.
Many organisations have already made adjustments to their provisions, criteria and practices (“PCPs”) and provided auxiliary aids that include people with disabilities in workplaces. Now, with just a few months to go until the two year grace period within the Discrimination (Jersey) Law runs out, organisations need to be making those adjustments to the physical features of workplaces, too.
Paddy Haversham-Quaid, CXO Liberate, said: “A number of organisations have said to us that they aren’t sure what a ‘reasonable’ adjustment is for their business, and many fear that adjustments will cost them a lot of money. This is why we have launched a new scheme called Accès aimed at helping organisations navigate making adjustments to ensure their business is inclusive for people with disabilities.
“We are offering an audit of an organisation’s premises and training to help organisations to understand what is reasonable for their business when it comes to making physical adjustments. We have a group of Accessibility Ambassadors, with different disabilities, who are going to assist us with the audits to demonstrate to organisations, in a practical way, where they can improve.
“Organisations that are audited, make adjustments and undertake the training are given our Accès badge to demonstrate to employees and customers that they take accessibility for Jersey’s disabled community seriously. We hope that the Accès kitemark will become a trusted symbol for people in Jersey with a disability.”
To find out more about Accès, please click here.
Liberate have found that more needs to be done to combat the stigma of living as HIV positive in the Islands. More than thirty years on from the first cases of HIV in the Channel Islands, misinformation, myths and prejudice persist, making it difficult for islanders living with HIV to be open with those closest to them. Only 58% of islanders living with HIV had told a family member of their condition.
One year ago on World AIDS Day (1 December) Liberate asked Channel Islanders to assist in a research project to provide the charity with information about the nature of the work that needs to be done in the Islands to provide more support for those living with HIV. As part of their research, Liberate also visited Terrence Higgins Trust, the National AIDS Trust and StopAIDS, and Liberate interviewed The Orchard Clinic (Guernsey), the States of Guernsey’s Health Educator, Brook Jersey, YouMatter and the GUM clinic in Jersey.
As a result of the research, Liberate have produced a report with 13 recommendations for the Third Sector (government and charities). A copy of Liberate’s report can be downloaded here.
Vic Tanner Davy, CEO Liberate, said: “As a charity, the priority for us is clear. We need to do more to reduce stigma in the Islands and that starts with education – whether that is in the form of new government information campaigns, or workshops that give people the facts about HIV, or making it part of sex education lessons in schools. When someone comes out as living with HIV it should result in support for that person; the fear remains that it will result in rejection by friends, family and colleagues.”
Additional work that the report highlights is the need to combat the spread of HIV by encouraging people to get tested and know their status, and by making PrEP (a drug that can stop HIV infections from being passed on) available on the health service in both Bailiwicks.
Liberate have the support of Terrence Higgins Trust for their work, which will commence in 2020. Dominic Edwardes, Executive Director of Communications at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “We fully support work in the Channel Islands to update people’s knowledge of HIV. We’ve made huge medical progress in the fight against HIV that means someone diagnosed early and accessing treatment has the same life expectancy as anyone else. But public perceptions haven’t kept up with the pace and stigma and discrimination remain key issues for people living with HIV. We’re keen to work with Liberate to help shape the Channel Island’s HIV response, including through stigma training and increasing access to HIV testing.”