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Gloucestershire Counselling Service (GCS) is committed to ensuring that our services and information are accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. This Accessibility Policy outlines our commitment to accessibility and the steps we take to make our services, website, and communication materials accessible to everyone.
This policy applies to all aspects of GCS’s operations, including:
GCS website (www.gloscounselling.org.uk)
Counselling services provided by GCS
Training services provided by GCS
Information and communication materials
GCS premises and facilities
GCS is committed to the following accessibility principles:
Inclusivity: We will ensure that our services are accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, cognitive, or mobility impairments.
Compliance: We will comply with applicable accessibility laws and standards, including the UK Equality Act 2010 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, at a minimum.
Continuous Improvement: We will continuously work to improve accessibility and remove barriers that may prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing our services.
Although GCS is committed to the accessibility principles the counselling services may be denied or deferred in the following circumstances:
a. Immediate Danger: If an individual presents an immediate risk to themselves or others, we will prioritize their safety and may refer them to more appropriate services.
b. Severe Clinical Presentation: In cases where an individual’s clinical presentation is so severe that our services may not be effective or safe for them, we may provide signposting or contact an individual’s GP (were permission is given) to enable an appropriate referral
c. Specialised Services Required: If an individual requires specialised services or expertise beyond the competence of our counsellors.
If access to counselling services is denied or deferred, GCS will communicate this decision in a compassionate and respectful manner, providing information on alternative resources or referrals whenever possible.
GCS policy is informed by BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and The British Psychoanalytic Council Code of Ethics.
GCS is committed to achieving and maintaining compliance with WCAG standards for our website.
Alternative Formats: Where possible, we will provide content in alternative formats upon request to accommodate various disabilities.
Testing and Monitoring: We will conduct regular accessibility testing and audits to identify and rectify accessibility issues on our website.
Accessibility Assessment: We will assess the accessibility of our counselling facilities and strive to make necessary accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
Communication: We will communicate with clients and potential clients to understand their accessibility needs and provide reasonable accommodations when necessary.
We will assess the accessibility of our training facilities, training materials and assess reasonable adjustments that can be made to ensure accessibility.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION MATERIALS
Accessible Formats: GCS will provide information and communication materials in accessible formats upon request, such as Braille, large print, or digital formats.
Office Staff Training: GCS will provide training to office staff to support clinical staff and volunteers on accessibility awareness and how to assist individuals with disabilities.
Ongoing Education: We will stay informed about best practices in accessibility and incorporate them into our operations.
FEEDBACK AND ACCESSIBILITY CONCERNS
We welcome feedback from the public, clients, volunteers, and employees regarding accessibility concerns. Please contact us using the contact information provided on our website or through our counselling service to report any issues or share your suggestions for improvement.
For questions, concerns, or to request accommodations related to accessibility, please contact [email protected] or call 01453 766310
Reviewed September 2023