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D A Y W I T H Y O K E A T 1 7 T H J U L Y

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The aim of 'You're Welcome' as described by the Barnwood Trust is "to foster more inclusive, vibrant communities in the county; communities in which everyone can feel a part, join in, and take care of each other." How better to signify this inclusivity but to allow DROP access to half a day where we, disabled people can have direct design influence with Yoke, a Bristol based ethical design company at the Barnwood Trust based in Ullenwood, Gloucestershire. Given the complexity and timescales bound up in this project DROP was pleased that so much had been done since our last meeting a couple of months ago. What impressed us was the energy and enthusiasm the room held despite the seemingly long "time in the cave" that Yoke designer Jay said summed up his journey here. The website proposal is clean, clear and timely. Timely in the sense that by September with its launch, disabled people in Gloucestershire will have a website that is designed with them in mind.

So, from the word go, the website had a welcoming feel, did not appear complicated for the user. An extended conversation about ACCESSIBILITY soon emerged particularly around people with learning difficulties and the website's ability to address those concerns. Also the fact that MENTAL HEALTH had been separated out from DISABILITY reflects the extensive research the Barnwood Trust has carried out with the views of the community. It was felt that as valid as this is, DROP is composed of people with impairments be they physical, mental or sensory and a heading which encompassed both mental health and disability would reflect our position. DROP was able, with Yoke's help to create a group on the test site of which we will have many members. Another pleasing feature was the way members could feel protected through the use of a USERNAME and a significant amount of time was given over to what 'username' meant to someone with a learning difficulty or mental health condition. Exposure, the unintentional release of personal data and the use of AVATARS all had their place in this discussion and there are no easy solutions. With the conversation between us at DROP, Yoke and the Barnwood Trust complete there was time to reflect on the welcoming, inclusive, strength based approach demonstrated by all these three organisations. The fact that disabled people like us have been consulted demonstrates Barnwood's trust in navigating the medium of the web through the perspective of those it serves.

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