A new service has launched in Somerset to support people with disabilities to get their voices heard, and to improve accessibility in the county.
The Somerset Disability Engagement Service, run by AJM Healthcare, will work with Somerset County Council to deliver its engagement and consultation with disabled people throughout the county for the next two years.
For the County Council and partners, Sedgemoor District Council, Mendip District Council, South Somerset District Council and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, AMH said the service will provide opportunities to better understand the needs and concerns of disabled communities in order to improve services to them.
As part of the initiative, AJM Healthcare plans to build relationships with existing disability groups in the area to help create a network, empowering people with disabilities to have a say on a wide range of issues.
New online channels, including social media, will act as key forums for people to swap information and give their views, the company said.
The service will also work with disabled people to make sure local buildings and services are accessible, with training provided for businesses to help improve accessibility for everyone in Somerset.
Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s really important we involve more disabled people in decisions which affect their daily lives. This partnership will make a huge difference in making sure we actively engage with all people to create more effective and inclusive services.”
Becky O’Donovan, Partnership and Engagement Officer at AJM Healthcare, said: “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to use innovative ways to engage disabled people in Somerset and we look forward to working in partnership with local organisations to improve accessibility across the county.”