Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Envision & VCC
Teleconference: 6th October

Last night I chaired my first teleconference with VCC's (Volunteer Campaign Co-Ordinators) and campaigners from across England, two of which are members of Envision - both steering group and wider network, attending the call.

The teleconference was designed as a focus group; an alternate channel of gathering views and experiences, rather than solely through our mystery shopper survey that we've been circulating via social media recently. Everyone on the call had a specific interest in the issue of accessible menus in coffee shops - as well as staff awareness training and less cluttered layouts.

As chair, it was my job to introduce Envision and the work that we do as well lay some ground rules for the teleconference, outline the agenda and ensure that it's followed closely, have good time-keeping and make sure that everyone has had the chance to speak and give their views.

After going through most of the key questions on our mystery shopper survey and collecting a stronger body of evidence from the campaigners on the call, I also encouraged responses for improvements which can be used on our charter to present to the industry.

Some great points were raised, especially around the coffee shop layout; ensuring that there's a clear passage through to the counter, making sure the the counter is as obvious as possible (not right at the back of the store!), ensuring there is a consistent layout throughout all stores pertaining to that particular chain, good lighting for those with low vision, ensuring chairs are securely placed underneath tables, and outside tables and chairs are cordoned off with a metal bar that long canes can detect.

You can provide your own responses and help Envision build a stronger campaign - for accessible coffee shop menus, staff awareness and overall positive experiences - by completing our short survey located at SurveyMonkey, here. Our feedback can then be collated and designed into a charter which the steering group will be focusing on during our London meeting on October 23rd.

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