Voting for those with visual impairment

Your vote matters - don't lose itVoters who have sight loss or visual impairment can get help when voting.

In partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, The Electoral Commission has produced an information sheet to help those with sight loss, explaining how to vote and register to vote and explaining what help they can get.

We have reproduced the text below or the document can be downloaded as a pdf from the Your Vote Matters website. www.yourvotematters.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/226827/FINAL-RNIB-factsheet-UKPGE-2017.pdf

If you want to vote, you must be registered. You can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by contacting the electoral services department at your
local council.

The deadline to apply to vote in these elections is Monday 22 May (more…)

Voting for those with learning disabilities

Your vote matters - don't lose itIn the general election people with a learning disability have the same rights to vote as everybody else. If you are over 18 years old you may be able to vote.

People with a learning disability should vote so they have a say about things that affect their lives.

More information on voting for those with learning disabilities and their supporters is available from the Mencap website

If you are not registered, you must register before 22nd May to vote in the General Election.




Cracking down on Blue Badge parking abuse

Ashford Borough Council is reminding those who have disabled blue badges to use their permits correctly to avoid facing a hefty fine or having the badge taken away.

Ashford Borough Councils’ Parking Enforcement Officers have been working closely with Kent County Council’s (KCC) Blue Badge Internal Audit and Fraud Team; as a result our Civil Enforcement Officers together with KCC will be cracking down on blue badge parking abuse.

Ashford Borough Councils’ Civil Enforcement Team will be carrying out a two month warning phase to crack down on those who misuse their badge, fraudulently use it, or who park where it would cause an obstruction or danger to other road users.

An education programme will take place between 30th January and 30th March. During this time, any drivers caught parking illegally and not complying with the rules will be issued with a warning notice. This approach will highlight to drivers the consequences of abusing the use of a Blue Badge by parking illegally or dangerously in the borough.

Following the warning phase, the council will begin enforcing where appropriate, and those who receive a Penalty Charge Notice will have their details passed directly onto KCC’s Blue Badge Audit and Fraud Team. (more…)

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group

What is the east Kent’s “Local Offer” for children with Special Educational Needs and Disability?

The Children and Families Act was passed in March 2014. This means that Local authorities are required to publish and keep up to date information about services from Education, Health and Social Care which will be available for children and young people with special educational needs aged 0-25. This is the ‘Local Offer’.

The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice, flexibility and transparency for families and to help them have more control over services by setting out the local provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND) and their families.

It will make information available in one place about the services children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies. It is also an important resource for professionals in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area. (more…)

Blue Badge Scam

Blue badgeKCC Trading Standards continues to receive reports of bogus Blue Badge websites offering to assist with applications and charging £49 for a Blue Badge.

These websites are not associated with the Blue Badge Service and the application form supplied by these websites is not accepted by Local Authorities.

The official Blue Badge costs £10.

Information about the Blue Badge scheme including how to apply or renew a Blue Badge can be found by visiting the Kent County Council website.

Contact Details

Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

KCC Trading Standards 9 September 2016

Deaf Awareness Week: Travel

Ed Rex, Travel blogger“For years people said I couldn’t travel on my own because of my deafness. With my hearing aid and cochlear implant, it’s been so easy to travel by myself.

“I have travelled round the world and been immersed indifferent languages, cultures and customs. It’s really bro

Ed Rex, travel blogger http://rexyedventures.com/



British Sign Language

Learning BSL I definitely can“I’m learning British Sign Language because everybody deserves the same level of service when coming to our pub.

“I want to be able to ask deaf customers how they are, if they’ve had a nice day and what they’d like to order, without having to write everything down. Not long now!”

Josie Linden, Operations Manager

Learning British Sign Langauge



Deaf Awareness Week: Sport

A1263_DAW2016ShanePrendergast“I became profoundly deaf at 21. Some people think it’s dangerous for me to cycle, but what I lack in hearing I more than make up with awareness of my surroundings.

“This year I’m tackling a 3,200 mile ride across the USA. Deafness is not a barrier to life – it doesn’t stop people embracing their passions.”

Shane Prendergast, cyclist



Deafness at work

Deafness at work“Being deaf doesn’t stop me from communicating effectively with colleagues and members of the public who I meet through my work.

“With a grant-funded British Sign Language interpreter, I can participate fully in meetings, take phone calls, give presentations and interact fully with those around me. My career is on the up!”

Andrew Taylor, Information Officer



Top tips on how to be Deaf Aware

  • Top deaf awareness tipsMake sure you have the attention of the person before you start speaking
  • Places with good lighting and little or no background noise are best for conversations
  • Use plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions
  • Check whether the person understands what you are saying and, if not, try saying it in a different way.
  • Keep your voice down as it’s uncomfortable for hearing aid user if you shout.
  • Learn basic finger spelling or some basic British Sign Language (BSL)