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How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Access Panel

Social media is becoming an ever increasing part of our lives and it effects the way we communicate with each other.  In order for your Access Panel to maximise its impact you’re going to need to use social media.  Below is an infographic offering some hints and tips on how you can put Twitter to work for you.  They’re a set of golden rules you should be following when engaging with people on Twitter.

An infographic offering support tips on how to use Twitter more effectively










































Maybe you’re looking for new members or you’re wanting to get the word out about a campaign the Panel is about to start? Either way, Twitter can be an extremely powerful tool when used correctly.

Let’s say that your Panel is about to start a campaign on Changing Places toilets in Alloa.  It’s been identified that there aren’t any and you need that to change.  Remembering the advice above, we can build on it with the following:

  1. Research – is there anyone running a similar campaign that you can link in with?  In this instance you could link in with Pamis who carry out a lot of work around Changing Places toilets.
  2. Hashtags – come up with a short and snappy hashtag before you start and use this in every tweet you send.  When it comes to twitter, the hashtag is used to draw attention, to organise, and to promote.   Hashtags got their start in Twitter as a way of making it easier for people to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation. In this example, if you were to settle on #CPToiletsInAlloa as your hashtag then people who are also interested in Changing Places toilets in Alloa would be able to find you easier.  If you then click on the hashtag once it’s been tweeted you can see who else is using it too.
  3. Hashtag Golden Rules – No spaces, no special characters and no punctuation*
  4. Try and use images when possible and always try and keep the human interest at the centre of what you’re doing.  Ask yourself – who are we doing this for, why are we doing it for them and what benefit will it bring to them once it’s been achieved?

*Although you’re not strictly meant to use punctuation I always use capital letters to separate words as it makes the hashtag easier to read due to the lack of spaces

 If you want to set up a social media strategy for your Access Panel you can contact Ian at SDEF.  Remember that SDEF can provide support on a range of Panel related activity and remember to follow the Access Panel Network on Twitter by clicking here – AccessPanelNet







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Improving Access for Disabled People Training 21 March 2017

The logo of North Ayrshire Access Panel depicting various symbols representative of disabilities with the slogan Access for All Opportunity for all below.  Training

North Ayrshire Access Panel logo for training






North Ayrshire Access Panel have organised a training course called ‘Improving Access for Disabled People’ which will take place on Tuesday 21 March 2017 in Irvine.  There are currently 5 spaces available and it is free to attend.  The course starts at 10.30am and finishes at 4.30pm.

The course covers the following:

  • Independent Living
  • the Equality Act 2010
  • the Human Rights Act
  • the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability Awareness
  • Disability Etiquette
  • Sociological Elements of Disability

It will be a great opportunity for you or another member of your Panel to take part in some training.  You will be able to download the training programme for the day by clicking on the following link:

Programme Day 1 21 March 2017 

If you are a member of an Access Panel you can claim costs of travel and accommodation through your own Access Panel Grant.  It will also be a chance to meet other people involved in the same type of work as you.  Being able to network with other Access Panels means that you can share ideas and support one another.  You don’t need to worry if you’ve never taken part in training like this before.  The day will cater for those who have experience and those who don’t.

If you are interested in attending this course, please contact Gillian Smith Tel: 01259 272064 or Email: Don’t forget to tell us your communication, access and dietary requirements.

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ScotRail Industrial Action

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ScotRail staff have taken the decision to go on strike.  This means that there will be changes to the timetable on the following days:

Tuesday 21 June
Thursday 23 June
Saturday 25 June
Sunday 3 July
Sunday 10 July
Sunday 17 July 

It is important to check ScotRail’s website if you plan to travel on any of these days.  ScotRail’s website can be found at

If you require assistance for any part of your journey it is important that you contact ScotRail’s passenger assistance.  You can do this by going to your nearest manned station, calling 0800 912 2901, textphone 18001 0800 912 2 901 or visit their website at


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Door Step Crime and Bogus Callers

Beat Door Step CrimePolice Scotland launched their Door Step Crime initiative in late October and will be rolling out information over the coming weeks. This type of crime was always seen as being aimed at the elderly but it is increasingly being carried out against vulnerable people or those that live alone. Bill Logan, our Disability Access Officer recently met with Mike Smith from Police Scotland who provided us with an idea of some of the methods being used.

[Read more…]

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New Inclusive Design Website

James Davidson, our Online Research and Development Intern, joined us last year for a six month internship with the Scottish Disability Equality Forum. James’ internship involves researching and producing content for a new Inclusive Design Website. The website aims to improve awareness and implementation of best practice in accessible design for planners, architects, and other building professionals.

There will be two key parts to the website:

[Read more…]

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Falkirk Area Disability Access Panel

Falkirk Area Disability Access Panel (FADAP) has been involved in a comprehensive street audit of the route from Grahamston Station to the Retail Park. This was completed with the help of “Living Streets”. While Falkirk Council has undertaken to improve some of the smaller items which we identified, we are in the process of pushing for further improvements including a better crossing point at Meeks Road.

Stakeholders Tesco and Scot Rail have been approached and have made positive contributions. This project has taken up most of FADAP’s time. However we have carried on with the “bread and butter” business of getting some dropped kerbs established and maintaining a representation on the local taxi forum in an effort to address the problem of the falling numbers of available wheelchair accessible vehicles in the Falkirk area.

Find contact details for the Panel in our Directory

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Ross and Cromarty Access Panel

Ross-shire have been working closely with Inverness Access Panel where there is a lot of development work happening. Raigmore Hospital is being refurbished, there is a large new town being planned to the east of Inverness and there has been a consultation on the new station on the Aberdeen line at Dalcross which will serve the airport.

Find contact details for the Panel in our Directory

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East Dunbartonshire Access Panel

New premises for our meetings are being looked at which will have more suitable access. Discussions at present are taking place with EDVA, hoping to rent a desk in their offices part time, which will hopefully allow for better contact with the public.

At the ‘Merkland Nature Reserve’ in Kirkintilloch, we have been involved in advising the rangers regarding making pathways easy to manoeuvre and get around with access easier for all. We have made good progress with this, and the work is ongoing.

[Read more…]

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West Dunbartonshire Access Panel

We have recently been involved in the following activities:

  • Involved with the West Dunbartonshire Integration Group. This group looks to integrate the Refugees from Syria into West Dunbartonshire.
  • We have also been to three design project meetings for the new health centre.
  • We have been involved in a designing and planning group for three more care
  • We attended the Scottish Human Rights Roadshow held in Clydebank hoping to work closely with them to set up Community Champions.
  • Have participated in a mystery shop with Scot Rail to Central Station in Glasgow.

[Read more…]

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North Ayrshire Access Panel

North Ayrshire Access Panel (NAAP) has recently been in discussions on the design of the service counter at a new Costa coffee shop. Some modifications were proposed, and subsequently rejected, to the standard counter which included a pull-out tray or surface. We are of the opinion that Costa should design a counter with an integrated knee recess and lowered section in accordance with the standards.

We realised the pull-out tray would cause a wheelchair user to obstruct the entire 1600 mm wide thoroughfare. This could easily lead to embarrassment of a disabled customer while they wait to be served. We also thought that the depth of the counter, 575 mm, would be impractical for staff to stretch over and safely place items on the extended tray. Also, who would return the tray to its recessed position, this would be a temporary safety hazard for anyone, especially children going past it.

[Read more…]

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