Accessibility position statement – January 2023
How can we cater for children, young people and their families who do not have reliable access to a mobile phone, an email address or to a computer connected to the internet? Digital poverty will mean that some children, young people and their families do not have this reliable access. As a digital service this is something that unfortunately we cannot confidently do and our users will need reliable access to internet enabled digital technology. As a result, we will work collaboratively with local services to do all that we can to maximise access for this group, thinking open-mindedly about how and where digital access might be secured.
We will also work hard to maximise digital accessibility for children, young people and their families who have any additional needs (for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, learning disabilities or difficulties with reading or writing) that may make a digital interaction more challenging. This is something we can influence and be clear in articulating to local services and to children, young people and their families directly.
We will deliver all of our virtual assessment and therapy sessions on the Microsoft Teams platform. This platform has a number of helpful accessibility and inclusivity features that we can maximise in collaboration with children, young people and their families, and ensure that they are aware of. These features are currently as follows:
- The Immersive Reader function has several useful features such as enabling children, young people and their families to hear chat messages rather than read them
- The Picture Dictionary function gives children, young people and their families the ability to click on any single word to hear it read aloud and see a picture that helps define it
- The Live Captions function can detect what’s said in a session and presents real-time captions back to the child, young person and their family
- The Live Transcription function helps children, young people and their families with following the session and understanding who is speaking and what they are saying. Live transcription is a written record that occurs during the session and is captured automatically in near real time, and is available during and after the session too
- The Text Options function can help children, young people and their families focus on any visual content and remove any visual distractions – text size can be changed as can the amount of spacing between letters and words
- The Line Focus function enables children, young people and their families to narrow the focus of a reading experience by highlighting sets of one, three, or five lines within their chosen material
- The Pin Videos function allows children, young people and their families to choose to ‘pin’ a particular participant so that regardless of who’s talking the view will be of that chosen participant
We will continue to work hard to maximise digital accessibility for children, young people and their families who have any additional needs that may make a digital interaction more challenging. We will also work collaboratively with local services to do all that we can to maximise digital access, thinking open-mindedly about how and where digital access might be secured for a particular child, young person and their family.
Eligibility position statement and criteria – January 2023
We aim to maximise digital accessibility to mental health support for children and young people aged between 5 and 25 years old. Children, young people and their families will need access to a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC with a stable internet connection in order to be able to access our platform.
We offer a range of therapies and evidence-based interventions that research has shown can help improve mental health difficulties such a depression and low mood as well as anxiety disorders, emotional dysregulation, and behavioural difficulties. We also offer the therapeutic space to enable children and young people to develop different ways to cope with common adverse experiences such a bullying, school transition and exams as well as relationship difficulties. We are also accessible for children and young people with neurodivergence and a mental health difficulty who can engage in a digital intervention.
We are not currently able to work with the following difficulties where they are the primary concern:
- Eating disorders
- Enduring and/or high-risk self-harm
- Drugs and/or alcohol misuse
- Attachment disorders
- Gender and body dysphoria
However, where there is co-morbidity and the above difficulties are not the primary concern and are safely managed, we can work alongside these difficulties on low mood and on anxiety.
You can read the My Mental Health Portal accessibility statement here: My Mental Health Portal accessibility statement