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COUNCIL'S GROUND BREAKING WEBSITE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

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A new website specifically tailored for people with learning disabilities in Devon is one of the first in the count...
A new website specifically tailored for people with learning disabilities in Devon is one of the first in the country.

It has been created using the skills of people with learning disabilities and is a one-stop information shop for people with learning disabilities, their carers, families and other people with an interest in learning disabilities.

The site has been produced by the Learning Disability Partnership Board, a partnership between Devon CC, the National Health Service, educational and voluntary sector organisations, and it aims to be a comprehensive resource with information about local activities, communication tools, access to housing and jobs plus news of the latest developments.

'Although there are a number of general sites for learning disabilities such as those for autism and Asperger's Syndrome, there is a need for local information, and this website aims to plug that gap,' said the County Council's Executive Member for Adult Services, Cllr John Rawlinson. 'There is a great deal of work going on in Learning Disability in Devon, but there has not - up until now - been a central resource providing information about what is happening.

'The website contains current news items, 'what to do' sections, how and where to get help, details of various Devon organisations which provide activities, and newsletters for learning disabled people.

'People can sign up to one of the five newsletters for regular updates of what is happening in the area.'

The site has been specifically designed to be straight-forward to use, with bold symbols illustrating the types of information available. Many of these symbols are already in use throughout Devon, and are used to aid communication for people with learning disability. There is also a free media database which provides photographs, symbols, sounds and movies which can be used to aid communication. Many of these are unique to Devon such as the specially-created symbols for cities and places.

The website can be found here.

The two main designers of the site are Robert Hawken and Rebecca King.

Robert said he looked at many other websites to see what worked well and adapted the best ideas. 'We wanted ours to be fun and easy to use and full of the sort of information everyone needs.'

Rebecca said it was the first time she had done any website design work. 'It was very interesting and I learnt a lot. I hope to put this new knowledge to use in the future.'

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