Category Archives: Uncategorized

Data protection policy

This version agreed by the Board Autumn 2010

Next review due 2013


AACT recognises its obligations to beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and others with whom it does business to process data reasonably and fairly.


Access-ability Communications Technology Ltd (AACT) is a data controller under the meaning of the UK’s Data Protection Act.


This policy applies to information relating to identifiable individuals. Its purpose is to enable AACT to

  • comply with the law in respect of the data it holds about individuals
  • follow good practice;
  • protect AACT’s supporters, staff and other individuals
  • protect the organisation.


AACT will

  • not only comply with the law but also monitor good practice guidelines from main charitable umbrella bodies and follow these where appropriate
  • respect individuals’ rights
  • be open and honest with individuals whose data is held
  • provide training and support for staff and volunteers who handle personal data, so that they can act confidently and consistently


AACT’s first priority is to avoid causing harm to individuals.  This means

  • keeping information securely in the right hands
  • holding good quality information.


AACT will have a designated Data Protection Officer with the following responsibilities

  • Keeping informed about changes in the law relating to Data Protection
  • Regularly checking at least one of the main voluntary sector organisations to obtain updates in good practice guidance
  • Briefing the board on Data Protection responsibilities
  • Reviewing Data Protection and related policies
  • Advising other staff on Data Protection issues
  • Ensuring that Data Protection induction and training takes place
  • Notification and any other responsibilities under the UK’s Data Protection Act as required
  • Handling subject access requests
  • Approving unusual or controversial disclosures of personal data
  • Approving contracts with Data Processors
  • Ensuring accuracy of data held, for example by an annual audit of filing systems
  • Maintaining and publishing the method for Data Subject Access


All staff, volunteers and sub-contractors where relevant are required to read, understand and accept any policies and procedures that relate to the personal data AACT holds.


Confidentiality applies to a wider range of information than covered by Data Protection. In cases where someone will be working with confidential information for AACT they will be required to sign a confidentiality statement.

Our privacy statement


We have a legal duty under the Data Protection Act to prevent your information falling into the wrong hands.  We must also ensure that the data we hold is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive.


Normally the only information we hold comes directly from you.  Whenever we collect information from you, we will make it clear which information is required in order to provide you with the information, service or goods you need.  You do not have to provide us with any additional information unless you choose to.  We store your information securely on a computer system, we restrict access to those who have a need to know, and we train people in handling the information securely.


AACT is a mainly voluntary organization, but we do run projects which may have paid workers, for example from another charity, university or a self-employed person. We may pass your personal details to these people if (and only if) it is relevant to the work they are contracted to do with or for us. Such people will be required to agree to AACT’s confidentiality and data protection policies.


You have the right to a copy of all the information we hold about you (apart from a very few things which we may be obliged to withhold because they concern other people as well as you). To obtain a copy write to the Data Protection Officer at AACT.  There is a charge of £10 for a copy of your data (as permitted by law).  We aim to reply as promptly as we can and, in any case, within the legal maximum of 40 days.


Currently our website does not automatically collect data about users (such as IP addresses), nor does it set any cookies. This may change in the future, and our policy will be publicized on the website and this statement updated.

Fundraising policy

Fundraising Policy

(merged with the previously published Policy which was agreed in Spring 2010)

Reviewed by the Board at its Summer 2011 meeting

Next review due Summer 2012


  • The Board of Trustee Directors (the Board) will act as fundraising coordinator.
  • Fundraising will be targeted to fulfill the mission of the charity, to add value to the work of disability professionals by providing help, particularly with outside funding bodies. Leveraging funding in the area of those with communication difficulties is our priority in developing potential projects and funding applications.
  • There will be careful selection of potential funders to ensure AACT meets their requirements and charitable aims and bids will be individualized and targeted as appropriate.
  • Any proposal to seek funds must be agreed by the Board in advance of any approach to potential funders.
  • There will be active relationship building to enhance the benefit to both parties.
  • Any project must provide a fundraising plan to be agreed by the Board.
  • Any ongoing service must have a sustainable funding plan approved by the Board.
  • The admin team is responsible for raising the funds required for basic inescapable costs and for fundraising costs.
  • The Board will decide on a lead fundraiser for any project or service it wishes to take forward.


Much of the work of AACT is undertaken by volunteers, but we have in the past paid modest amounts to a professional fundraiser and may do so again if Trustees feel this is in the best interests of our beneficiaries.


We take notice of the guidelines put forward by the Institute of Fundraising ( and believe like them that fundraising activities should be undertaken with clarity and openness.


If you have suggestions for fundraising, or would like to comment on our fundraising in any way, please do get in touch.

Giftaid declaration form

Gift Aid declaration


To the charity Access-ability Communications Technology (AACT for Children)


Please treat the enclosed gift of £                                          as a Gift Aid donation.


You must pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that the charity or Community Amateur Sports Club will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year.


Donor’s details


Title      Initial(s)      Surname


Home address







Postcode       Date






Please notify the charity if you:

  1. Want to cancel this declaration.
  2. Change your name or home address.
  3. No longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains.


Tax claimed by the charity

  • The charity will reclaim 28p of tax on every £1 you gave up to 5 April 2008.
  • The charity will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 you give on or after 6 April 2008.
  • The Government will pay to the charity an additional 3p on every £1 you give between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2011. This transitional relief for the charity does not affect your personal tax position.

If you pay income tax at the higher rate, you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self Assessment tax return if you want to receive the additional tax relief due to you.

Health and Safety Policy

This version agreed by the Board Autumn 2010

Next review Winter 2013-14 Board Meeting

We expect all those working or volunteering with AACT to have a mature, professional regard for the health and safety of others and of themselves.

As much of our work takes place in premises managed by other organisations, in particular our work in schools or on University of Reading campuses, the area Safety Policies of the relevant institution apply in those areas.

In the case of a volunteer, it is the responsibility of their main Contact to ensure they have received appropriate Health and Safety information during their induction (see website, section on working and volunteering with us). In the case of paid consultants (who may be self-employed, or employees of an external organisation), each consultant should ensure they understand the Health and Safety requirements of whatever area they are in. If they are unsure, they have a responsibility to contact AACT (see contact information on our website) to clarify Health and Safety issues.

Appended below is an example Risk Assessment form (based on one used when working at the University of Reading).

Pre-sessional checks: In the case of AACT working with an organisation augmenting their ‘normal’ work (e.g. in a school providing a class-like session) the host organisation will of course need to satisfy itself that the activity and area have been checked. In the case of AACT working on others’ premises to organise e.g. a one-off activity (e.g. in a partner museum or other public place) the AACT organiser should do a pre-sessional check (using the headings in the form below and with local staff as appropriate) to ensure that the spaces are set-up as expected for the event.

Event Name i-say tea Date 19 March 2011 Time 2-4.30
Location MERL Event organiser Annette Haworth Event safety controller Annette Haworth/Museum staff
Assessor Fred Date Permission given by Director of UMASCS

Section 1 – Identify hazards – consider all the activities within the social event and tick the boxes of significant hazards that apply

1. Fire hazards 7. Layout and traffic routes 13. Pressurised equipment 19. Inflatables 25. Seating arrangements 31. Confined space
2. Crowd control 8. Lighting levels 14. Noise and vibration 20. Other temporary structures 26. Welfare 32. Lone working
3. Slips, trips, housekeeping 9. Lighting systems 15. Environmental noise 21. Fairground equipment 27. Sanitation 33. Vehicles, driving
4. Fall of person 10. Heating and ventilation 16. Communication 22. Lasers 28. Food provision x 34. Machinery/lifting equipment
5. Fall of objects 11. Electrical equipment x 17. Violence to attendees or staff 23. Fireworks 29. Work with animals 35. Other – please specify
6. Manual handling 12. Use of portable tools 18. Marquees 24. Pyrotechnics 30. Chemicals, fumes dust


Section 2 – Who may be at risk – tick the boxes of all relevant persons at risk

Employees x Contractors Students x
Children Visitors x Special needs


Section 3 – Risk controls– For each hazard identified in Section 1 and for the persons identified in Section 2, complete this section

Hazard no. Hazard description Existing controls Risk level Further action needed
High Med Low


Use of PCs 


PCs will be used in the areas designed for visitors to use such equipment (ie ground floor of museum and St Andrews) x Usual care with leads in Reading room (which is designed for such use)


Food provision Food will be provided in the Studio which is set up for such provision x  Food is very simple, and bought and consumed immediately.Tea urn supplied by the museum and used in usual place with experienced person overseeing it.



Information policy

This version adopted by the Board Winter 2010-11

Next review due on or before Winter 2013-14


We aim to keep the information we hold relevant and fit for purpose.


In line with our purpose ‘to advance the education of the public’ as stated in our Memorandum of Association, we will publish suitably-reviewed information we have that is relevant to our mission where it is both practical and legal so to do.


We are also keen to ensure anyone with an interest in our mission can find out about our policies, ways of getting involved and what we are doing and will therefore publish relevant documentation.


To implement our policy we will


  • Obey all laws concerning the dissemination of information, in particular the UK’s Data Protection Act
  • State openly our attitude and practices as regards data related to a person
  • Regularly review the information that we hold and/or publish to check its currency, accuracy and legality
  • Publish information via our website or other electronic, publicly and widely accessible means
  • Keep our information securely
  • Treat sympathetically requests for information in other formats, subject to the practicality (including cost) of such provision

Policy on Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Harassment

Policy on Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Harassment

Adopted by the Winter 2010-11 Board meeting

Next review due on or before: Winter 2011-12


In line with its status as a charity set up to help inclusion within society, AACT confirms its commitment to a comprehensive policy of Equal Opportunities in which individuals are selected, developed, appraised and otherwise treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities and are given Equal Opportunities within the Charity.


The object of this policy is to ensure that:


no applicant, volunteer, trustee, director, member, student intern, supplier, provider, contractor or user of facilities shall be discriminated against on account (for example) of his or her sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital status, Civil Partnership status, family responsibilities, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins and citizenship), religion or belief, political belief, membership (or non-membership) of a Trades Union, disability (including HIV status), age or socio-economic background.


AACT opposes any form of discrimination on these stated grounds unless it can be objectively justified as genuine, substantial, reasonable and within the law.


Evidence of discriminatory behaviour (including harassment) will be treated as a potential disciplinary matter and could result in cessation of the individual’s association with the Charity.

The effective implementation of this policy can only be achieved by all those associated with AACT acting appropriately. The implementation of this policy will be aided by publishing it and by drawing attention to it in other communications as relevant.

Volunteer agreement template

This template is based on the Volunteer Agreement proposed by Volunteer England as at July 2010. It may be worth checking there are no significant changes to this when drawing up a new agreement. It is very important to use wording which could not be interpreted as leading to a contract of employment. This includes: don’t use legalese; don’t imply any material reward to the volunteer (this includes not offering training unless it is directly needed by them in this volunteer role).


Volunteer Agreement for VOLUNTEER


This Volunteer Agreement describes the arrangement between Access-Ability Communications Technology (AACT) and you. We wish to assure you of our appreciation of your volunteering with us and will do the best we can to make your volunteer experience with us enjoyable and rewarding.


The organisation

Your role as a volunteer is as a position. It starts on date. (It may be helpful to the volunteer to mention a possible end date if this is a fixed-term project role, but Volunteer England does not recommend stating fixed times, so consider this and possibly discuss with the volunteer to help them plan their time). Your main Contact will be name.


The volunteering role described here is designed to help AACT in its current situation as a small, largely voluntary organisation realise one of its immediate objectives. This objective is to …….


You can expect AACT to

1. Induction and training

  • outline AACT’s mission and ways of working
  • provide relevant documentation, ….

2. Supervision, support and flexibility

  • organise meeting and working alongside main Contact to help….
  • be flexible in agreeing when you and main Contact will work together. Possibly outline here any constraints or things we are aware of which we’ll take into account
  • be clear about what tasks we’d like you to do
  • make you aware of the insurance cover available while undertaking the voluntary role
  • make you aware of relevant Health and Safety policies.

3. Expenses

  • pay, if you wish, your travel expenses to get from your home (state here where you understand this to be at the time) to us at the standard rail/bus fare rates if you provide us with suitable documentation including receipts showing the actual expense you incurred.


AACT expects you to

  • help it fulfil its aims by acting as a volunteer
  • perform your volunteering role to the best of your ability
  • follow the relevant area Health and Safety policies while in AACT’s office and elsewhere on University of Reading property. Should it be necessary to undertake the role elsewhere, main Contact must make any relevant Health and Safety policies clear.
  • maintain the confidential information of the organisation and of its clients (if there are special conditions, for example the volunteer will have access to sensitive personal date, then refer to the Information Policy to judge whether a confidentiality agreement may need to be signed)
  • meet the time commitments and standards which have been mutually agreed to and to give reasonable notice so other arrangements can be made when this is not possible
  • make yourself familiar with our Volunteer Policy (available on our website) and raise any issues you feel unsure about with main Contact.


This agreement is binding in honour only, is not intended to be a legally binding contract between us and may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any employment relationship to be created either now or at any time in the future.


Schedule of work to be undertaken


The main objective is to (make this and any secondary objectives as clear as possible).


Your role is to

  • list tasks as explicitly as possible, but leave room for them to alter as time goes on or the project progresses


Currently your normal place of volunteering is expected to be main place (if there is one). Outline possible variations to this.


Working with AACT

Agreed by the Board Winter 2010-11. Next review due on or before: Winter 2013-14

AACT does not have its own employees. Rather, it is helped towards achieving its aims by people holding various other types of role. The aim of this short document is to list the Charity’s policies relating to: trustee-directors, volunteers, paid consultants, student interns, organizations.

The documents giving further information relating to each role are named here. They are published
through the Charity’s website. While the roles differ, all outputs must relate directly to AACT’s
mission and priorities. Anyone doing work for/on behalf of AACT should enter into an appropriate
agreement including to abide by any relevant AACT policies.


Directors are elected by the members of the Company as detailed in the Memorandum and Articles,simultaneously becoming a trustee of the Charity. All must follow the agreed policies documented in Responsibilities and duties of Trustee-Directors.


The Charity and the Volunteer must abide by the policies documented in the Volunteer policy. Apart
from ad hoc one-off help (e.g. help at a fundraising sale) there must be a Volunteer agreement in
place which lists the activities the Volunteer will undertake. The agreement must have the approval
of a Trustee-Director before any activity commences.

Paid consultants

Individual’s circumstances differ and there will be occasion when special contractual conditions will
apply. However, the type of agreement we normally require with a self-employed consultant is
shown in the Consultancy agreement template. The outcomes expected from the consultancy and
the payment terms must be clearly agreed and the agreement signed by a Trustee-Director on
behalf of AACT and by the Consultant before work commences.

Student interns

An individual associated with AACT may be prepared to take on a student intern. The situation will
differ from that of a volunteer in that there will be some agreement with the student’s host
institution (for example: on giving feedback on performance). Whether the individual concerned is
prepared to spend the time on supervision, monitoring etc required is a matter for them but as in
other cases, any agreement with both student and institution must be clearly understood and
agreed by a Trustee-Director before commencement. Particular care will be exercised in making any agreement on accepting an intern to ensure all parties understand there is no payment associated with the role and to be clear that the student’s institution covers insurance issues


We understand that organizations providing goods or services may have their own form of contract
and we therefore do not have an AACT ‘standard’. Any contract must clearly state the goods or
services to be provided, must be clear on matters such as insurance and must be agreed and signed by a Trustee-Director before commencement of delivery of any of the goods or services.

Copyright as an accessibility issue

This is a tentative post because there are complex issues surrounding copyright which iMuse would not claim to have grasped fully.

BUT, looking back on what we’ve done over the last few months, and are currently planning in the three museums/galleries we’re working with at the moment, it seems we are being driven at least partly by copyright issues.

The primary iMuse ‘idea’ is that smaller museums might be able to help visitors engage more, and get better accessibility, by using their own mobile equipment – especially smartphones, and increasingly, tablets.

However, in each site so far we’ve encountered copyright problems that mean material can be used in-gallery but not outside. This means publishing openly via the web is ruled out, so the simplistic (sounding) ‘put your material on the web and show visitors how to access it on their phone’ or ‘don’t write (or pay for) posh native apps – do simple web apps with a bit of HTML5 etc’ becomes impossible if you want to use some in-house material. And this doesn’t just apply to images of objects, but in some cases to text. Even the text of in-gallery labels was so heavily copyrighted that in one museum iMuse was not allowed to demonstrate how an iPad could help by blowing the text up. In another, although the artist had been dead for 2.5 thousand years, visitors were not allowed to take photos of a loaned pot as ‘ownership’ rested elsewhere.

Thus copyright is working against accessibility.

What to do? Well, we need to think more than we already have on this issue and work on it right from the start in projects.

What has actually happened, rather subtly, is that iMuse is falling back more and more on the rather old-fashioned model of the museum providing the equipment for the visitor. There are some pluses to this approach of course. We have complete control over the interface, and while at this experimental stage, can afford to loan one or two high-resolution iPads to the museums.

However, this approach doesn’t scale or encompass the generality of devices that visitors will increasingly bring along. For example, we have implemented ‘mini apps’ using the Kiosk Pro app as the ‘host’ on iPads. This works pretty well, getting over other problems, particularly patchy or non-visitor centred wi-fi. BUT this app is iPad specific. We are subtly getting further sucked-into the Apple ecosystem by using other special features too – the Guided Access mode is one and using iBooks Author in a gallery which has existing Mac experience is another.

Have others already studied (and resolved…) ‘copyright as an accessibility issue?’. Copyright is not iMuse’s area of expertise – we need help!


Seeking partners

Are you

a resource-challenged modest-sized museum?
trying-out low cost ways of engaging visitors via smart phones and/or iPads etc?
or thinking about it but worried by the potential financial implications?

We are seeking

small museums which would like to try some things out with us
museums and groups that would like to explore setting-up a peer-support advisory service
Is this a good idea?
would you like to explore further?
or is it already being done?

contact Annette Haworth via admin (usual at sign)
or comment here.


(AACT is a tiny volunteer-run charity currently managing the iMuse Programme).