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26 February 2008: User Group Meeting

ILF User Newsletter

 The User Group were invited to discuss the User Newsletter - an ILF publication that goes to all current users twice yearly. 

The User Newsletter aims to provide up to date news about ILF (policies and organisational developments), information of potential user interest and another way for customers to engage with us (items for feedback, requests for success stories, etc.), as well as being a public relations tool - presenting a positive image of the organisation.

Over time the newsletter has been developed to make it more reader-friendly and easy to read.  Pictures and colour have become an important part of the style.  The newsletter has received positive feedback from users.

The ILF would like to make a professional-looking publication that may contain more features of general interest to disabled people in addition to the standard ILF news.

The User Group were asked to come up with ideas for content, style, production and even a new name for the publication.  A summary follows:

  • A day in the life....of an ILF user (different each issue) - to demonstrate how ILF payments can enhance a person's quality of life.
  • A day in the life....of ILF staff - an insight into the work processes at the ILF.
  • News/update on Individual Budgets (and ILF involvement).
  • More features for "young people" - for example Higher Education, sports, opportunities.
  • User reviews of disability-related products.
  • Personal Assistant advertisements.
  • Features/puzzles/activities for users to read/do with their children.
  • "Swap Shop" - place for users to share local knowledge of services, benefits, committees, council help, etc.
  • Report from all user group meetings.
  • Letters page - users general letters responded to.
  • Accessibility reports (of events, venues, etc.)
  • Entertainment section.
  • General advice for employers.
  • Advice on how to access staff training.
  • News about conferences, disability events and exhibitions.
  • Perhaps each edition could focus on a different area of the country - and contain local advice.
  • Cover photograph - ILF user (headline with story featured inside).
  • More involvement of disabled people in production of the newsletter - maybe editorial control or feature-writing.

ILF Website

The ILF - as with all government-related websites - will be closing in the next couple of years and its content presented by DirectGov.  Following discussions with the Disability and Carers team at DirectGov it was clear that not all content could be retained.  As the User Group were consulted at key stages in the development of the ILF website, the group were asked what information and services were most important.  Here is a summary:

  • Information must continue to be regularly updated and published immediately.
  • W3C accessibility standards should be aimed for (as they are with existing ILF website).
  • Application forms, financial forms, etc. should be available to download or possibly complete online.
  • Newsletters.
  • User Group minutes.

The group were anxious that they would not find it easy to access ILF information through DirectGov.  They want it to be easy to navigate to and want to try and keep as much user-related content as possible. 

 


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