A new initiative, called the Connect card, is due to be launched with the aim of helping people with a particular condition or disability to explain their communication needs subtly and succinctly in their everyday lives. The Connect card is meant for anyone with a condition or disability that might affect their ability to communicate and interact. For example, people who are on the autistic spectrum, visually impaired or hearing impaired.
Beyond the actual cardholders, the card will also be beneficial to service providers – from bar staff and bank cashiers to hospital workers and taxi drivers – who, with the assistance of the information contained on the cards, will be able to adapt their service provision to suit the cardholder’s specific communication needs.
The project is a collaboration between many of the Island's disability charities and groups, as well as some States of Jersey Departments. Major local charities supporting the project include Les Amis, Jersey Mencap, Autism Jersey, Jersey Deaf Society, EYECAN, Headway and The Stroke Association. The scheme will be formally launched on 6 October 2016 and will begin with a pilot of 500 cardholders. During the pilot phase, applications can be made via the Les Amis website. It is hoped that if the pilot is successful, funding will be achieved to launch the scheme to a wider number of people.
Advocate Caroline Dutot, chair of the Connect card working group, said: “The Connect scheme is a project spearheaded by members of the Island’s community for the Island’s community. It will mean that those with individual communication needs will have easier access and greater assistance in the community.”
Senator Paul Routier, Assistant Chief Minister with special responsibility for disability issues, said: “The Connect card has the potential to improve the lives of many, by facilitating simple and everyday interactions. I believe the scheme will benefit the community as a whole – from service users to essential service providers such as the hospital and the police, and indeed local businesses too.”
The Connect card will be formally launched at the Salvation Army Hub in Minden Street at 4 pm on Thursday 6 October.