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Insight into Insight

Take Charge at Innovate Trust

Take Charge was lucky to be able to get secure online activities up and running relatively quickly when the pandemic struck this year. The reason the project could do this was down to Innovate Trust’s award-winning Insight app. Insight had been developed in-house with the aim of creating a secure, monitored social media environment for people with a learning disability, without the cyberbullying and trolling that many had experienced on other social media sites.

When the pandemic hit, existing plans for app’s gradual rollout across the organisation were scrapped; instead, Insight became the vehicle to deliver all Innovate’s activities virtually. As its success became evident, the app was offered to other organisations as well. There there are now 41 groups using Insight to deliver activities, more than half of which are from organisations outside Innovate. There are 733 members and this number increases daily.

You might be wondering what has this meant for the Take Charge. Initially it simply meant that we had a safe place where our participants could take part in training and other project activities. Everyone who joins Insight has to be eligible, and every activity always has a co-host so that while someone is delivering the session, there is someone else who can monitor and support the participants. This enables participants to feel comfortable with the environment, and we have begun to see how this encourages participants to be more open and to develop their confidence in speaking out for themselves.

One of the most notable effects on the project is improved accessibility. Although Take Charge always holds activities in accessible venues, Insight has been able to overcome many of the unplanned barriers which often prevented people attending activities. This could be support staff illness which suddenly means there is no driver on shift; poor weather which puts an individual off leaving the house; or a previous appointment running over. Since moving onto Insight, Take Charge has also engaged participants who would have been unlikely to attend in-person activities, due to geography or other issues. Whereas someone might not have had the motivation to travel to attend an activity pre-Covid, now they can click on the link within Insight and see if something sparks an interest.

As Take Charge moves into 2021, we want to further improve the accessibility of our activities through the use of Insight. As well as video, we are already using extra sounds in some activities to deepen people’s understanding. We hope to report back next year on ways to engage other senses as well so that we can offer more to potential participants with more profound disabilities. Most of us have found at least some element of our working lives moving online during the pandemic, and there is no reason why our participants’ journeys towards employment should be any different.