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Introduction: Annual Report 2012


SAIF aims to improve the accessibility of information to disabled people, carers and everyone who needs it.  SAIF supports the right of disabled people to have access to information directly and in their preferred format.  We provide guidance and the tools necessary for service providers to be as inclusive and accessible to as many people as possible.  We promote the social model of disability and the user-led services that help break down the information barriers that many disabled people face.

Set up in 1997, SAIF is funded by the Scottish Government, employs two part-time project workers and is based in Consumer Focus Scotland (CFS).  The SAIF advisory body is made up of 18 people drawn from disability-led organisations and information providers.

SAIF has:

  • Produced the SAIF Standards for Disability Information and Advice Provision in Scotland, and a range of supplements to that publication.
  • Established Update, the national disability information service.


  • Promotes accessible information throughout all areas of the community and for all disabled people.
  • Produces and provides guidance in response to demand for printed information, electronic information and information in multiple formats 
  • Provides practical support and training to local and national service providers to help them develop accessible information policies and  practices and comply with the Equality Act 2010. 
  • Acts as an advisory body to the Scottish Government and brings together the interests of disabled people and information providers to promote and increase the provision of accessible information.

Significant Issues and Developments in 2011


2011/12 was the first of a three year provisional funding cycle, the first time our funding has not been guaranteed for the full 3 years.  Funding was guaranteed for the first year, with the second and third years relying on the Scottish Government (SG) spending review and SAIF finding a new host organisation, as our current host Consumer Focus Scotland will cease to exist by March 2013.

Despite these difficulties SAIF was able to meet its priority targets through the efforts of the SAIF members and staff, and again proved to be very good value for money.   In December, our funding for the following 2 years was confirmed.


At the end of September, long time SAIF worker Steve Harvey retired.  Due to the recruitment freeze we were unable to recruit a replacement worker.  We submitted a revised work plan to the SG based on the reduced worker hours which was accepted and we were able to put the salary underspend into our work plan. 

New publications

In October we produced a new short booklet A Brief Guide to Making Your Information Accessible which is designed to be used electronically as it has links to useful guidance and fact sheets. 

We revised our SAIF information leaflets and produced 2 versions in colour.  An A5 leaflet and a smaller, fun size leaflet which folds out. 

We worked in partnership with UPDATE who produced its Access Guide wall poster and an information leaflet to promote its online Scottish Formats Resource. 

Regular enewsletters promoting the new material have gone out with links directly to our site and we have received positive feedback.

We wrote a blog style article on using accessibility toolbars to gauge accessibility, which we put on our website and then tweeted. We used the SAIF website as a case study and we were able to make a few tweaks to our site as a result

Promotions Working Group

Strategic objective 1

To promote and improve accessible information throughout all areas of the community and for all disabled people

Working group 2011

Lucie McAnespie (Chairperson)
Ben Forsyth
Mary Evans
Lyn Allison
Sandra Wilson
Claire Brennan
Fiona Gray
Bobby Park


Within SAIF we previously had 4 working groups:  Standards, Local Strategies, Ecommunication and Promotional Strategies.  To streamline work we decided to create just 2 working groups for 2011 which would combine the focus of the previous 4. We decided on retaining Ecommunication and creating Promotions which would take on training, publications and promotional work.  


Strategic objective 2

To update, promote and support the SAIF Standards and associated guidance in response to continued need, including printed and electronic information and multiple formats.

Working group 2011

Sandra Wilson (Chairperson)
David Armstrong
Mary Evans
Nicola Noon
Alex Stuart
Jean Alcock
Sheila Hands

In 2008 we looked for tenders to design and support a new website for SAIF.  Jim Byrne took on the work and following significant consultation with our ecommunication group our new site was launched in May 2009. 

This year we published A Brief Guide to Making Information Accessible which contains useful links to all areas of accessible information.  Although hard copies are provided, the guide is intended to be used online. 

Other SAIF Objectives

Work plan outcomes 2011

Strategic objective 5a
Feedback to the Scottish Government about matters to which accessible information is relevant.

1. Respond to relevant Scottish Government and other consultations
A list of all the organisations we have worked and consulted with was enclosed with the annual review papers.

2. Report to Consumer Focus Scotland
Quarterly reports submitted and ongoing catch ups with Senior Director continue.

3. Report to the Scottish Government as appropriate or requested
Annual performance monitoring information was provided in May.  An updated report was also submitted in September following the retirement of one of the project workers.


All of SAIF’s publications are available as Word documents, PDF or in HTML format.  If you would like one please contact a member of staff.

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