What is Disabled Access Day?
Disabled Access Day began as a day to celebrate good disabled access to help people try something new. The day highlights great access that already exists in some places such as touch tours, relaxed performances, sensory experiences, level access and welcoming staff!
It is sponsored by Euan’s Guide which is a review site to help disabled people, their friends and families know which venues are accessible for different needs. The aim of Euan’s Guide was to raise the number of conversations between venues and disabled people whilst raising the profile of disabled access at the same time. Many venues, organisations and businesses got involved and pledged to improve accessibility and get more feedback from disabled people.
Find out more about Euan’s Guide on their website www.euansguide.com.
“The aim of Euan’s Guide is to empower disabled people by providing information that will give confidence and choices for getting out and about.”
Euan MacDonald, Founder of Euan’s Guide
So what is good and bad disabled access?
We have shared some things to consider below, from Scope. You can view their website at https://www.scope.org.uk/
Shared surfaces may look pedestrian friendly, but they cause lots of problems for disabled people. Imagine the above scene, after rainfall – posts, bike stands, pavements and roads all look the same dark grey. People with visual impairments cannot tell where obstacles or hazards are.
The steps below have no handrails for people with mobility impairments (and children). There is also no sloped alternative for wheelchair users (and people with pushchairs, trollies etc), and how can you tell where the edge is unless you have good vision?
In the UK it is a basic requirement to have a colour contrasted edge to a step. It is much easier for people to fall without one. It could be said that these stairs would be confusing for anyone, with or without a visual impairment! Where does one step end and the next begin?
Other things to consider:
Could an electric wheelchair get through?
Are there steps into or around your building? If so, are there ramps or lifts to allow access?
Would your evacuation warning system effectively alert people with hearing or visual impairments? If wheelchair access to an upper floor is by lift, do you have emergency evacuation chairs?
Is there an accessible toilet?
Clear signs are important for everyone. Signs should give information in symbols and Braille, as well as text.
Good lighting is important for people with a range of impairments.
Distracting, cluttered backgrounds can make communication more difficult for people with some impairments. Plain walls and backgrounds are ideal.
Use colour to draw attention to features like exit routes and steps.
One of our trustees, Mel Stockdale recently experienced a good example of disabled access:
My only, fairly recent, experience of disability access was being very impressed that the “Up at the O2” suspended walkway up and over the millennium dome in London is wheelchair accessible. A great, fun activity and to be able to take your wheel chair companion up there with you is marvellous.
If you would like to find out more about Disabled Access Day, follow the links below.
Publication about how to get involved in disabled access day 2019: