The biannual event Disabled Access Day is back for 2019 and just in time for the better weather creeping back in. On Saturday 16 March, venues across the length and breadth of the country are opening their doors and asking visitors to review their attractions online.
The “try something new and send a review” event is supported by highly popular access review site Euan’s Guide with the focus of Disabled Access Day 2019, “to try something new, and leave a review on Euan’s Guide, so that you can give other disabled people the confidence to try something similar.”
On its official launch back in October, Disabled Access Day founder Paul Ralph said: “Disabled Access Day continues to encourage and excite disabled people and businesses with the opportunity to try something new in a spirit of cooperation, safety and fun. For 2019, I call out to people to try something new and send a review. Leave a legacy for folk who may want to visit after you. It’s knowing those baseline details about access that are the deal breakers for so many people.”
The importance of sharing access information online is undeniable. With information so easily and freely shared and accessed, businesses and landmarks are signing up to the scheme to invite disabled people along and in turn welcome more off the back. The day will offer a wide variety of events and venues, ranging from activities to culture, with venues already signed up including St Paul’s Cathedral in London and ranging to the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool.
Beginning in 2015, the project has enjoyed three successful outings so far before it became biannual following the 2017 event. The first event was supported by over 200 museums, galleries, attractions and businesses in the UK and even received a motion in Westminster in support.
Founder Paul was first inspired to create the event after attending an access information day for Lothian Buses.
He said: “Prior to this, I had not used the bus network in my hometown because I was unsure how the ramp operated, how ticketing worked and if my powerchair would fit. I attended a demonstration organised by the local bus company with the opportunity to explore a stationary bus. Extra staff were on hand to explain the process of getting on and off safely. There was ample time to become more familiar with the layout of the bus and with what you need to know as a wheelchair using passenger. I’m now a frequent bus user.
“Chatting with friends, I thought how great it would be if there were similar initiatives, including some more informal events, happening across the country on one specific day. The idea of encouraging disabled people to also try something new that day appeared and out of it came the idea of Disabled Access Day.”
Disabled Access Day 2019 is taking place across the country on Saturday 16 March. You can find out more on their website and follow the hashtag #YouandSomethingNew.
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