The first part of the workshop was led by Ellen Iliot, and Amy Waumsley, Partnerships Managers at AccessAble who explained what is involved in the surveying process and how their Access Guides help people with a physical disability or sensory impairment plan activities and journeys around Hounslow and beyond. The Guides include important factors such as parking, transport, access ramps, door widths, toilet facilities, and the availability of BSL or disability awareness trained staff. The second part of the workshop involved participants going out into Hounslow to survey a location themselves with guidance from the AccessAble team.
Invitations were sent out to carers’ groups and with the help of Patricia Sale of the Disability Community Forum (DCF), all twelve places were filled immediately by a cross section of both able bodied and disabled residents. The workshop was facilitated by Caroline Cronin, Hounslow Council’s Community Engagement Manager.
Cllr Candice Atterton, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, Hounslow Council said: “Looking after our disabled and older residents within the borough is a priority for us. According to the latest statistics, three per cent of our residents, or just over 8,000 people, are currently claiming disability benefit and that number is increasing. That is why events such as AccessAble are so important as the feedback we receive will be acted upon.”
Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce, who is also responsible for Equality said: “All this follows on from our nomination in the Disabled People’s Choice Awards earlier this year, which was entered by Patricia Sale, who works for the council in a voluntary capacity and who will be one of the attendees at the upcoming workshop.”
Cllr Mel Collins, Co-Chair of the “Right to Sight” Partnership, and Vice-Chair of the Disability Forum commented: “I am delighted we are hosting this important event here in our brand new council offices which were designed with full access to all as an important consideration. As an active attendee, I am very pleased to say the workshop was a great success.”
Originally set up as ‘DisabledGo’ in 2000 by Dr Gregory Burke as a result of his own experiences as a wheelchair user, he worked alongside over 100 disability groups launching his website in 2002. Since then the organisation has grown and developed, continually meeting and listening to its user community, and by 2018, DisabledGo was used by over 1.5 million people each year to plan their trips.
Today, the Access Guides that AccessAble creates, contain over 1,000 pieces of information taking users on their journeys throughout a venue including detailed information about doors, level access, lifts, toilets, staff training, lighting levels, background music and Safe Places to name a few.
Article from London Loves Business.