Disabled Access Day

Mar 10, 2017

Disabled Access Day
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Third national Disabled Access Day

Disabled Access Day is sponsored by Euan’s Guide, the listing and review site that helps disabled people and their friends and families know which venues are truly accessible.

This year, following the great success of previous events, Disabled Access Day actually extends over three days, from the 10th to 12th March.

The event grows from year to year

In March 2016, over 1,000 venues celebrated on the day, which is more than four times the number of participating venues in 2015. In addition to the national chains who took part, hundreds of exciting independent venues got involved and demonstrated innovative ways to integrate disabled access into their programme of events.

The day was so successful that several participating businesses turned their Disabled Access Day activities into permanent fixtures.

An estimated 11,000 people took part in 2016, visiting a variety of national and local businesses including cafés, museums and football stadiums.

Disabled Access Day is a celebration of good access, and with the festivities comes the opportunity for businesses to engage with disabled customers who make up the estimated £249 billion market known as the “Purple Pound”.

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The story behind Disabled Access Day

The inaugural event came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user and Euan’s Guide supporter, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his hometown bus company. It was the first time he had even thought about using a bus, because he wasn’t sure how the ramp worked, how to get a ticket, and whether his power chair would fit on-board.

The demonstration organised by the local bus company gave him the opportunity to explore a stationary bus, with staff at hand to explain the process of getting on and off safely. After becoming familiar with the layout of the bus, and what you need to know as a wheelchair-using passenger, he is now a frequent traveller on buses.

Paul Ralph decided that it would be great if there were similar opportunities for companies to demonstrate their accessibility, and people with disabilities to try something new, happening across the country on one specific day. Disabled Access Day was the result.

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Lots of different events around the country

There are more than 240 organisations taking part – hundreds of exciting local venues, together with national organisations such as Barclays and Gatwick Airport. You can find out what’s going on near you, by searching for events on the Disabled Access Day website (it will open in a new browser window).

Hub cities with lots of activities going on this year include London, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Newcastle. In Edinburgh, opportunities range from bus tours and Scotch Whisky Experience to the Camera Obscura and Edinburgh Castle. In London, more than 40 venues are taking part, including Westfield shopping centre, Playhouse Theatre, Churchill’s War Rooms and many more.

Individuals taking part can also look forward to free activities and events all across the country, both indoors and out – so fingers crossed for properly accessible weather, as well!

A recent survey by Euan’s Guide found that 98% of disabled people, their friends, families and carers would be likely to return to places that have good accessibility.

You can follow developments on Twitter #AccessDay and #YouAndSomewhereNew.

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