A year ago, I joined the AccessAble Champions team. If you’re new to my blog or have just been away on another planet these past 12 months, let me explain about my role and everything you need to know about AccessAble.
What is AccessAble?
AccessAble is a social enterprise that provides accessibility information for over 125,000 venues and public places across the UK – so far.
AccessAble is a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation that takes the chance out of going out. Giving disabled people the detailed information they need, to decide if a place is going to be accessible to them.
AccessAble, originally called DisabledGo, was set up in 2000 by Dr. Gregory Burke as a result of his own experiences as a wheelchair user and disabled walker.
Our detailed Accessibility Guides tell you all about a venue’s access. They are 100% facts, figures and photographs.
We know everyone’s accessibility needs are different, which is why there is clear rationale for providing the detail that people need in order to manage expectations and support greater choice.
It’s why we send our trained surveyors to check out every single place in person and why the information we collect has all been decided by our user community.
The detailed Access Guides are available to view on our website and app.
AccessAble’s Key Findings
In the summer of 2018, 845 people responded to the ‘Accessibility and You’ survey. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive accessibility surveys in recent years:
* Two thirds of respondents had experienced discrimination due to a lack of accessibility and poor staff awareness.
* 76% of disabled people would not visit a place if it did not have accessibility information.
* 77% were forced to leave a venue where accessibility was less than expected.
* 4 out of 5 people check access information before going to a new place.
AccessAble Champion for Hampshire
I first discovered AccessAble in November 2018 on the Facebook group, World Changers Tribe, where our Marketing Manager, Carrie-Ann Lightley, mentioned to me that AccessAble are looking for bloggers and vloggers to promote and support their services.
After having a phone chat with Carrie-Ann and sharing some examples of my previous work, I became AccessAble’s Champion for Hampshire.
Twelve months on, I’ve published 3 blog posts and 4 videos.
Plus I’ve attended four meetings with local authorities to persuade them to fund more access guides in Hampshire – with my most recent one being at Fareham Borough council this week. So far none of them have immediately agreed to funding but we will continue to negotiate with them. We’re also planning to get in touch with shopping centres in Hampshire about organising meetings to discuss Access Guides in the new year.
In addition, it was great to meet some of the team while at the disability exhibition Naidex in Birmingham back in March. I’m hoping to attend again in 2020.
AccessAble blogs and videos 2019 roundup
Here is a roundup of all my AccessAble work from 2019 –
Become an AccessAble Champion
If you are a disabled blogger, vlogger or creator and you think Access Guides would benefit your county, then come and join our AccessAble Champions community.
In this role, you have the opportunity to publish blog posts and videos, promoting the benefits of AccessAble. Plus help us encourage more local authorities to fund Access Guides across the UK. Every job is optional and you have no obligation to commit all the time.
We are currently seeking Champions across the UK.
If you are interested in becoming an AccessAble Champion, contact: hello@AccessAble.co.uk
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year as an AccessAble Champion and thank you to everyone in the team for letting me be a part of it. I look forward to getting involved in more projects in 2020.
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