Let’s make this year The Year of Access

In 2016 there is little excuse for most Pubs, Restaurants, Cafes, Cinemas, Tourist Attractions and Leisure facilities to be inaccessible or unsuitable for wheelchair users, those with mobility difficulties or those with impaired sight or hearing.

The Good Guys

Many large tourist attractions, fast food, restaurant and coffee shop chains, museums, shopping centres and public buildings do provide disabled access, hearing loops, disabled toilets, and large print alternatives.

The Not So Good Guys

The Outdoor Industry I feel has not yet fully embraced the need to offer Adventure and Leisure Pursuits to those with disabilities (I generalise and some are making an effort, a few are very good) – Wake up, these are people with spending power and when we are talking family activities you are turning away not one potential customer but a whole family

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The Hospitality Industry in my opinion is also way behind, while there are some Hotel companies, Restaurant and Pub chains that do make an effort and offer “Disabled Rooms” and other adaptations the majority particularly the independent businesses do seem to completely ignore this part of the market

There are still major Pub chains that do not publish accessibility info for their properties on their websites (yet many have been redeveloped and have had to incorporate accessibility to comply with regulations).

  • Why do I not see Wedding Venues proudly stating they have full disabled facilities?
  • Why do I not see Nightclubs encouraging wheelchair dancing?
  • Why is it so difficult to find a wheelchair accessible hotel room?
  • Why is it that few Nature Reserves have wheelchair access?
  • Why is it Tourist Boards have lists of beaches I can walk a dog on but don’t tell me those accessible by wheelchair users?

Is it perhaps that there is a perception of disability that harks back to the days of The Spastic Society collection boxes of children in callipers, back to a time when it was thought there was no chance of a ‘normal life’ for disabled people.

Surely the 2012 Paralympics should have rectified this. Today disability in its self should not exclude people from ‘normal life’ – there are disabled people flying aeroplanes, racing cars, climbing mountains, disabled military personnel have walked to the North Pole, they can do that but may not be able to get into their local pub for a drink or to eat!

2016 – If you’re business is not disabled accessible / disabled friendly you need to seriously consider what century you are living in.

These are the personal thoughts (or ranting) of Neil Pedley – Publisher of the Accessible Countryside for Everyone website promoting disabled access to sport and leisure www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk

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Hotel Companies: Should provide info about access for disabled people on their websites – e-petition

Please visit the ACE website www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk and support this e-petition

Hotel Companies: Should provide info about access for disabled people on their websites
Please add your name and show your support

Or use this link www.change.org/petitions/hotel-companies-should-provide-info-about-access-for-disabled-people-on-their-websites

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Accessible Holiday Accommodation in The Midlands

The ACE website (Accessible Countryside for Everyone) now has listings of accessible accommodation – Hotels, Self Catering Cottages, B&B’s etc for The Midlands

Under the Central England region there are links to West Midlands Disabled Holiday Accommodation at http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/central/west_midlands_accommodation.html  and
East Midlands Disabled Holiday Accommodation at http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/central/east_midlands_accommodation.html

There are also pages with holiday accommodation for the East of England http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/east/east_accommodation.html

There are National and International accessible holiday / accommodation suppliers listed on http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/holidays.html

With similar listings for the South West region on http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southwest/southwest_accommodation.html and for the South East on http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southeast/southeast_accommodation.html

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ACE – Accessible Countryside for Everyone – August

Following on from the ‘Accessible Holiday” pages  already published I have now added a listing of accessible / disabled friendly accommodation in the East of England – listings have links to the properties individual website see http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/east/east_accommodation.html
The other accommodation pages are
National & International  – http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/holidays.html
South West England – http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southwest/southwest_accommodation.html
And South East England – http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southeast/southeast_accommodation.html

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ACE – Accessible Countryside for Everyone – March 2012

To follow on from the listing of National and International accessible holiday accommodation providers http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/holidays.html

Listings have been added to the South West http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southwest/southwest_accommodation.html
and South East http://www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/southeast/southeast_accommodation.html Regional pages

Coming up – the Snaith and Cowick Walking Festival 31st March – 14th April this includes wheelchair accessible walks

The Garstang Walking Festival Friday 11 May to Sunday 20 May – has Tramper walks and (Trampers available)

Accessible Countryside for Everyone – ACE is a website providing information on walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies, as well as info on disabled and carer organisations, accessible camp sites, holiday accommodation, sports, taxis, pubs and restaurants.  ACE promotes and encourages the publication of accessibility info for leisure and recreation.

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Lack of accessibility Info (on UK websites)

It this year of the London Olympics it is sad to see that so many top brand names in the hospitality industry (particularly some of the big pub chains) do not provide accessibility info on their websites. What will disabled visitors think of this country?

Of course I would implore all service providers large and small to provide accessibility info as a mater of course and I will continue to support those who do and cajole those that don’t.

I would like site owners to be proud of their efforts to provide accessibility and put it up front on the first page, sadly when it is provided it can be hidden away under additional info or an access statement document.

In researching this site I have found local authority and tourist sites that make the effort to tell you which beach you can walk your dog on but make no effort to publish which are wheelchair accessible. This is just not good enough!

There are many good examples of websites providing accessibility info and where I can I include this and links to their websites. For all those that make the effort I thank you and applaud your efforts, for those that don’t I can only ask “why not?

If you are looking for wheelchair or buggy accessible countryside, accessible places to eat, or stay, disabled sport or support and family organisations in England and Wales use this link to visit the ACE website

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ACE – Accessible Countryside for Everyone – February 2012

No new additions to the site at the moment – but I have been busy with housekeeping – I have fixed a number of broken links (due to external websites making changes) – also revamped the taxi pages, added a few more accessible places to some of the pages, made some additions to the organisations listings and have had a general tidy up.

Disappointingly as some websites have been updated with a new look or structure I have seen accessibility information removed, I do contact website owners regarding this sometimes with success but often not. There are good sites and bad in all areas ACE will continue to promote accessibility and those websites that make the effort to provide accessibility info.

If you are looking for wheelchair or buggy accessible countryside, accessible places to eat, or stay, disabled sport or support and family organisations in England and Wales use this link to visit the ACE website

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