*A quick disclaimer before we get started. I am an AccessAble Champion however, any thoughts/opinions in this post are entirely my own. I haven’t been paid or asked to do this in anyway. I am genuinely a big fan of the work AccessAble do and anything that can help make disabled life a little easier I believe we should share with each other.*
Who are AccessAble and What Do They Do?
AccessAble previously known as DisabledGo was set up by Dr. Gregory Burke in 2000, following his own experiences with poor or lack of accessibility details as both a wheelchair user and disabled walker.
AccessAble provide detailed Accessibility Guides and have surveyed 10,000s of venues across the UK and Ireland. This includes: restaurants, pubs, cinemas, theatres, shops, railway stations, hotels, colleges, universities, hospitals and more!
Their Access Guides are also designed to cater for a number of disabilities not just wheelchair/mobility aid users.
AccessAble have also worked with other disabled people throughout the growth of the company to identify what it is we are looking for.
Towards the end of last year I became an AccessAble Champion along with many other fantastic and talented disability bloggers/vloggers and activists.
What is an AccessAble Champion?
As an AccessAble Champion I help spread the word about AccessAble, I will be sharing blogs on their website and attending events.
I chose to support AccessAble as I believe in the work they do to enable disabled people to get out and about as they provide access guides that are actually useful to disabled people. AccessAble isn’t just about ramp access for wheelchairs either, they aim to support all disability needs.
I will leave a link here to the AccessAble website where each Champion has introduced themselves so you can learn a little more about why we love and support AccessAble and you can perhaps discover some more amazing disability positive voices.
What is an Accessibility Guide?
The Access Guides are designed to provide you with all the access information you will need when visiting somewhere, including your route into a venue as well as inside it. Access Guides are created by trained AccessAble Surveyors who can collect over a 1,000 pieces of information from just one venue. All information provided is put together using facts and figures, which you will find within each Access Guide along with photographs of the venue, which are super handy!
I think we are all well aware that Disability does not fit into one box or one category. AccessAble Guides provide information on ramped/sloped access, if there are any stairs or steps, parking, accessible toilets, ambulant toilets, changing places toilets, sign language, assistive listening, audio description, accessible rooms, accessible changing rooms, accessible showers, dementia friendly, braille, carer/companion discount, large print, disability awareness/equality training and many more.
Each of the above categories are assigned their own Accessibility Symbols so you can easily and quickly identify whether a venue caters to your needs.
Do I Have to Sign Up or Pay Some Sort of Fee?
No, AccessAble is a completely FREE resource available for anyone to use!
Where Can I Find These Access Guides?
There are two ways you can find the AccessAble Access Guides. You can either go online to their website or download the app! AccessAble listened to its users and designed an app that is quick and simple to use on the go or for those spontaneous moments!
To view the AccessAble website just type www.accessable.co.uk in your search bar and you will find information about the Access Guides and how they work, you can find more information as to the history of AccessAble and most excitingly you can search a place to go or the type of venue you are looking for and begin to plan your next trip or day out.
You can also find all the same resources as the website and save any Access Guides for places you plan to go, you’d like to visit or your favourite venues for easier and less stressful outings.
How Do I Use These Access Guides?
It is super simple, use either the AccessAble website or App type in what are you looking for in the search bar i.e. ‘Restaurant’, ‘Hotel’, ‘Hospital’, ‘Shop’ and then where you are looking to go in the search bar below i.e. ‘London’, ‘Yorkshire’, ‘Birmingham’.
Once your search results appear take a look through the Access Guide where you can either read through it all, use the Accessibility Symbols or select the Easy Read button to find the key details you may need to know.
AccessAble is super simple to use and they are still continuing to grow. Along with the Access Guides AccessAble has it’s own blog discussing numerous Disability issues and subjects. The AccessAble Champions also contribute to the blog so be sure to check it out.
AccessAble is always working towards improvements and more Access Guides. So, if you can’t find an Access Guide for your local area, a area you may wish to visit or a specific venue then let them know! You can email AccessAble at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think AccessAble is doing an amazing thing that can benefit so many disabled people and I am excited to watch them grow. Personally there isn’t many guides in my area i.e. Cardiff and South Wales. There are a few retailers that have had a large quantity of their stores assessed and recently AccessAble have been working with some of the local universities on Access Guides, so I am excited to see what else there is to come! This also doesn’t stop me from checking the App before I go anywhere new locally or long distance.
If you give AccessAble a go let me know, I’d love to hear how it went because we could all do with a little less stress when going out and knowing what we might come up against!
Below I will leave links to AccessAble’s media pages so be sure to check them out and don’t forget to use the hashtag #KnowMoreGoMore when you take your next trip using the App!