About Disabled Access Day
The first Disabled Access Day took place on 17th January 2015, an amazing 261 venues took part across 11 countries. Following on from the success of the pilot, the second event more than quadrupled in size and was held on March 12th this year. We are now gearing up for an extended weekend of activities for the next event in 2017!
Disabled Access Day came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user and Euan's Guide supporter, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company:
“Prior to this, I had not used the bus network in my hometown because I was unsure how the ramp operated, how ticketing worked and if my powerchair would fit.
I attended a demonstration organised by the local bus company with the opportunity to explore a stationary bus. Extra staff were on hand to explain the process of getting on and off safely. There was ample time to become more familiar with the layout of the bus and with what you need to know as a wheelchair using passenger.
I’m now a frequent bus user.
Chatting with friends, I thought how great it would be if there were similar initiatives, including some more informal events, happening across the country on one specific day. The idea of encouraging disabled people to also try something new that day appeared and out of it came the idea of Disabled Access Day.”
Who is behind Disabled Access Day?
Disabled Access Day is sponsored by Euan’s Guide: a listing and review site that helps disabled people and their families know which venues are truly accessible.
Kiki MacDonald, Co-Founder of Euan's Guide, explains: "We were inspired by the idea of Disabled Access Day and the potential for it to increase the numbers of conversations between venues and disabled people, as well as to raise the profile of disabled access. We were delighted by the backing from many venues, organisations and businesses that got involved, in particular their appetite to improve their own accessibility and to get more feedback from dsiabled people.
The first Disabled Access Day was really a pilot, achieved with very little resource but lots of drive to improve disabled access, to showcase some of the good practice and to try out some new places! Given the limited resources the project had, we were blown away by the results, and hope that next time will be much, much bigger."
Is this an annual day?
We organised the first Disabled Access Day in 2015 and hopefully it will be the first of many - so please get involved this year and help us start a new tradition!
When is the next Disabled Access Day?
The next Disabled Access Day will take place over 10-12 March 2017 – following on from feedback, an extended weekend of events and activities means more people than ever will be able to get involved!