An access group's experience on Disabled Access Day

case studies, 2016, access groups, Buckinghamshire, England

An access group's experience on Disabled Access Day

When deciding how to celebrate Disabled Access Day, Burnham Access Group thought it would be a great opportunity to do a ‘High-street Hike’ to find out more about access in their local village. The Access Group aim to promote good access, so on 12th March they decided to visit and engage with their local shops. 

What happened on the day?

A group of 14 people took part in the ‘High-street Hike’ and visited 19 premises throughout the morning, including shops, cafes and pubs. Burnham Access Group worked with BucksVision; a charity that provides support to visually impaired people living in Buckinghamshire. The group included some first time visitors to the village, which helped to give the group a fresh perspective on access and orientation around the High-street.

How did Burnham fare on access?

The group were pleased to report that 16 of the 19 places that they visited were rated as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ according to the criteria that they had drawn up.

So where were the top three scoring places? They were Squirrels Health Foods, Occasions and Artigiani del Cibo. One visitor to Squirrels Health Food commented: “Good Access. Helpful service response. Purchasing advice. Thoughtful till cash handling service.”

One of the key findings of the day was the great level of customer service which went a long way in making people feel welcome. In fact, in one instance a venue was rated ‘good’ because of the quick thinking and friendly staff: “access difficult but quick and helpful assistance. Thoughtful and additional offers of assistance. Very friendly.”

Photo of Burnham Access Group.

What needed to improve?

The group found that there were some areas that needed to be improved, however mainly in regards to the layout of the village and issues with parking which resulted in blocked dropped kerbs and narrow pavements.

Jyotika Lindo, Burnham Access Group Chair, said: “Obviously good physical access to buildings is important but just as important is good customer service which the team have experienced. This is of particular importance to those with invisible disabilities. Thank you to all involved for making this a successful event. We look forward to organising a similar event next year!"

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If you’re part of an access group that would like to get involved in the next Disabled Access Day please email takepart@disabledaccessday.com – we’d love to hear from you!