Celebrating Access in Perth, Scotland!
The Centre for Inclusive Living Perth and Kinross (CILPK) took part in Disabled Access Day for a second time this year. A disability user led organisation, they co-ordinated an event in Perth that brought people and local businesses and organisations together to celebrate Disabled Access Day and start conversations. Find out how they went about organising the event below:
Why did CILPK decide to get involved in Disabled Access Day?
CILPK is a user led disability organisation that promotes independent living. We work closely with our local authority and businesses to make them as accessible as possible. Disabled Access Day gives us the chance to get local businesses involved and for disabled people to try venues that they might not normally do.
What did you do on Disabled Access Day?
On Disabled Access Day we had over 20 businesses that gave us vouchers for free tea/coffee or free entry to their venue. CILPK had a stand in the main shopping centre and encouraged disabled people to use the vouchers and come back to us and let us know how their experience went. This feedback was then put on Euan's Guide so that others can see it.
We are encouraging the businesses to use Euan’s guide as a tool to promote their access. We also had a vote for two awards, the most accessible venue in the area and the venue with the most improved access which was a great way to engage with both individuals and venues on the day.
How did you encourage so many venues to get on board with your activities?
A lot of accessible venues in Perth are always happy to promote that disabled people are welcome just like everyone else. We also offered to carry out surveys of all the venues so that they could go on Euan's Guide and the venues could then promote this on their own websites.
We gave feedback to the venues so that they could make any changes to improve their service. An example of this is a cafe that has steps at the front and has level access at the back, we are helping them to get a portable ramp for the front so that everyone can enter through the same door.
What feedback did you get from people who visited on the day?
There was varied feedback from people who visited venues that were taking part. Some improvements were suggested such as automatic doors, more space to get around tables, access through the front door but there was also a lot of positive feedback regarding the service received from staff with a lot of positive comments on how people had spoken to them and the help that was offered. On the day, some people visited cafes that they had never been to before and they were so pleased that they had found somewhere that was accessible and had a good accessible toilet and they said that they would definitely return to that cafe.
What feedback did you get from the venues awarded prizes on the day?
The Twa Tams pub won the most accessible venue and they were very pleased with this. Not only is their pub accessible with a good toilet they are also part of our safe place scheme and their staff go above and beyond to help disabled people. An example of this would be wheelchair users leaving the pub at night, the staff will help them put their jackets on and head lamps if needed to make sure that they are safe.
Perth Museum and Art Gallery was the most improved venue, the main reason for this is because they have replaced the lift to get into the venue. This means that everyone can access the venue with no issues. The staff are also very helpful. They were very pleased to get this feedback.
What advice would you give to organisations considering getting involved in Disabled Access Day?
Disabled Access Day is really good to get businesses and disabled people working together, there are benefits to both sides. Our advice would be to have a clear objective for what you want from the day and leave time to plan this. Businesses are not always that quick at getting back to you but the benefits at the end are worth it.
Are you part of a disability user led organisations or know a group that might be interested in organising their own event? Take a look at our get involved pages and sign up to take part in the next Disabled Access Day!