Disabled Access Day: A personal side!
With only three months to go until a weekend of fun, adventure and, of course, accessibility in March 2017, it is all too easy for us in the Disabled Access Day office to get swept away with organisation sign-ups, sponsors and Christmas parties.
Three very important things in their own right, let me add, but every once in a while we all need grounding, and to be reminded about the true meaning behind Disabled Access Day: enabling disabled people themselves to experience how great access and inclusion really can be in their local communities and further afield, and highlighting businesses and organisations that recognise the important of this, too.
#AccessDay trended for 5 hours on Twitter this year, and Disabled Access Day made over 300 million online and print impressions, two pretty impressive statistics. But, most importantly, over 10,000 people took part in Disabled Access Day 2016, and 96% of them have said they would love to do it all again in 2017! Here are just a couple of quotes from these people themselves:
George from Whizz Kidz said: ‘Never have I been prouder to call myself a wheelchair user and disabled activist. #AccessDay unbelievably heart-warming, powerfully clear and collaborative. A perfect world - more inclusive, tolerant, accessible and sustainable - is closer tonight than it was yesterday’. ‘We spent the whole afternoon in the Imperial War Museum in London. They were well prepared for all kind of disability. As a visually impaired person I felt very well looked after... We had a very enjoyable day which included my first tandem riding experience after 4 years... Felt a bit pampered today’. – David.
‘I had an amazing weekend, as did many others thanks to Disabled Access Day! It was fab being able to be in touch with everyone in the different areas seeing what’s going on pretty much as it happened. Gives you such a buzz as you can physically see it making a positive difference to someone’s day, and hopefully, eventually, their life in the long term.' – Gary.
Disabled Access Day can’t be every day, but what we can collectively try and achieve is an awareness of what a huge difference small improvements can make to many disabled people’s lives. For 2017, we want Disabled Access Day to happen in more than 8 countries around the world, and for our hashtag to trend for longer than 5 hours, but most of all, we want to see quotes like these from disabled people, their families and friends, about what a difference Disabled Access Day has personally made to them.