Houses of Parliament raise their accessibility on #AccessDay

BSL, case studies, 2016, wheelchair users, Parliament, visually impaired, London, England

Houses of Parliament raise their accessibility on #AccessDay

The Houses of Parliament were involved with Disabled Access Day for the second time this year and with a 4.5-star review as a result of their involvement in 2015, people had high expectations! Find out more about the accessibility of the Houses of Parliament, what they got up to on Disabled Access Day and their plans over the coming year. 

Why did the Houses of Parliament decide to get involved in Disabled Access Day?

We want to spread the word about the accessibility services on offer to our guests. We were involved last year and got a great response so wanted to continue the work we had started. This year, we held a stand in Westminster Hall showcasing our offer, and ran a BSL signed tour on the day too.

What feedback did you get from people taking part in the day?

That it was a great thing to do to raise awareness. Some of our guests felt more comfortable to ask for the hearing loop/wheelchair loan and did not realise that assistance dogs were welcome. We also had discussions about the sizes of groups, step free access and our literature. Guests were pleased that the red cords in the accessible toilets reached the floor and that signage was clear. Additionally, customers noted that they were glad that we had relocated the shop and ticket office to more accessible locations.  

What impact has getting involved in Disabled Access Day had on the Houses of Parliament and staff there?

We are keen to do more of the same. It was a training exercise for some of our stakeholder staff who read the Access Statement, and were interested in the BSL audio guides. Staff gained a greater understanding of what happens on tactile tours for the visually impaired. It was so popular that we plan to run another similar stand on a sitting day so that the MPs and their staff can see the offer and spread the word too.

What advice would you give to organisations considering getting involved in Disabled Access Day?

I would recommend other organisations to showcase their offer, and respond to any feedback you get on the day. It is great to have expert knowledge and advice from your customers in order to offer them the best customer service possible. 

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If you’d like to take part in Disabled Access Day, take a look at the get involved pages to find out more and sign up!