17% of staff at UK’s top attractions aren’t trained to assist disabled visitors.
With the barmy autumn weather seeing more people stay in the UK this year, a UK charity is warning a lack of accessible options is causing disabled visitors to forego visiting iconic British attractions. Just under two thirds of disabled visitors polled in a latest survey have decided not to make a trip due to lack of information or confusing advice.
Vitalise, a charity specialising in providing essential breaks for people with disabilities, have just launched the #AccessNow campaign, and are pushing for urgent change to enable disabled visitors the chance to enjoy some of Britain’s best love tourist spots.
Of 100 attractions surveyed up and down the country 27% did not have accessible information on their websites. When getting to the venues, only 17% had staff trained specifically to aid and assist disabled visitors. Hoists are seen as an indispensable item for many disabled people, yet only 15% were equipped with them.
Gradual process is being made, however, with 8 out of 10 attractions scoring over 70% via Vitalise’s accessibility scoring system. Topping the list of disability-friendly attractions in the UK is the Tate Modern London, while in second place are the Imperial War Museum London, the Museum of Liverpool and the National Railway Museum in York.
Vitalise Chairman Mindy Sawhney said: “One in three of us lives with a disability or has someone close who does. We’re asking venues to focus their efforts on three things: first make sure your website has clear, practical and accurate information about accessibility. Second, be imaginative about how to make 100% of your visitor experience accessible to people using wheelchairs. And third, make a hoist available at every venue: these cost comparatively little to install and yet are often the determining factor in whether or not a person living with a disability can enjoy what so many of us can take for granted.”
Revitalise is asking people with disabilities to share their experiences of visiting tourist attractions and other public venues via an online form on the charity’s website.
What do you think? Have you ever cancelled plans due to inaccessibility or a lack of information? What do you feel needs to be done to make travelling accessible to all? Leave your comments below or talk to us on Twitter or Facebook.