Tag Archives: accessibility

How To Prepare Your Home After A Visual Impairment Diagnosis

After a visual impairment diagnosis, it’s important to think about how it will affect your daily life and all the changes that will need to be made to your living space. It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you sit down and make out a list of your daily activities, you’ll be able to see easily which changes need to be made and start working out a budget for any modifications.

 

Here are some of the best tips to help get you started.

 

Use color

Home_visual_impairment_diagnosis

Painting the railings a color that contrasts with the wall will be helpful.

 

If you have stairs in your home, it will be important to modify them in a simple way to make them a little safer to navigate. For instance, painting the railings a color that contrasts with the wall will be helpful, as well marking the edges of the individual steps with brightly colored tape. You might also consider installing small, battery-operated lights on the facing of each stair step–think of the ones in movie theaters–to help you find them easily in the dark.

 

Change up the lighting

 

Home_after_visual_impairment_diagnosis

Use sheer curtains or light-filtering mini blinds if you want a little privacy.

 

 

Lighting is very important for individuals with a vision impairment. Natural light typically works best, so make good use of the windows in your home. Use sheer curtains or light-filtering mini blinds if you want a little privacy. It’s also a good idea to make sure there are floor lamps and desk lamps near your workspaces or the most used areas of your home, and add lighting to stairways, hallways, the pantry, and closets. Banish those shadows, which can be tricky to navigate.

 

Get organized

 

Home_after_visual_impairment_diagnosis

Paint light switch plates a dark color if you have white walls.

 

It’s imperative to get organized. Cabinets, drawers, and closets should be neat, with a place for everything. You can get sliding racks and shelving to make it easier to find items in the back; place like items with each other and consider using a braille label maker to mark the shelves. Keep cleaning supplies well away from any food items, and, if possible, refrain from storing items on high shelves so you won’t have to use a step stool.

You can use texture and contrasting colors to make important things easier to find; for instance, it might be useful to paint light switch plates a dark color if you have white walls; white tape on black stove controls will help you easily see the settings when cooking.

 

Make safety a priority

 

Home_after_visual_impairment_diagnosis

Furnitures without sharp edges are great protection to people living in the house.

 

If you live alone, safety should be high up on your list of priorities. Keep a fire extinguisher in each room, and make sure all the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and have fresh batteries.

Clear any clutter from your home and make sure walkways, hallways, and main living areas are easy to walk through, with no obstructions such as large pieces of furniture. Throw rugs aren’t advisable, but if you do have them, make sure they’re tacked down to the floor beneath to prevent trip hazards.

 

Consider a service dog

 

Home_after_visual_impairment_diagnosis

Service dogs are wonderful companions.

 

Service dogs are wonderful companions and can be trained for a number of tasks, including keeping you safe on walks and being helpful around the house. It’s not cheap to train a dog for this service, however, so you need to be absolutely sure you’re ready for the commitment before making the decision to acquire one.

 

Originally published by Zoomax on http://www.zoomax.co/low-vision-information/Prepare-Home-After-Visual-Impairment-Diagnosis.html Special thanks for you!

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

Travelling with a disability – Public Transports in the UK

Travelling with a disability is never an easy task. That’s why public transports should be on the forefront of helping out. Unfortunately it seems this is not always the case.

 

Southern Rail’s cuts

 

Southern Railway train-Travelling with a disability

Southern Railway train

 

This week we got very concerned upon hearing how train companies in the UK are scrapping help for disable people; especially Southern Rail, that is quietly cancelling ‘guaranteed assistance’ from 33 stations.

 

Transport for All, which campaigns on behalf of disabled passengers, said the company have scrapped their ‘turn up and go’ access at dozens of stations.

 

Before the change was announced, train maps specified the stations where those needing assistance could turn up and travel.

 

Now, the maps on the trains say that if such passengers do not book help in advance, ‘there might be a significant delay to your journey’.

 

A spokesman for Transport For All said: ‘Whether it’s assistance failing to turn up, inaccessible platforms or a lack of accessible facilities on trains, what is clear is that our railways are failing disabled and older passengers.

 

‘Now, to make matters worse Southern Rail have announced that they are withdrawing turn up and go assistance from 33 stations across their network.

 

‘This is clearly a huge backwards step for accessibility.’

 

On the other hand, a Southern spokesman said: ‘Passengers do not have to book assistance before travelling with us.

 

‘We only recommend this to ensure we have staff prepared with ramps or that alternative travel is in place if a station is not accessible. Our priority is to have an on-board supervisor on services which previously had a conductor.’

 

‘In the exceptional circumstances when this is not possible, we have a clear, robust process to ensure passengers with accessibility requirements are assisted to complete their journeys.’

 

Travelling with a Guide Dog on Public Transport

 

Patrick Robert, from Lambeth, is blind and uses his guide dog Rufus to travel around London

 

After hearing about these cuts by major Railways companies we scanned the web where we found some other very interesting first person accounts about difficulties of travelling on public transport, in this case we report an informative account on the difficulties of travelling with a guide dog from Patrick Robert, from Lambeth, who is blind and uses his guide dog Rufus to travel around London.

 

Travelling in London can be a real challenge for people with a visual impairment. Back in 2009 I registered as severely visually impaired (Blind). Since then I have had to adapt myself to the transport network and change my habits. Every time I travel around I’ve got the support from Rufus my guide dog.

 

This change in my life was not always easy. As a result I joined Transport for All in order to get advice and support when using the different public transport modes. “Lack of communications is one of the biggest challenges I face.

 

I often struggle on buses: when you’re speaking to a bus driver they don’t always verbally respond, but probably do a sign which I can’t see. I have had also some bad experience with bus drivers not stopping at the bus stop but a few meters away. Obviously if a bus driver does not stop in front of me, it makes it impossible for me to discuss with them and check the bus number.

 

On the Tube I had a lot of issues following the closure of ticket offices, making it harder for me to find staff to assist me. I need staff in order to travel safely and I need to find them as soon as possible to avoid being targeted by the general public.

 

 

Lack of communications is also an issue with taxis. Once I booked a taxi and told the operator that I was travelling with my guide dog and the driver should ring my doorbell when they arrive. I received a telephone call from the operator telling me that my taxi had arrived and was waiting outside for me. I reminded the operator of my earlier instructions and asked how I was supposed to identify the taxi outside?

 

Five minutes later my doorbell rang as I opened the door the driver was already heading back to his taxi.

 

Locking my front door, Rufus and I walked up to my front gate, only to hear the driver say he cannot take the dog. He proceeded to rant and rave about dogs not being allowed in his taxi. I told him I had advised the operator that I was travelling with a guide dog and he needs to have a go at them and in the meantime I need to get to this council meeting. I could hear him talking on his phone saying he was not prepared to take me. At this point it had started raining and I said to him he was breaking the law by refusing to take us.

 

That seemed to subdue him for he assisted me and Rufus into his cab and during the journey he kept apologising saying his custom and culture does not accept dogs and his company knew this. I told him it is against the law to refuse access to guide dog owners and their guide dog.

 

On another occasion I booked a minicab and told the operator that I was blind and the driver needs to come to my front door and ring my doorbell. The phone rang; it was the driver saying that he could not find my property. I gave him specific directions to my home from the location he described to me. Five minutes later, he rang back and asked me to come outside so he could see where my property was and I could see where he was?

 

I walked outside and waited about ten minutes and then went back in to find four messages on my answer machine from the driver saying he could not see me; he could only see a guy with a white stick, am I anywhere near him? I called him back and told him I was the guy with the white stick.”

 

The interview with Patrick Robert has been taken from the inews.co.uk (https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/travelling-disabled-person-taxi-drivers-try-refuse-take-guide-dog-i/)

 

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

 

World Down Syndrome Day

Today, March 21st, is the World Down Syndrome Day. A day all about recognising how unique those with the condition are. It is by recognising the contributions they can make to the world, and how much they can really achieve, that we can reduce the stigma surrounding disability.

 

 

Down Syndrome International encourages people across the globe to choose activities and events that will raise awareness of what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have the condition, and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives.

 

By understanding the issues those with Down Syndrome face in everyday life, and recognising the steps people can take to help them realise their full potential, a real difference can be made to enrich the lives of those with the condition.

 

Today, as the  World Down Syndrome Day reached its 12th birthday, we hope where the voice of people with Down Syndrome, and those who work and live with them, will grows louder.

 

So, let’s celebrate this day with some amazing videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

Clickability, the Australian website giving people with disabilities a strong consumer voice

If you wanted to find out how good that shop is down the road, there’s a bunch of apps and websites that could help you out. But what about if you have a disability and you need to find out if they have the right facilities to suits you best?

 

People with disabilities living in Victoria and New South Wales (Australia) can now do it, and all thanks to Clickability.

Clickability is a new website funded by two Australian women in Melbourne, with the intent of helping people with disabilities find the help they need. How does it work? Simple, it’s an online directory that allows local disability care and support options to be listed, rated and reviewed.

 

Jenna Moffat and Aviva Beecher Kelk both come from a background as social workers (picture: thecusp.com.au)

 

Dubbed by some a “TripAdvisor for disability support services,” the concept developed by Jenna Moffat and Aviva Beecher Kelk is impressive. Their intent is to target anyone affected by a disability and empower them with a unique chance to be able to pick and choose what service really suits them, rather than having to adapt to whatever is on offer.

 

The source of this idea comes from Beecher and Jenna’s background as social workers. They came up with the idea while after noticing that they kept having to reach out to their professional networks or use Google to find support networks for clients.

 

“We were gatekeeping so much information, I was literally calling people I did my Masters with to ask about homelessness services, for example, or domestic violence services,” and also “We just saw this huge gap there in terms of consumer rights … In this industry, that’s a gap in human rights as well,” said Aviva.

In few words, Clickability places information on disability services all in one place.

 

 

A key point about the startup is that its mission aligns with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a significant social welfare project for people living with disabilities being rolled out by the Australian government.

Aviva added: ‘We just saw this huge gap there in terms of consumer rights … In this industry, that’s a gap in human rights as well.’

Under the NDIS, support services will have to see people with disabilities as customers, she explained.

 

As Aviva pointed out, people with disabilities on the NDIS are in many cases expected to make their own decisions about which support service to choose. “Government money used to go to service providers to distribute services, and it’s now going to individuals to purchase the services that suit themselves,” she explained.

 

 

“Likewise, consumers have to start thinking about themselves as customers. How do I assert my customer rights? How do I articulate what I need? How do I get what I need?”

 

 

Unfortunately, in her view, the information to back up that decision-making is just not there, and it’s certainly not the kind of relevant, reliable peer-generated information that exists in other industries. That’s where Clickability comes in.

 

 

 

To list and rate services is free on Clickability, but subscribers can reply to comments and personalise their page, among other features. The next step in Clickability’s development will be to make it easier to use for visually impaired and blind people.

 

“The big thing for us is how do we make this accessible for people with intellectual disabilities?” says Aviva. “We also collect [reviews] in-person sometimes at conferences and events from people with all sorts of different access needs. It’s really important to us to find a way that everyone can have a voice.”

 

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

4 Tips for Modifying Your Home for a Person with a Visual Impairment

Modifying your home for a person with a visual impairment is not an easy task, you need to consider both exterior and interior modifications and accommodations. An accessible home is well lit, clutter free, well organized, and safe. We share four tips for modifying your home to make it as accessible as possible for a person with a visual impairment.

 

 1. Exterior Modifications when modifying your home

Redfin Property published a guide to home accommodations for persons with disabilities

 

This first tip will certainly help you modifying your home for a person with visual impairment. People with low and no vision need to be able to get in and out of your home easily and safely. Redfin’s article on making home accommodations for people with disabilities notes that exterior walkways should be free of tripping hazards such as overgrown vegetation and loose landscaping pavers. It’s even better if the walkways are made of smooth materials such as concrete. Sidewalk lights, outdoor floodlights, and entryway lights should illuminate all traffic areas and be bright without causing a glare or an issue for a light-sensitive person. One solution is to add motion-sensor lights that will turn on as soon as someone walks past so that the person with a visual impairment does not need to worry about finding a switch to turn on exterior lights.

If the entrance to the home includes steps, they should be well lit as well. Handrails should be installed on either side of the steps, and brightly colored tape strips or paint should signal the front edges of steps or stairways.

 

 2. Account for Glare

Install dimmer switches on overhead lights when you modify your home for a person with visual impairment

 

It’s quite common for people with visual impairment to be sensitive to light. Assisting Angels suggests on their website that making home modifications that reduce glare makes it easier for these people to see while inside the home. Install interior window treatments such as pull-down shades and drapes that limit sunlight from entering the home through the top of the window. One option is tinted Mylar shades that allow people to see outside but reduce window glare.

Because shiny surfaces reflect light and produce a glare, remove furniture and other items that have glossy surfaces from the home. Mirrors that reflect light and cause a glare should be covered with a scarf or placed elsewhere in the home. Floors, walls, tables, and countertops may have surfaces that cause a glare, so it is helpful to install dimmer switches on overhead lights and purchase lamps that dim to cut down on glare from these items. You also can cover windows that reflect off these surfaces, or you can place rugs on the floor and runners on countertops to reduce the glare they produce.

 

 3. Organize Closets

Locating clothing becomes less of a hassle if clothing is organized by item

 

People with low or no vision need to be able to locate their belongings efficiently. If areas of the home are cluttered and unorganized, it makes it virtually impossible for people with visual impairment to find what they seek. The Center for the Visually Impaired advises on its blog that one of the first areas of the home to organize are the closets. Locating clothing becomes less of a hassle if clothing is organized by item, with similar types of clothing hanging together or complete outfits hanging together. The goal is to organize the closet in such a way that makes it easy for the person with a visual impairment to find the clothing and accessories they want and ensure they can choose a matching outfit each day.

 

4. Keep Traffic Areas Open

Here the final tip to follow when modifying your home for a person with visual impairment. Decluttering the house is another one of the first steps you’ll want to take when preparing your home for a person with a visual impairment. When items are in their places, it is easier to navigate the home and locate things. While many people think about decluttering closets and drawers, it’s important to declutter main living areas and high-traffic areas in the home to prevent tripping and falling.

Don’t leave items in a place where someone can trip and fall or bump into them. Try to keep items in the same place when they are not in use, and avoid moving household items without informing the person with a visual impairment first.

Another task that will keep traffic areas open is to arrange furniture in such a way as to create a natural flow of foot traffic. Try making small groupings of furniture to promote conversations or placing large pieces of furniture against the walls to create traffic areas inside the home.

If you modify your home both on the inside and the outside, you will make a person with a visual impairment feel more comfortable. Exterior and interior modifications can help a person with a visual impairment feel more at ease and strive to be more independent.

“Article provided by Jackie Waters”

Trip to Iceland for Visually Impaired

Holidays for partially sighted and blind travellers.

We have just returned from one of the best trip of the year and possibly in the history of Seable.

Let’s hear it from the participants:

Stacey: I had such an amazing time in Iceland. Did amazing things, saw amazing sights and met amazing people! Thanks for making a great time lovelies ❤️.

Warren: Last week I had an absolutely fantastic time in Iceland, a really beautiful, unique and strange country, on a Victa Milton Keynes trip with a group of people who gelled fantastically well, it was a pleasure spending the week with them. I have had so many unforgettable experience is, being absolutely drenched and freezing cold on Europe’s largest glacier, on a day when most other ttreks were cancelled, visiting some spectacular scenery and landscapes such as going behind a waterfall, visiting what must be the worlds largest warm, outdoor bath, the blue lagoon, smelling lots of smelly sulphur pits, seeing some active geysers, going to The worlds largest penis museum that did not disappoint me and much more. I was lucky enough to try some unique food, the fermented shark tasted like blue cheese but 100 times more intense, puffin, reindeer burger and much more. It is definitely a country I want to go back to and I went with a group of people I want to keep in touch with

Lucy: My Icelandic adventure with the most amazing people! Can’t thank Victa Milton Keynes and Seable Disabled Holidays enough for this amazing trip! Will never forget some of the beautiful things i’ve seen!

Rachel: Iceland was amazing with the best people <3

Alex: I’m jotting this down in the car on the way back at the airport. It’s been an amazing week in Iceland and seems a shame be over. We’ve seen some of the most amazing sights, and experienced unbelievable adventures. But the thing that’s made this trip is the group we were with. I was asked the other day is it hard to volunteer and when your out with people like this never!
Thank you for having me and letting me join in the fun!

Some shots of the trip:
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tactile map of iceland

tactile map of iceland

Six Accessible Travel Apps To Make Your Holiday Easier

You’ve researched the location, booked everything that needs to be booked and packed your bags. You’re ready to go on an adventure, or just relax somewhere on the beach, and the only thing left to do is enjoy the trip and get the most out of your holiday. In recent years a whole host of apps have been released to help you do this. Apps that will help take the hassle out of certain aspects of travel – from translation to finding the best place for lunch – and many of these are accessible and of particular use to people with a visual impairment or disability. In this blog we’ve rounded up all the different accessible travel apps that will make your holiday easier so you can download them and be completely ready for that well deserved break.

 

1. Money Checking Apps

Like with many of the apps on this list, Money Reader is an app that could also be incredibly useful in your day to day life if you have a visual impairment. It’s a very simple app but one that is absolutely invaluable. You simply place your money in front of the camera and it will tell you exactly what denomination and currency you’ve got.

At £4.99 it is a little bit pricey, but you could save yourself that in one go if you accidentally hand over a $20 bill instead of a $5 to an unscrupulous vendor. The app includes information from twenty one different currencies, including the US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Brazilian Real, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, Kuwaiti Dinar, Mexican Peso, Russian Ruble, Saudi Arabian Riyal, Singapore Dollar, and United Arab Emirates Dirham. It’s also very accessible to use and is compatible with VoiceOver technology.

 

2. Photography Apps

It often surprises people, but there are scores of visually impaired and blind people who love photography and take amazing quality photographs. This can range from people who do fine art photography and fascinating photo essays to those who just want to take a picture of their family on the beach. If you fall into the later category and just want to take a few fun snaps on holiday, there are some great apps that can help you take the best possible photos.

TapTapSee is a multi-award winning app that is one of the most popular amongst visually impaired photographers. It utilizes your phone’s camera and VoiceOver functions to photograph objects and identify them out loud for the user. To use it you just double tap on the screen to photograph any two or three dimensional object at any angle and it will be accurately analyzed and defined within seconds.

 

3. Translator Apps

These translator apps aren’t exclusively accessible travel apps as pretty much anyone who isn’t a language expert could benefit from them, however they can be especially useful at times for people with a disability. iVoice Translator Pro is an excellent app that allows you to translate in real time, enabling you to translate conversations whilst you have them. You can also save favourite phrases to speak out as required, which makes it very useful for a user with a speech impairment.

Google Translate also has an excellent video feature. It’s almost ridiculously sci-fi, but if you’re struggling to read a sign or a menu, just video it through the app and it will automatically translate the text into your native language and display it clearly for you to read. Being a Google App it also utilises Android’s accessibility features.

 

4. Map and Travel Apps

Navigation in a foreign country can be a nightmare at the best of times, and whilst some people might say getting lost is part of the fun of exploring, it’s always best to know that you can find where you want to go. For that one of the best apps is Blindsquare. It uses GPS and the compass to locate you, and then gathers information about the surrounding environment from FourSquare. BlindSquare has some unique algorithms to decide what information is the most relevant and then speaks it to you with high quality speech synthesis. BlindSquare is aware of when you travel by car, bus or train and starts to report interesting places in front of you (for example, the next stops) and street crossings when you are passing them, so even when you’re in a foreign place you can find where you want to go. It costs quite a bit (£22.99), but it’s not just useful as an accessible travel app, it’s one that can be invaluable for everyday life.

Citymapper is also an amazingly detailed navigation app that has won awards for its accessibility, and it’s always worth searching for specific accessible travel apps for your destination. For example London has London’s Nearest Bus, which allows the user to find the nearest buses and live departure times from their location, and Station Master, which offers detailed accessibility information for every London Underground, Overground and DLR station. Edinburgh has the excellent Talking Buses app and The Netherlands has Ongehinderd (translation: Unhindered) to help with accessible travel, so it’s always worth checking for apps specific to your destination.

 

5. Apps for Checking Accessibility

It’s great being able to find your way somewhere, but what if you get there and the accessibility is terrible? That’d be a nightmare. You can check online, but often what a website says about accessibility isn’t what you experience in real life. Luckily a few great apps have been developed to address this problem.

AccessEarth, WheelMap and Euan’s Guide are all essential accessible travel apps that use crowdsourcing to generate reviews of accessibility from disabled people who have actually visited the place in question. That way you can find out exactly what to expect from the destination and how you need to prepare.

 

6. Apps for Reading On The Plane

Now we’ve got the travel, money and translation stuff out of the way we can move on to the most important thing. What are you going to read in the sun on the beach?

Luckily this one is pretty simple. Kindle and iBooks have excellent accessibility features, allowing you to make the text larger and if required get your tablet or phone to read the book to you. Audible is also an excellent source of audiobooks and has great accessibility, so if you’re more of an audiobook person that’s probably your best bet.

 

So those are our favourite accessible travel apps that should make each aspect of your holiday a little bit easier.  Do let us know if we missed any accessible travel apps that you think are great, and remember to share with the travellers in your life!

Accessible Days Out For The Summer Holidays

The Summer Holidays can be a tricky time for anyone. The struggle of trying to keep your children occupied and happy without breaking the bank and, hopefully, getting them some exercise or education in the process. It’s a minefield! This can be an even bigger issue if you or someone in your family has a disability because not every activity is accessible. So with that in mind we decided to compile a blog of our favourite accessible days out in the UK, and we’ve split it up so that everyone in the family, from the thrill seeker to the history buff, can find an activity they love!

 

Accessible Days Out For Nature Lovers

Being out in the wilderness can sometimes feel quite a daunting prospect if you have a disability, however there are numerous accessible days out in the middle of nature around the UK that everyone can enjoy.

One of the best places to start is the National Trust website, which has some great information for visitors with disabilities. As an organisation The National Trust is “committed to developing and promoting inclusive access solutions … that are creative and sensitive to the surroundings,” and they have numerous great policies to back this up. Unless otherwise mentioned all their locations have adapted toilets, many locations provide manual wheelchairs and mobility vehicles are available at some of the larger gardens and parks. They also provide accessible resources with Braille and large print guides for visually impaired guests, and in many locations they have sensory exhibits with items that can be touched, as well as particularly important sounds and scents that relate to the property. All their locations have accessibility information online, and you can also do specific searches for properties that have facilities for disabled visitors.

A picture of Portstewart Strand, showing people and cars on the beach, which makes this one of our favourite accessible days out

The Beach at Portstewart Strand

Some of our favourite specific locations include the Brockholes Nature Reserve, which has a wonderful floating and accessible Visitor Village and nature reserve. The Baggy Point Walk in Devon has a wheelchair-friendly path with fantastic views and chances to spot seabirds, and Haldon Forest Park has amazing graded walking, cycling and riding through the Devonshire woodland. Portstewart Strand in Northern Ireland has a glorious beach walk that can be made accessible by paying a few pounds to take your vehicle.

 

Accessible Days Out For Animal Lovers

If you and your family love meeting creatures big and small then the UK has numerous great locations for accessible days out where you can come face to face with all manner of weird and wonderful animal. Paradise Wildlife Park is one of the UK’s most accessible animal parks, with discount tickets available for both disabled guests and their cares. The whole park is designed with accessibility in mind, and you can see everything from Wolves and Tigers to adorable Monkeys from a raised and accessible walkway. For children they also have an accessible play park, including full support swings and a wheelchair accessible swing, and the descriptions of the animals include sign language images. If you require a guide dog then you can bring one, however you need to call them in advance to organise it.

Other great accessible days out for animal lovers include Longleat House and Safari Park. The great thing about Longleat being a safari park is you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own car. This means you get to see the animals in a bigger, more natural habitat, and it also means as long as your car is accessible then the entire park is your oyster! The stately Longleat House itself is very accessible with wide corridors, spacious rooms and lifts, whilst the grounds outside have flat, even pathways and the miniature land train and boat trip are also wheelchair accessible.

Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is also a great day out and very accessible. The paths around the site are flat and should provide no trouble to wheelchair users, the Land Train that travels around the site is also accessible and the Pembrokeshire Big Wheel has a wheelchair accessible carriage. An induction loop is fitted in the interactive centre and theatre, and assistance dogs are welcome throughout the whole site, including the zoo and farm. They also offer a discounted price for people with a disability and can offer free entry to carers, and have free disability parking and wheelchairs available to hire free of charge.

 

Accessible Days Out For History Buffs and Culture Vultures

Over the years Museums have become more creative in their attempts to be inclusive and accessible, with one of the best examples being the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Last year the V&A launched its first sensory backpack for the Ceramics Gallery. The bags contain a variety of objects that the guests can pick out and touch as they travel around the gallery, with the experience using objects, textures, sounds and smells to tell the story and include movement around the gallery. The guide takes the form of a story that provides active instructions to get families moving around the two ceramics galleries, creating an innovative and unique experience for visually impaired guests.

Another great museum for accessible days out is the London Transport Museum. There is level access throughout the museum, with lifts and ramps that are suitable for unaccompanied wheelchair users. The audio-visual guides are all subtitled or fitted with loops, and there are induction loops at the ticket desk, cloakroom, library and information desk. The museum itself is packed full of exhibits from London’s history, but there is still space to navigate easily and some of the old carriages, such as the Victorian tube, have been made wheelchair accessible.

As well as being the best place to see The Bard’s plays, Shakespeare’s Globe is one of the most accessible locations in London. In addition to having a fantastic viewing platform and accessible entrance, the Globe puts on a series of plays every year for people with disabilities, such as signed, audio-described and captioned performances. To find out when these performances are and any other information you can call their dedicated Access Information Line which operates from 10.00am – 5.00pm or visit their very informative website.

 

Accessible Days Out For Thrill Seekers

People often don’t associate thrill seeking with accessibility, but we’ve written before about things like disability extreme sports that prove people with disabilities love to get their adrenaline flowing just as much as the next person! One of the best accessible days out for thrill seekers in can be found at Adventure Island in Southend. The theme park is one of the most accessible in the country, with almost all the rides, including the The Barnstormer and Green Scream roller coasters, being accessible. The park also has no turnstiles on the entrance, lift access to the park, and hearing loops are available. You can read their full accessibility information pack here.

If you want to go even more extreme then why not try the Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire. This is the venue that hosted the white water events in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, so the rapids they have are serious! You don’t need any experience and the centre welcomes people with disabilities, however all participants do need to complete an activity assessment before booking. You’ll be taken down the records with an experienced guide and if you phone the centre in advance they can tailor the conditions to match your capabilities. People with poor swimming skills or a disability are also given yellow helmets so that they can be spotted straight away and helped, just in case things get a little bit too wet!

If you’d rather stay dry, one of the most unique accessible days out can be found with Walking on Air in Scotland. Walking On Air is an organisation that gives disabled people the opportunity to try out flying in a specially modified glider. Trial flights begin at just £50, and if you’d rather just take in the splendid views and watch other people fly, they have an accessible restaraunt, bar and accommodation for those who prefer keeping their feet on the ground.

So those are our favourite accessible activities for the summer holidays in the UK. We hope that they’ve given you some ideas for things to do with your family, and do let us know about your favourite accessible days out in the comments.

Accessible Tourism – Seable speaking at workshop pre-ceremony of Paralympic Heritage Flame lighting

Accessible Tourism

CREDIT: VANOC/COVAN
During both the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, the flame is passed from one torch bearer to the next. The Paralympic Games feature differently-abled athletes who compete in sport competitions.

Accessible Tourism, Saturday 1 March 2014 in preparation for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. As part of a programme of linked events highlighting the Paralympic Legacy in the UK, a Workshop on Accessible Tourism is to be held with the aim of showcasing good practice in accessible tourism in the UK and discussing how accessible tourism can be promoted and developed as part of the UK Paralympic. A number of key players in UK accessible tourism have been invited to the Workshop with the aim of bringing practitioners, policy-makers and accessible tourism specialists together for an informed and informal discussion.

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