Skip to main content

AccessAble Northern Ireland is Go!

Today, Tuesday 30th October, sees the launch of AccessAble Northern Ireland. Disabled people, carers or anyone needing to find out more about accessibility can check out 1,000s of Detailed Accessibility Guides on www.AccessAble.co.uk and the AccessAble App.

We have been working for over a year to develop the new AccessAble brand, website and App, involving our user community every step of the way. We’ve worked hard to make sure we build on the success of DisabledGo and improve the things partners and users have said are important.

The website has been completely rebuilt, the search is faster and easier to use and there is inspirational content so users can find new places to explore. The Accessibility Guides themselves are simpler to use and more clearly laid out. If people are after the detail they can easily navigate to it through a side menu or if someone would prefer just the key information and photos they can use an ‘easy read’ toggle. The whole website looks totally different with many more photos, videos and icons.

A major part of the development has been working with users of screen readers and assistive technology to make sure the website and App meet the broadest range of accessibility requirements possible.

Another development is our new Accessibility Symbols. We have increased the number used from 19 to 32, which will enable anyone using the website or App to filter their results by the access requirements that are important to them. This includes symbols that may be helpful for people with autism, visual impairments and learning disabilities. The symbols can also be used to filter by facilities like Changing Places, accessible toilets, Safe Places, hoists and accessible fitting rooms.

The launch kindly hosted by Belfast City Council, at Belfast City Hall showcased the new website and App to stakeholders across Northern Ireland, shared examples of best practice and gave the opportunity for attendees to meet some of AccessAble’s Partners.

Attendees at the AccessAble Northern Ireland launch event

Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, said:

“I’m delighted to host this event today to mark the rebranding of DisabledGo to AccessAble, along with their new innovative website and mobile app, providing detailed access information on over 1000 venues across Belfast. This is a key partnership for Belfast City Council and our partners as we are committed to making the city as accessible as possible to all our residents and visitors. Their new services, the purpose of which are to enable disabled residents and visitors to make informed choices about accessing all that Belfast has to offer are a vital part of our plan towards Belfast becoming a wholly inclusive and accessible city, as set out in our Belfast Agenda.”

Chairman of AccessAble Barry Stevenson and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey at the AccessAble Northern Ireland launch

AccessAble work with 12 Partners in Northern Ireland including:

  • Belfast City Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Southern Regional College
  • Northern Regional College
  • South Eastern Regional College
  • North West Regional College
  • South West College
  • Belfast International Airport

Speaking about the launch, AccessAble’s Executive Director, Anna Nelson said,

‘AccessAble exists to provide detailed information to venues throughout the UK and Ireland, so that disabled people, carers and anyone who needs to know more about accessibility can find out if a place will be right for them. We have a long history of working with our partners in Northern Ireland, many of whom have played a trailblazing role for our service. We hope they will inspire others to place accessibility at the heart of inclusive information provision.’

AccessAble is passionate about helping more of the c.20m people in the UK who have accessibility requirements. The new website, App and name is key to achieving that and has been made possible thanks to funding from NHS Property Services and their service partner Mitie. 

Andrew Flett, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at NHS Property Services commented,

“Every week millions of patients, their carers and their families visit NHS properties managed and owned by NHS Property Services. It’s important to us that all visitors have the information they need to make their stay as stress-free as possible. This is particularly important to those members of the public with additional accessibility needs. Through our three-year partnership with AccessAble we’re increasing the number of NHS sites with online user guides and are delighted that we’ve been able to fund development of the new website and mobile App which will be a useful resource for all patients, staff and visitors to our buildings.”    

As part of the launch AccessAble have published an important survey that highlights the vital need for better accessibility information. The survey revealed that 99% of disabled people want to know about accessibility before visiting a new place and 98% search for accessibility information in advance.  You can see the full results here https://www.accessable.co.uk/articles/new-survey-highlights-major-accessibility-gap-for-uk-s-20-million-disabled-people-and-carers

To check out the new service simply visit the website at www.AccessAble.co.uk  or download the AccessAble App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. If you have any feedback you can contact AccessAble at hello@AccessAble.co.uk,  message them on social media or give AccessAble a call on 01438 842710.

Notes

AccessAble – What We Do

AccessAble, originally called DisabledGo, is a national disability organisation. We are the UK's Accessibility Guide and we are here to take the chance out of going out.

We cover 10,000s of places and our Guides are available free at www.AccessAble.co.uk and on the AccessAble App.

AccessAble – Our History 

AccessAble was set up in 2000 by Dr. Gregory Burke as a result of his own experiences as a wheelchair user and disabled walker. Gregory was frustrated to find that the best-case scenario when he looked for accessibility information was a few unhelpful words that only resulted in more uncertainty.

Working alongside over 100 different disability groups Gregory launched DisabledGo's first website in 2002. Since then the organisation has grown and developed, continually meeting and listening to its user community.

By 2018 DisabledGo was used by over 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or trip out. Thousands of people continued to shape the service getting involved in DisabledGo's engagement events and social media channels.

In June 2018 we began to build our new website and IOS and Android Apps. These launched in October 2018, alongside the new AccessAble Brand.

The Survey 

845 people responded to the ‘Accessibility and You’ survey. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive accessibility surveys in recent years. The survey was carried out in the summer of 2018 and took on average 20 minutes to complete.

Media Contact

Carrie-Ann Lightley

Marketing Manager

Mobile: 07756 744 635

Office: 01438 842710

Email: carrie-ann.lightley@AccessAble.co.uk

Twitter: @CarriAccessAble

Marketing Manager