Today, Thursday 25th October, sees the launch of AccessAble Scotland. Disabled people, carers or anyone needing to find out more about accessibility can check out 1000s of Detailed Accessibility Guides on www.AccessAble.co.uk and the AccessAble App. The guides cover major cities including Aberdeen, Dundee Glasgow and Inverness, as well as regions including Ayrshire, Lothian, and Lanarkshire.
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 at Silverburn Shopping Centre in Glasgow showcased the new website and App to key stakeholders in Scotland, shared examples of best practice and gave the opportunity for attendees to meet some of AccessAble’s Partners.
AccessAble work with over 20 Partners in Scotland including:
• Aberdeen City Council
• Aberdeenshire Council
• Dundee City Council
• East Ayrshire Council
• East Dunbartonshire Council
• East Lothian Council
• Glasgow City Council
• North Ayrshire Council
• North Lanarkshire Council
• South Ayrshire Council
• The Highland Council
• Visit Lanarkshire
• City of Glasgow College
• Cumbernauld College
• Edinburgh Napier University
• Glasgow Caledonian University
• Heriot-Watt University
• Motherwell College
• New College Lanarkshire
• The University of Edinburgh
• University of Aberdeen
• University of Dundee
• University of Glasgow
• University of St Andrews
• University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
• Forestry Commission Scotland
• Glasgow Prestwick Airport
• Inverness Airport
• National Museums Scotland
• Rangers Football Club
Speaking about the launch, AccessAble’s Executive Director, Anna Nelson said,
‘AccessAble exists is to provide detailed information to venues throughout the UK, 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 are passionate about delivering our social mission and helping more of the c.20m people in the UK who have accessibility requirements. We believe our new website, App and name is key to achieving that. We are fortunate to work with a fantastic range of committed partners and disability organisations across Scotland. We hope they will inspire others to place accessibility at the heart of inclusive information provision.’
NHS Property Services and their service partner Mitie have provided funding to support the development of the new website and App and said,
“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 with our support the new website and mobile App will be a useful resource for all patients, staff and visitors to our buildings.”
As part of the launch AccessAble are publishing 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 from 26th October by visiting www.AccessAble.co.uk.
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 us on social media or give us a call on 01438 842710.