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The new name for DisabledGo

An Interview with Real

Disabled people's organisations and local disability groups are crucial to our work at AccessAble. Working with them helps us ensure that our Access Guides contain all the information disabled people need to get out and about. 

Who are these groups, and what do they do? Our interview series shines a light on their vital work. 

This month we speak to Real  

Tell us a bit about your organisation. 

Real is Tower Hamlet's only user-led pan-disability organisation. We are run by and for disabled people. We primarily work with disabled people who live, study, work or volunteer in Tower Hamlets. Still, our constitution allows us to expand beyond borough boundaries and contribute to regional and national issues. We also host regular co-production workshops where disabled members of our community get a chance to have their say on various topics. The group is a fantastic way to meet other local disabled people. 

Together, we work towards making services in our community more accessible. We regularly host events, offer each other peer support, and meet with stakeholders to produce fairer, more inclusive results.   

What is your mission?

The social model of disability drives everything we do. By dismantling those barriers, disabled people will have fair access to opportunities and improved life chances. 

Some organisations still operate on the medical model of disability – defining people by their impairment and using that impairment to explain the barriers that prevent equality. We, however, believe this attitude patronises disabled people, does little to remove societal barriers, and maintains inequality. 

Image of a room full of older people. There is a woman standing in the middle teaching a chair-based exercise class.

 

Tell us about some of your successes?

We are proud to run projects Tower Hamlets Employers Network: We partnered with Evenbreak, A business-to-business support network of local employers to empower organisations to confidently recruit, employ and retain disabled staff with the minimum of cost, time or fuss. The topic of our next THEN training is Attracting Disabled Candidates, as decided by our NOW group. The workshop will be delivered by Jane Hatton, the director of Evenbreak. 

How important would you say Detailed Access Information is when planning a trip or visiting a venue for the first time? 

"Traveling is an essential part of community building and connection.  

The ability to travel safely and confidently is especially important for people with disabilities who are at particular risk of becoming isolated from the community and are therefore more likely to experience loneliness.  

Having access to detailed information allows people to travel confidently and can make a trip enjoyable or even possible. Anxiety can come from the uncertainty of going somewhere for the first time so having this information on hand or mobile through an app can be a great help. Not having access to detailed information constitutes a barrier to many people, which may prevent them from trying a particular venue or area and ultimately can act as a barrier from engaging with the community and forming connections. 

Detailed access information also is essential for carers, who often need to think about and plan the trip for themselves and the person they care for.   

How do AccessAble's Access Guides help the disabled community in your area? 

AccessAble allows for travel and connection within the Tower Hamlets community. AccessAble's detailed access guides make information about many of the wonderful areas, venues, and destinations accessible to all the residents and visitors to Tower Hamlets. Facilitating connection and reducing loneliness in a community provides health, economic, and quality of life benefits for the individual and the community. 

In your view, what's the best thing about an AccessAble Guide - How do they help the Disabled Community in your area? 

The Access Information is accurate and kept up to date. And provide the information people need to plan their journey, which is very helpful and generally a useful tool. Having somewhere they can access this information while on the trip due to the mobile app is crucial. This App and Website can help create a successful, safe, and enjoyable journey that facilitates connection in the community. 

Finally, how can people find out more about your organisation? 

You can find out more about on the Real website.

E-mail: [email protected]  

Call: 02070012170 

Real Facebook Page 

Real Twitter Page 

Real Instagram Page

 

Digital Marketing Manager