Thursday, 6th December, saw the launch of the AccessAble London initiative and a call to action for organisations across the Capital to provide accessibility information.
The launch, held in the same week as International Day of Disabled Persons, highlighted the existing commitment of many organisations across Greater London to provide comprehensive accessibility information to the UK’s 20 million disabled people and carers.
The brand new AccessAble website and App, launched at the event, already contains accessibility information to over 10,000 places within the M25. Each one has been visited and assessed by an AccessAble surveyor and has a comprehensive pan disability Access Guide where people can check everything from accessible toilet facilities, to parking, lift and entrances. Users can check measurements, photographs and descriptions of everything from door widths to walking distances, colour contrast and much more.
The website and App, available to use free of charge, has been developed in constant consultation with disabled people. AccessAble has also worked closely with users of assistive technology and the Shaw Trust to ensure both resources are digitally accessible. At present the AccessAble service is used by over 150,000 people every month, with a target to increase users to 3 million p.a by 2020.
The event brought together AccessAble’s existing partners from across the public and private sector, including 21 London Boroughs and the majority of Universities, Colleges and NHS Trusts providing services to Londoners.
Will Tuckley, who commissioned AccessAble’s very first Access Guides in 2002 said,
“It is fantastic to see the progress and development AccessAble has made. I have worked with the organisation at three different local authorities and the service has consistently helped us deliver a range of key priorities, adding value and expertise. We now have an opportunity to come together to make a real difference to the lives of all our residents. I would encourage all remaining London boroughs to become part of the AccessAble London initiative.”
The event showcased the vision of AccessAble’s newest partner South Bank Business Improvement District (BID), the first London BID to give a dedicated focus to accessibility and place it at the heart of welcoming residents and visitors to the South Bank.
Nic Durston, CEO of South Bank BID said,
“The South Bank is the cultural heart of London and a must-visit experience for any visitor, domestic or international. Our vision is to make the South Bank London’s most accessible destination, which is why we’re now investing to provide our many attractions, venues and hotels with the most up-to-date accessibility information through AccessAble.”
As part of the launch, AccessAble shared its recent Accessibility and You Survey, which highlighted the overwhelming demand for accessibility information with 98% of people saying they searched for accessibility information in advance before going somewhere for the first time. It equally revealed the negative impact of poor information with 75% of people saying they felt anxious before going to a new place, and 76% saying they either hadn’t visited somewhere or had needed to leave on arrival due to poor quality, or non existent information.
Speaking at the event Dr Gregory Burke, Founder of AccessAble said,
“We want London to be recognised as the city that has the world’s best accessibility information and sets a global standard that other cities will aspire to. We want to make sure that wherever you want to visit, or whichever borough you live in, London is a city for everyone. I implore those organisations that do not provide essential detailed accessibility information to look at what we have achieved and to join us in our vision to make London open for all.”
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 would like to find our more about the AccessAble Initiative and the difference it can make to your organisation and the people you serve please contact David.Livermore@AccessAble.co.uk
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 new website, App has been made possible thanks to funding from NHS Property Services and their service partner Mitie.
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. The full survey results can be viewed here –
AccessAble’s London partners include:
- Barts Health NHS Trust
- Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
- Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
- Hounslow and Richmond NHS Trust
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
- King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS North and East London Commissioning Group
- South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
- University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- British Museum
- Land Sec
- London City Airport
- London Stansted Airport
- Marks and Spencer
- Olympia London
- Premier League
- Royal Academy
- South Bank London
- Tower Bridge
- Westminster Abbey
- Croydon Council
- Enfield Council
- Haringey Council
- Harrow Council
- Islington Council
- Lewisham Council
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
- London Borough of Bexley
- London Borough of Hillingdon
- London Borough of Hounslow
- London Borough of Lambeth
- Merton Council
- Newham Council
- Royal Borough of Greenwich
- Southwark Council
- The London Borough of Havering
- The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
- Tower Hamlets Council
- Waltham Forest Council
- Barking and Dagenham College
- Birkbeck, University of London
- Brunel University
- City, University of London
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- Harrow College
- Imperial College London
- King's College London
- Kingston University London
- London Business School
- London School of Economics
- London South Bank University
- London South East Colleges
- Newham College London
- Queen Mary University of London
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- St George's University London
- St Mary's University, London
- The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL)
- University College London
- University of East London
- University of London
- University of Surrey
- University of the Arts London
- University of West London
- University of Westminster
Mobile: 07756 744 635
Office: 01438 842710