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The Importance of Accessibility in the New Normal

As venues start to open again throughout the UK, AccessAble want to make sure that disabled people, carers, and anyone who needs accessibility information can find out about a place’s access, and if new COVID measures will work for them. Different venues will have varying measures in place, for example, hand sanitizing, one-way systems, and floor markings, to encourage hygiene and social distancing. We believe this information should be detailed, accurate and accessible for those that need it.

Why do disabled people need more information about COVID safety measures?

Disabled people may be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of barriers to implementing hygiene measures, difficulty in social distancing, the need to physically touch things or barriers to accessing health information. Depending on underlying health conditions, disabled people may be at greater risk of developing more severe cases of COVID-19 because of existing issues with respiratory function, immune system function, heart disease or diabetes. Disabled people may also be disproportionately affected by the outbreak because of disruptions to the services they rely on. However, it is important to note that all disabled people are different, and what may pose as a high risk to one disabled person may not be the same for another.

What is AccessAble doing to help?

We are working with all of our partners to add updated information about COVID-19 measures to their Detailed Access Guides.

We’ve developed a new COVID-19 Access Guide section, which includes information about external queuing points allowing for social distancing, limitations to the number of people allowed in a venue to give more space, additional hygiene measures including hand sanitizing, signage, screened areas, staff PPE, and cleaning. We are also recording where tourism and hospitality venues are part of the ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme.

We're Good to Go Logo

Here is an example from one of our partner venues, a leisure centre in Tunbridge Wells. Click here to view the Access Guide.

Screenshot of Access Guide COVID section

How is AccessAble supporting venues to ensure their COVID safety measures are accessible?

AccessAble  are working to help venues ensure that the changes they put in place include, rather than exclude, disabled people.

We have created an infographic to support businesses in a practical way, with tips to ensure that COVID-19 safety measures continue to provide support for disabled people. Click here to download the full infographic.

Infographic front page

Anna Nelson, Chief Executive of AccessAble, says,

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown an even greater need for reliable accessibility information, not only for disabled people and carers, but for anyone who wants to know more about a venue before visiting. We hope that by sharing this information we can help to rebuild confidence in visiting new places, and that we can support venues to recover lost business and attract new customers.”

AccessAble has been providing detailed, accurate accessibility information for over 20 years. We believe information about COVID-19 and accessibility is vital for those who may otherwise feel excluded by reopening measures.

Header image credits:

Head of Marketing