Deaf blogger Ed Rex gives us his review of the AccessAble website and App.
Profoundly deaf in both ears, Ed Rex has chronicled his solo travels in the last seven years, about his deafness and how his deafness influences his travelling experience. From the bad to the good and to the downright hilarious, he often tells his story to many people destroying stereotypes, discrimination and raising awareness of they can support deaf travellers in the UK and abroad.
Picture this. You’re made arrangements with a friend or family member to visit a place, whether a restaurant, shop or theatre, only to find the venue isn’t accessible for your needs?
Particularly for me as a profoundly deaf person, I need to ensure I can hear clearly and effectively wherever I go and be able to liaise with a customer service liaison without feeling stressed about my disability. But sure enough, don’t I just check out the venue’s website to see if it’s accessible? Well, many times when i plan my visit, I check out their website only to find their accessibility page is hidden in some corner of the website, that’s if they have an accessibility page.
Luckily, I don’t need to worry, my frustrating searching has come to an end. Thanks to AccessAble, I can now relax and take the stress of going out for me. Plus I love it so much that I’m now a superhero champion for them.
For me, AccessAble is a fantastic online resource to take the chance of going out, giving me detailed information for me to work out if a venue or destination is going to be accessible. With their Detailed Access Guides, it tells me all about the venue’s accessibility with facts, figures and photographs. I like that very much indeed!
With tens of thousands of venues across the UK to choose from including 8000+ shops, 1000+ tourist attractions, 1000+ hotels, 3500+ restaurants and more, the world is literally your oyster to choose from. That’s right, I bet you’re rushing to find out what’s accessible in your own home town.
But am I sure that the accessibility guides will show support for people with deafness or hearing loss? I mean, isn’t there loads of disabilities that each place needs to support? How do I know that the need for support for hearing loss doesn’t fall on deaf ears?
Well, AccessAble knows everyone’s accessibility needs are different so they send their trained surveyors to check out every place in person and why the information they collect has all been decided by the user community. Gone are the days where a venue’s website says that they are fully accessible without breaking down to being accessible for which disability community.
So, in my case for deafness, AccessAble’s website or App shows two symbols out of 32 to show if the venue is deaf aware:
1) Sign Language – They have been told a member of staff has been trained in sign language
2) Assistive Listening – Hearing (T) Loop for enhancing hearing
This is great for me, as when I’m looking for a venue that is accessible for people with deafness or hearing loss, I can simply filter my search with the two symbols and what’s more now that I have an account, I can simply save my preferences for my next searches wherever I am in the UK.
Have I used it? Of course, I have!
In my travels across the UK recently, I have been using the App to find out if a venue is accessible for not for me. With intriguing results, I have found myself at places I thought I would never be! Not only is it an accessibility App but also an explore App! It really goes to show to venues that showing themselves as accessible for disabled people, they can bring custom from new customers!
As I said before, to find out if your home town is accessible, I checked out my home town to find out how Kingston Upon Hull is. There are 69 venues (November 2018 at the time of writing this) that are accessible for people with deafness or hearing loss within a 5 mile radius.
Now, I love spending time in coffee shops but I find myself driven away because of the hissing of espresso machines that stops me fully conversing with the server. I simply can’t hear what they are saying to me therefore awkward and embarrassing scenarios.
So, what do I do? You’ve guessed it, I check out AccessAble.
Already in the search results, I can see Marks and Spencer cafe that has an assistive listening loop system. Since the time of writing this, I’ve already popped in for a coffee while working on my laptop and you know what? It was easy, with the T Loop system turned on, I was able to hear the server loud and clear, proving to me how accessible the venue is.
So, how about it? Have you downloaded AccessAble’s app yet?
To take a look at the Marks and Spencer Hull’s Access Guide simply go to https://www.accessable.co.uk/venues/marks-and-spencer-hull
To read more from Ed, visit his blog https://www.thedeaftraveller.com