Stay in touch with the latest news from AIM and get information on sector grants, jobs and events with our free fortnightly E-News.
Disabled people fear exclusion due to Covid-19 restrictions
Survey reveals disabled people’s top concerns around visiting places and what they expect venues to be doing to make it safe and easy for them to visit.
Disabled people’s top concerns:
- People not respecting and honouring social distancing
- Not having access to venue and public toilets when out
- Having to queue or wait, particularly if the weather is bad
Disabled people’s top requirements:
- Having access to sanitising stations that are at an accessible height
- Having an accessible route that disabled people can navigate independently
- Having clear markings to ensure people social distance
Euan’s Guide undertook a Covid-19 consumer sentiment survey to understand domestic disabled people’s intent and concerns around visiting places within the U.K. The survey was taken by 450 people from 18 June – 19 July 2020.
The report, available at EuansGuide.com/covid-report, includes 27 actionable measures that businesses can implement to help encourage and support disabled people who choose to visit. Many of these actions will already be in place as part of their existing Covid-19 precautionary measures. Others are more specific to ensuring levels of access remain high, such as ensuring that there are enough accessible parking bays, including information on Covid-19 precautions alongside their access information and offering Special Assistance or an Access Buddy system.
Businesses should also try to address concerns such as a lack of seating and rest stops and how they can support someone who is not able to see, understand or fit in the venue’s defined spaces.
78% of respondents indicated that they are likely to look at the venue’s website for disabled access information and information on the Covid-19 safety measures before visiting. Venues are advised to make sure up to date and detailed information on both is available on their website and that the information is easy to find from their homepage. Places that fail to share disabled access and Covid-19 information online risk of losing out on a growing and loyal market. The spending power of households with a disabled person in them is estimated to be £249 billion a year.
Venues are encouraged to list both their disabled access and Covid-19 information on Euan’s Guide for free, a source which 50% of participants said they would check. Euan’s Guide is the charity established to improve disabled access for disabled people. Their review website – EuansGuide.com – was created to make it easier for the 13.9 million disabled people living in the UK to find and share accessible places to go.
Co-founder of Euan’s Guide, Euan MacDonald said:
“It is important that businesses don’t neglect their disabled access and take the time to consider how the changes they are making might impact their customers. Losing access to toilets, parking facilities, and staff assistance can all make a venue that a disabled person once considered to be accessible suddenly inaccessible. While queuing and mask wearing is expected of the majority it is important to let people know about any exceptions to these rules to save unnecessary discomfort or worry. Knowing what to expect in advance helps people plan their trip and avoid disappointment.”
Euansguide.com is the disabled access review website where disabled people, their family, friends and carers can find and share reviews on the accessibility of venues around the UK and beyond. Having access to good quality disabled access information inspires confidence and removes the fear of the unknown. It breaks down the barriers of exclusion and makes it easier for disabled people to find great places to go.
The charity was founded in 2013 by Euan MacDonald MBE, a powerchair user and his sister Kiki after Euan was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and a lack of disabled access made everyday experiences stressful. The website now holds thousands of reviews and is an invaluable tool for many disabled people.
Venues can now list their Covid-19 preventative measures alongside their disabled access information on Euansguide.com to help everyone visit with more confidence of what to expect. Reviewers will also be able to mark whether or not they felt ‘Covid Confident’ visiting the venue.
DCN in partnership with EMBED have resources available on their website to support museums and heritage organisations to be more inclusive. Take a look here.