The launch event, hosted by Sheffield City Council, brought together disabled people, disability organisations and AccessAble’s partners to showcase the new App and website. They feature 1,000s of places across the region, all visited and assessed by AccessAble’s surveyors.
Speaking about the need for the service disabled vlogger, Kat Pemberton said:
After attending the Yorkshire launch, I can confidently say that I feel encouraged to wheel out of my comfort zone as I fully trust the people behind AccessAble.
I do have to admit that over the years, whenever certain venues have failed to accommodate the appropriate facilities, I have felt unwelcome. It can be a huge knock on my confidence and this has resulted in me becoming a creature of habit. I find that I tend to fall into routines and limit myself from visiting any unknown locations. But I’m now just a quick click away from finding the nearest accessible gin bar for cocktails with the girls or a causal restaurant for a family meal. I no longer have to spend hours trying to arrange an outing to an unfamiliar location. Which is great as not only has it encouraged me to explore new places, it will help avoid any unnecessary anxiety in the future.
The team at AccessAble have made it their mission to restore the confidence of people like myself and improve businesses, to unite and harmonise our daily lives as a society. You can tell how much passion and drive the team at AccessAble have. I often worry that the people behind an amazing idea may not have their hearts fully invested in their work, but you can rest assured that these guys do.
AccessAble’s Executive Director, Anna Nelson said
AccessAble exists is to provide detailed information to venues throughout the UK, so that disabled people, carers and anyone who needs to know more about accessibility can find out if a place will be right for them. We are passionate about delivering our social mission and helping more of the c.20m people in the UK who have accessibility requirements. We believe our new website, App and name is key to achieving that.
We are fortunate to work with a fantastic range of committed partners and disability organisations across Yorkshire. We hope they will inspire others to place accessibility at the heart of inclusive information provision.
Speaking about the launch and their ambitions for the city, Councillor Olivia Blake, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance at Sheffield City Council said:
We have a vision for Sheffield to be the fairest city in Britain, where all people feel included and are able to access what this city has to offer.
As part of our commitment to promoting independence we began working with AccessAble in 2014. The service provides crucial, practical information that enables our residents and visitors to make the most of Sheffield, lowering the anxiety and challenges of visiting somewhere unfamiliar. Last year alone our guides were used more than 38,000 times.
It’s fantastic to see the how far the development of the guides has come today and the new app means this information is accessible on the go which we know will help thousands of residents and visitors to Sheffield and beyond.
The new website and App has been made possible thanks to funding from NHS Property Services. Andrew Flett, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility commented:
Every week millions of patients, their carers and their families visit NHS properties managed and owned by NHS Property Services. It’s important to us that all visitors have the information they need to make their stay as stress-free as possible. This is particularly important to those members of the public with additional accessibility needs. Through our three-year partnership with AccessAble we’re increasing the number of NHS sites with online user guides and are delighted that we’ve been able to fund development of the new website and mobile App which will be a useful resource for all patients, staff and visitors to our buildings.
As part of the launch AccessAble are publishing an important survey that highlights the vital need for better accessibility information. The survey revealed that 99% of disabled people want to know about accessibility before visiting a new place and 98% search for accessibility information in advance. Read the results online.
Take a look at the new AccessAble website or download the AccessAble App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
User feedback is welcomed and can be sent to AccessAble at hello@AccessAble.co.uk, message on social media or call on 01438 842710.
Twitter – @AccessAbleUK
Facebook – www.facebook.com/AccessAbleUK/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/accessableuk/
More help and support, including Sheffield’s disability access guides is available at Disability Sheffield.