LETTER: Let’s champion accessibility

editorial image

This month we’re celebrating Disabled Access Day – a chance to raise awareness of the need for ease of access at public venues all across the UK.

We understand that for many disabled people, accessibility goes far beyond the realms of simply being able to get in or out of a venue with ease, it’s about being independent, having freedom of choice, embarking on new experiences and living life to the absolute fullest.

Over the years, we’ve conducted plenty of research into accessibility at public venues, including the UK’s top 100 tourist attractions, Premiership and Championship football stadiums and major high street stores.

We found that even in today’s society, many public venues continue to fall short of the mark when it comes to being truly accessible. Take the high street for example – despite having a huge turnover, 84 per cent of disabled people and carers we asked said they had experienced problems with the accessibility of high street stores. Totally unacceptable, we think.
And, it isn’t just about the obvious moral obligation to make society a more accessible place; there is of course a financial incentive too.

With the spending power of disabled visitors and the so-called ‘Purple Pound’ being a market worth an estimated £212billion, it makes absolutely no sense that public venues still aren’t buying into the idea of becoming fully accessible, at the risk of losing incredibly valuable revenue year on year.

I work for Revitalise – a wonderful charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers from all across the UK. As an organisation with more than 50 years’ experience of supporting disabled people and their carers, we are absolutely resolute in our belief that society should be accessible to everyone.

To find out more about Revitalise visit www.revitalise.org.uk, or call 0303 303 0145.

Stephanie Stone