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PICTURED: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. PICTURE: Chris Watt

TOURISM bosses in England and Scotland have launched a website to help venues produce simple access guides for disabled visitors.

The move follows a study that found more than half of people with access requirements avoid going to new places if they can’t find information about accessibility.

Research shows that one in five people in the UK have access requirements. This includes wheelchair users, people with hearing loss, visual impairments, older people, families with young children and many more.

In 2015, £12 billion was spent in England, and £1.3 billion in Scotland, on trips where a member of the party had an impairment.

As part of the Equality Act 2010, a service provider has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to those who are not disabled.

Malcolm Roughead, chief Executive at VisitScotland, said: “It is our aim to make tourism inclusive and accessible for all, so that every single person can benefit from all that Scotland has to offer.

“It also represents a huge commercial opportunity for the country with accessible tourism spend valued at £1.3bn.

“A report released by Business Disability Forum found that 75% of disabled people and their families have walked away from a service provider at a cost of £1.8 billion to UK businesses every month as a result of poor disability awareness.

“Our new website, created in partnership with VisitEngland, will help businesses produce informative guides in a user-friendly format, that will promote inclusion and enable all our customers to have the opportunity to achieve, to have fun, to live life in the same way as anybody else.”

www.accessibilityguides.org