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Shut out from everyday life … the stark reality facing disabled people

ACCESS CAMPAIGNER: Powerchair user Euan MacDonald

DISABLED people are being excluded from everyday life because of poor access information.

And that even applies to those who are lucky enough to be able to use the internet to find out what they can do and where they can go.

Research by disabled access charity Euan’s Guide shows that almost three-quarters of the 7,500 disabled people questioned found accessibility information on a venue’s website to be misleading, confusing or inaccurate.

A similar number also reported having experienced a disappointing trip or having had to change plans due to poor accessibility.

Euan MacDonald, founder of the guide, said: “The survey shows just how much work there is still to be done around communication and information sharing.

“Sadly, the data gathered has shown that businesses don’t fully appreciate how important it is to share their disabled access information. Businesses are undervaluing disabled people both in terms of social inclusion and spending power.

“Respondents told us the top accessible facilities they need to improve confidence when visiting new places were accessible parking (80%) and accessible toilets (76%).

“Three out of five said they avoid going to a venue if it has not shared its disabled access information because they assume it’s inaccessible. “

Euan, a powerchair user, set up the guide in 2013 with his sister, Kiki, after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

They found that a lack of disabled access made everyday experiences stressful and they soon learned that other disabled people faced the same challenges.

Euan said: “We encourage disabled people to review the places they visit on EuansGuide.com and use the website to find first-hand experiences of disabled access at venues across the UK and beyond.

“Likewise, if you work at a venue, please promote your disabled access information in your own communications and by listing on our guide for free.”

Andrew Miller, CEO at Motability Operations, which sponsors the guide, said: “Providing freedom and independence for disabled people is right at the heart of what we do.

“We believe no disabled person should be left behind. The insights that Euan’s Guide have shared are vital, and we hope that venues and other organisations take note and use them to improve disabled access across the country.’’

To view the full report and results, visit: www.euansguide.com/AccessSurvey

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