London 21st February, 2017
Eleven new sector champions, who will help to tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers, have been announced by England's Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health today.
The champions, who represent a range of different sectors and businesses, from gaming to retail, will use their influential status as leaders in their industries to promote the benefits of being inclusive to disabled people.
Accessible Tourism features strongly with the appointment of Chris Veitch, a well respected world authority on Accessible Tourism.
There are currently more than 11 million disabled people in the UK and the spending power of their households - ‘the purple pound’ - is almost £250 billion. But many businesses are missing out on this potential customer base by having everyday products and services which aren’t available to disabled people – who, as a result, are regularly excluded from experiences and opportunities that many others take for granted.
The sector champions will amplify the voices of disabled customers and employees within their own industries, increasing accountability and challenging inequality. They will also be able to highlight specific changes and improvements that will make a difference to the millions of people who often miss out.
The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said:
As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs.These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.
As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs.
These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.
The new sector champions will drive improvements to the accessibility and quality of services and facilities in their sector, helping to showcase best practice and show other businesses the merit of making disabled customers a priority.
On Saturday the 26th of November the new accessible beach matting was laid out at the Mt Martha lifesaving club and the beach officially opened. Mt Martha is situated on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula, which is the summer aquatic playground for the city. This is the first beach on the Mornington Peninsula and only the third in the City, to offer accessible beach facilities for people with a disability including full accessible change facilities and now beach matting to the waters edge.
In addition to the matting and change room there are three types of beach wheelchair available from the lifesaving club, including a self propelled chair and a a fully floating one.
Mt Martha is a relatively sheltered beach and safe for people with a disability to get back into the water including young children. In front of the club house is a large concrete hard stand with shade.
The matting will be rolled out from now until April 26 next year.
Hours: Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm.
The matting has been made possible by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Mt Martha Lifesaving Club and the Mornington Peninsula Disabled Surfers Association.
Mt Martha is an hour from the CBD of Melbourne so get down there and take advantage of this new facility. Th more support it gets, the more likely it will be that other beaches on the Peninsula will be made available.
The other two accessible beaches in Melbourne are located at Williamstown and Altona.
Cutting the ribbon
Matting to the water's edge
A cake fit for the occasion
Testing the matting
At the water's edge
Enjoying the day
Councilor Antonella Celi cutting the cake
Images for use in editorials or blogs are availably from Photoability's news feed.
Image: Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Disabled visitors to Scotland should not be seen as “risk management” but as valued customers, according to the national tourism organisation.
Chris McCoy, Equality and Diversity Manager at VisitScotland, addressed delegates at the Rehabilitation International (RI) World Congress in Edinburgh on October 27, to highlight the importance of Scotland’s £1.3 billion accessible tourism market.
VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Programme aims to harness the growing, high-value accessible tourism market, and for Scotland to become internationally recognised as a leading destination for people with access needs.
Chris McCoy said:
“Legislation in the UK has empowered disabled people, making it illegal for service providers to discriminate on the grounds of disability, but it has not enabled them. VisitScotland believes access is enshrined only as a compliance issue, not a market issue. Disabled people still have difficulty finding businesses to cater for their access requirements, and provide adequate information to help make informed choices.
“Disabled people are seen as “risk management”, requiring expensive adjustments, but not as valued customers, requiring new and innovative customer service.”
Chris says that disabled people still have difficulty finding tourism businesses to cater for their access requirements, and to provide adequate information to help them to make informed choices.
“Disabled people don’t want special products, they want to be part of the mainstream. They are seen by some as ‘risk management’, requiring expensive adjustments, but not as valued customers, requiring new and innovative customer service.
“Changes have to be transformational and our aim is to move the mindset of the industry and the driver for accessible tourism from compliance into the competitive marketplace.”
Hosted by disability employment charity Shaw Trust Scotland, the RI Congress at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre is seeking to influence disability and inclusion policy at a global level and is being attended by more 1,000 people from over 60 countries.
For more information about VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Programme, go to www.visitscotland.org
TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.
Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.
We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:
For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.
UNWTO - 28 Sep 2016
About 500 delegates from 60 countries have convened in Bangkok, Thailand, to take part in the Official Celebrations of the World Tourism Day this year dedicated to the theme ‘Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility.’ Policy frameworks, capacity building, business strategies and awareness raising have been some of the areas tackled during the week of events that commenced on the 26th September with a ‘Tourism and the Media’ Session.
During two days participants from 60 countries exchanged best practices and experiences on accessible tourism and have committed to advance universal accessibility in all components of the tourism value chain to ensure all citizens enjoy the benefits of travel, whatever their abilities may be.
“As one billion people across the globe have some kind of disability, accessibility becomes and will continue to be a major concern for us all” said Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha, Prime Minister of Thailand who presided over the Official Celebrations on 27 September. “We need to create more accessibility, for all including the ageing groups. We need to provide better services for all. This is also part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals” he added.
“We should not leave anyone behind. We believe we have to do more, understand better the needs of these groups. The World Tourism Day celebrations in Thailand have acted as a platform to sensitize us all about the importance of adapting the sector to the needs of all citizens and we should work in closer cooperation now to meet the demands of travelers worldwide” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand.
“People with disabilities, aged citizens, families with children and many more find obstacles when they travel. As tourism is a human right, the sector should advance to ensure that all citizens enjoy seamless travel in an equal manner,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his message.
“Products and services aiming to increase the accessibility of travel add value to destinations and constitute an immense opportunity for the business sector” emphasized David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
“All of us have somebody who finds difficulties when travelling: family members, friends and colleagues, so we all are affected and can benefit from accessible travel measures” emphasized Mario Hardy, CEO at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
A human right and a business opportunity
The first event of the week, the ‘Tourism and the Media’ workshop, held in cooperation with the Chulalongkorn University, served as a platform to discuss the role of the media in supporting Accessible Tourism.
“Journalists, editors, photographers, documentary producers…can do a lot in sensitizing the general public about Accessibility and by pushing their respective governments towards the necessary regulatory frameworks towards Universal Design in the tourism sector,” explained Xu Jing, Regional Director of Asia and the Pacific at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Together with the commitment of governments and the need to develop regulatory frameworks linked to accessibility-related measures, the World Tourism Day celebrations have served to emphasize the immense business opportunities that Universal Design can bring to the tourism sector.: “Sooner or later all of us will suffer circumstances that impede us moving freely and independently, so adapting Universal Accessibility principles will benefit us all” underlined Ivor Ambrose, Director of ENAT, the European Network of Accessible Tourism. He added that by 2050, as much as 22% of the world population will be over 60 years old and thus have specific access needs.
The first round table included the participation of the Secretary General of Thai Disabled Development Foundation, and former Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, Weerasak Kowsurat, Monthien Boontan, Member of the Thai Senate and of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Dissabilites, Benito C. Bengzon, Undersecretary of the Department of Tourism in the Philippines, Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of the Cambodia, Mr. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr. Guy Didier Hypollite, Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries of Haiti and Mr. Dato Sri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. Moderated by Andrew Steven, CNN anchor, the Session discussed the application of policy and regulatory frameworks aimed at achieving ‘Tourism for All.’
The second debate, moderated by Anita Mendiratta, CNN Task Group, Lead Consultant, addressed the relevance of innovative strategies to foster accessible tourism infrastructure, products and services to enhance destination competitiveness. A number of best practices were featured by speakers such as Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager at Lonely Planet, Natthadej Suyadej, from Wheelchair Holidays Thailand, Hideto Kijima, President at the Japan Accessible Tourism Center, Svend Leirvaag, VP Industry Affairs at Amadeus IT Group and Sergio Guerreiro, Knowledge Management and Corporate Affairs at Turismo de Portugal.
Bangkok Declaration on Tourism for All
On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2016 participants adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Tourism For All, a document resulting from a consultation process involving governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and accessibility experts.
The Declaration calls upon all stakeholders to advance policies and business actions that promote universal accessibility, including training, awareness raising as well as considering Universal Design in all new tourism infrastructure and services and while adapting existing ones.
The celebrations of World Tourism Day 2016 were held in collaboration with CNN, UNWTO media partner.
World Tourism Day 2017 will be held in Qatar as decides by the 21st UNWTO General Assembly held in 2015 and will address the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’, in line with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, authorities of the Member States of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), representatives of the tourism sector, disabled people’s organizations and related civil society bodies, international organizations, and media outlets met in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26/27 September 2016 on the occasion of the World Tourism Day to celebrate the theme “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility”;
Recalling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which disability is referenced in Goals 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17 and in which tourism is included specifically in Goals 8, 12 and 14;
Considering the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006 as the global action framework in the sphere of universal accessibility, whose Article 30 recognizes the legitimate right of access to sports, cultural, leisure and tourism activities by persons with disabilities;
Whereas the mandate of the UNWTO is “the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism”;
Inspired by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999, and acknowledged by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, whose Article 7 underlines that “...a direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants” and explicitly recommends that “tourism for persons with disabilities should be encouraged and facilitated”;
Referring to the Recommendations on Accessible Tourism for All and the Recommendations on Accessible Information in Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly at its 20th and 21st sessions as reference documents for tourism stakeholders for making their infrastructure, products and services accessible to all people;
Considering the UNWTO Manuals on Accessible Tourism for All co-produced with civil society and private sector organizations – the ONCE Foundation, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and the ACS Foundation, as a source of technical knowhow for destinations;
Recognizing the wide scope of the multi-stakeholder recommendations emanating from the Declaration from the World Summit Destinations for All, held in Montreal, Canada, in October 2014;
Taking into account the Bangkok Recommendations on Accessible Tourism of 2007 and Takayama Declaration on the Development of Communities-for-All in Asia and the Pacific, adopted in 2009;
Commending the efforts of the Government of Thailand, the tourism sector and civil society stakeholders in making tourism destinations across the country ever more accessible;
1. Convinced that measures implemented to bring about Tourism for All benefit not only persons with disabilities and specific access requirements but all people, while entailing major socio- economic opportunities for tourism destinations and businesses;
2. Conscious of the gradual improvements regarding universal accessibility in tourism, but also of many serious and enduring challenges that people with disabilities across the globe are still facing;
3. Mindful of the importance of solid policy frameworks and strategic actions in making full access to and enjoyment of tourism destinations and activities by all truly possible;
4. Aware of the challenges in providing adequate information on the accessibility of tourism facilities, services and products, and the opportunities for promoting those that actually meet the needs of a greater diversity of customers;
5. Committed to multi-stakeholder partnerships between the policy makers, local authorities, the private sector, disabled people’s organizations and local communities in making tourism destinations accessible for all;
UNANIMOUSLY CALL UPON ALL STAKEHOLDERS:1. To ensure that the right to enjoy tourism by all becomes a reality and that the commitment of
governments and companies to improve access for all is sustained by concrete actions;
2. To engage in awareness-raising and training so as to reduce both physical and attitudinal barriers within the sector and to be able to embrace the undoubted competitive advantages of investing in Tourism for All;
3. To implement the principles of Universal Design/Design for All when developing new tourism infrastructure, products and services and improving the existing ones;
4. To promote the provision of objective and accurate information on the accessibility of all products and services, and in accessible formats, with the aim to enable travelers to accurately assess whether their own needs will be met during the whole travel process;
5. To mainstream accessibility in tourism policy and throughout the tourism supply chain with the aim to ensure that there are no broken links and that everyone can fully enjoy a seamless tourism experience; and
6. To encourage multi-stakeholder cooperation at all levels that enables development of consistent and up-to-date policies and business practices in the sphere of accessible tourism.
Montréal/Namur, September 27, 2016
Quebec-based organization Kéroul and Belgium’s Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles (CAWaB) are pleased to announce that the second edition of the Destinations for All World Summit will be taking place in Brussels in fall 2018. The aim of the event is to give concrete expression to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Recommendations on Accessible Tourism.
For more information:http://www.accessibletourism.org/resources/accesibilityen_2013_unwto.pdf
These two organizations are making this announcement now in the spirit of World Tourism Day, September 27, 2016, the theme of which is “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility.”
The first edition of the Summit was held in Montréal in October 2014, under the auspices of Kéroul and with the involvement of the UNWTO, UN, European Network for Accessible Tourism and ICAO, among others. With more than 360 participants from 31 countries having come out to share their knowledge and experience, the event wrapped up with the adoption of the A World for Everyone declaration.
Available in 10 languages, this declaration features 40 specific measures for implementing the UNWTO Recommendations on Accessible Tourism globally and locally. It is a veritable plan for action on the local, national and international scales to promote the accessibility of infrastructure, buildings, tourist services as well as transportation services.
With the Western population aging and the benefits of including disabled people in all facets of society, the tourism, culture and transportation sectors have no choice but to fully welcome and adequately serve all citizens, and to be particularly attentive to the needs of elderly and physically disabled people. Moreover, in September 2015, the UN adopted new Sustainable Development Goals recognizing accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities as principles of sustainable development.
The second edition of the Destinations for All World Summit will provide the opportunity to assess progress made since 2014 and move closer to an international standard of accessibility, information sharing, practices and services for persons with disabilities. In conjunction with this event for trade professionals, there will also be an accessible vacations show for the general public, wherein visitors will learn more about the world’s accessible tourist destinations.
As the respective chairs of Kéroul and CAWaB, Isabelle Ducharme and Vincent Snoeck will co-chair the 2nd Destinations for All World Summit on behalf of their organizations.
Kéroul is a non-profit organization dedicated to making tourism and culture accessible to persons with limited physical abilities. Founded in Montréal in 1979, Kéroul acts as the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec’s key consultant in matters of accessibility.
Since 2006, the Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles has served as the umbrella organization for associations representing persons with limited physical abilities as well as for accessibility consulting firms. It advocates for universal accessibility in the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
World Tourism Day is celebrated every year on 27th September. This year's theme is “Tourism for All - promoting universal accessibility”.
Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.
Which is why, we want to call upon the right for all of the world’s citizens to experience the incredible diversity of our planet and the beauty of the world we live in. On this year’s World Tourism Day help us spread the word of both the importance and immense benefits universal accessibility has and can bring to society at large.
Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. As the official day set aside in the United Nations Calendar the celebration seeks to highlight tourisms potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing some of the most pressing challenges society is faced with today.
Today the new Arthurs Seat Skylift project has a new name - The Arthurs Seat Eagle.
The first of the 24 new Gondolas was unveiled today at the brand launch.
Eagle CEO, Hans Brugman said today:
The new name symbolised the “soaring flight” people would experience on the gondola, and paid homage to the wedge-tailed eagles that could be spotted from the ride.
With the arrival of the Gondolas from Switzerland, the project is on track for its December 3 official opening.
The Eagle will be a boon for Tourism on the Mornington Peninsula. The new Gondolas will seat 8 people and will also accommodate wheelchair users with level entry.
Martin Dixon MP
Eagle CEO Hans Brugman
Place your bid and you and your seven guests could be riding the very first Gondola leaving the station at our Grand Opening on Saturday 3rd December. You will lead the celebrations - even beating the Premier to the number one spot! Plus, you will receive VIP treatment all day with complimentary food and beverages and all round star treatment.
All money raised at the auction will be donated to our neighbours – the Peninsula Specialist College and Dromana Primary School.
This is a once in a life time opportunity – don’t miss out!
Like many cities in developing countries, Rio is not very disabled-friendly and, with its purse strings already stretched to the max to get the basic facilities ready for the Games, how well set up will it be for the thousands of Paralympic athletes set to descend on the city for the Paralympic Games in early September? And what about the thousands of disabled sports fans who will be visiting to watch the Olympics or Paralympics?
With this in mind, Lonely Planet sent wheelchair user Emily Rose Yates – a Games Maker at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and an accessibility consultant for MetroRio – to put in the hard yards on the ground and write a guide with the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip and what to watch out for if you have a disability. The International Paralympic Committee has ordered copies of Accessible Rio De Janeiro to put in the welcome pack for athletes arriving the Olympic Village. But, as part of its Travel for All initiative launched in 2013, Lonely Planet is giving away electronic versions of the guide to the public for free.
The guide covers everywhere you’re likely to want to go if you’re visiting Rio for the 2016 Olympic or Paralympic Games – the Maracanã Football Stadium, Copacabana, Barra da Tijuca, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea and more – with neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood accessible top tips. Disabled athletes and visitors will discover where to surf and samba with local disabled people’s organizations, and how to explore the lively nightlife scene and take in amazing beach views from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain). From what to expect when you land and how to avoid the hassle of unexpected barriers, to planning an accessible weekend, this guide has it all.
Supplementing all the features of Lonely Planet guides that have made them the traveller’s Bible – essential information, detailed maps, honest reviews and cultural insights – with information about the accessibility of sports venues, restaurants, cafes and hotels, Accessible Rio De Janeiro will be indispensable for anyone travelling to Rio who has access needs.
E-book versions, also free, are available from the following sites:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lonely_Planet_Lonely_Planet_Accessible_Rio?id=pYbCDAAAQBAJ&hl=en
Authors: Emily Rose Yates, Regis St. Louis
“Emily is clearly passionate about accessible travel and inspired by her experience at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she volunteered as a Games Maker. So it is great that she is now working on a guide which will provide practical support and encouragement for disabled people to go out to Rio to experience the Paralympic Games for themselves. Her travel guide is very much aligned with the BPA’s vision ‘through sport, a better world for disabled people’ and as such we are very supportive of it. We believe that Emily's hard work and dedication to this guide will result in it being a useful resource to disabled travellers and will enrich and facilitate their journey to Brazil.”
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association
“In my closing speech at the Paralympic Games in London I talked about the author of this book, Emily. The Games, she said ‘had lifted the cloud of limitation’ for people with disability”
Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF
Image: Beach Access City of Gold Coast, Jagger with mum Rachel Collien (behind) and Divisional Councillor Pauline Young and Mayor Tom Tate
Mayor Tom Tate today rolled out the first beach wheelchair mat in the city on a surf beach - promising a new era of accessibility for all.
To be trialled on Burleigh Beach on Saturday mornings, the beach mats allow wheelchairs to easily maneuver across sand.
The beach mat and two new beach wheelchairs, which are specially designed for beach use, have been donated by the City of Gold Coast as part of a $33,670 trial to run from September 2016 to May 2017.
Mayor Tate said the City was committed to ensuring everyone enjoyed a beach experience.
“The community asked for better access to our beaches and we listened,’’ he said.“If this trial is successful, we will look to provide beach access equipment at other locations.’’
“The community asked for better access to our beaches and we listened,’’ he said.
“If this trial is successful, we will look to provide beach access equipment at other locations.’’
The City will also donate two new beach wheelchairs to not-for-profit group Gold Coast Recreation and Sport Incorporated, for city-wide use at no charge.
“When we host the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™ in less than two years’ time, we are also hosting the largest para-sport program ever held at a Commonwealth Games,” said Mayor Tate.
“There has never been a more important time to ensure our city is accessible for all.’’
The Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Lifesaving Club will manage the trial, with equipment available on Saturdays from 9am to midday.
Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Lifesaving Club president Michael Boyce said his club was ready.
“Burleigh is a great location because of the easy connection between the surf club, carpark and amenities. Our patrol members will advise the public if the weather and surf conditions are suitable for the equipment on the day,” he said.
The beach wheelchair matting and beach wheelchairs join the Gold Coast’s growing number of accessible options, including viewing platforms along the Oceanway and permanent beach matting at Southport’s Broadwater Parklands.
For information go to: cityofgoldcoast.com.au/beachaccess
Renowned disabled comic, Francesca Martinez, has teamed up with Network Rail to launch a new campaign to improve disabled passengers’ experiences of travelling by rail after challenging its historic ‘bolt-on’ culture. With the number of railway passengers exceeding 1.6bn a year and two-thirds (67%) of disabled people saying they use the railway, Network Rail is launching its campaign, Spaces and Places for Everyone, to set out how it will make the railway more inclusive for every passenger.
Francesca, who has cerebral palsy but prefers to describe herself as “a bit wobbly”, often uses the train to travel around the country for her work as a stand-up comic. While she admits that she has seen a number of accessibility improvements to the railway in recent years, she says that at times she feels as though her needs are “invisible to the rest of society” and that accessibility has historically been a “bolt-on”.
According to research carried out by Populus and commissioned by Network Rail, it would seem that Francesca is not alone. Out of the two-thirds of disabled people who travel by train (67%), a quarter do not feel that their journey will be an easy one (24%), while a third (33%) said they would use the train more if it were more accessible to them.
Encouragingly though, two-thirds of people with a disability (63%) would feel confident using the rail network independently versus 79% of non-disabled people, while more than half of disabled people (58%) believe that accessibility across the rail network is improving despite there being more to do.
Commenting, Francesca Martinez said:
“As a disabled passenger, I often feel as though my needs are invisible to the rest of society and that sometimes people like me are seen as a burden rather than as valued passengers. Most people consider taking the train just a part of everyday life, but there are millions of people like me who need to carefully plan their journeys so they can get around without difficulty.“This is why I am supporting Network Rail in its campaign to make the railway more suitable for the modern world and accommodating of every single passenger, regardless of their needs. It’s really reassuring that the millions of disabled people in Britain are being considered right from the very start before rail projects leave the drawing board rather than being bolted on as they have been in the past, which will make a huge difference to their rail experiences in the future.”
“As a disabled passenger, I often feel as though my needs are invisible to the rest of society and that sometimes people like me are seen as a burden rather than as valued passengers. Most people consider taking the train just a part of everyday life, but there are millions of people like me who need to carefully plan their journeys so they can get around without difficulty.
“This is why I am supporting Network Rail in its campaign to make the railway more suitable for the modern world and accommodating of every single passenger, regardless of their needs. It’s really reassuring that the millions of disabled people in Britain are being considered right from the very start before rail projects leave the drawing board rather than being bolted on as they have been in the past, which will make a huge difference to their rail experiences in the future.”
Mark Carne, chief executive at Network Rail said:
“Most of today’s railway was designed during the Victorian era when attitudes towards disability were very different. Since then, access for disabled people has been tagged on at a later stage, rather than being a part of the initial design strategy for our railway. We know it hasn’t been good enough in the past, and we need to make it easier for disabled people to plan journeys and travel by rail.“We are committed to changing this, and doing what is necessary to make sure that inclusivity is deeply embedded in our culture. Only then will our railway be a place where everyone can travel equally, confidently and independently.”
“Most of today’s railway was designed during the Victorian era when attitudes towards disability were very different. Since then, access for disabled people has been tagged on at a later stage, rather than being a part of the initial design strategy for our railway. We know it hasn’t been good enough in the past, and we need to make it easier for disabled people to plan journeys and travel by rail.
“We are committed to changing this, and doing what is necessary to make sure that inclusivity is deeply embedded in our culture. Only then will our railway be a place where everyone can travel equally, confidently and independently.”
Network Rail, which is responsible for managing 20,000 miles of railway and some of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations, is committed to ‘inclusive design’ – which means putting all passengers at the heart of the design process rather than adding on provisions at a later stage . Inclusive design is already being delivered across its stations, including:
As part of the campaign, Network Rail invited Francesca to interview Mark Carne so she could find out first-hand what the company is doing to change the way it caters for disabled people.
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