Access For All
Access for all is the way forward
Access for all is more than policy when it comes to businesses, visitor attractions and community spaces. Accessibility is being taken seriously in todays business market and the benefits are quickly mounting.
Passion in The Deep end.
Visitor centers and attractions today number in the thousands and like any business that needs to survive and thrive each must make a profit. Business success and profit is achieved by providing an excellent standard of customer experience.
A positive visitors journey is essential and remains a venue’s main focus. Still, there are thousands of venues around the UK failing to provide adaptions to access supporting this equality. This isn’t just about attractions making money, this is about an attraction fulfilling it’s main purpose; providing memories.
We were invited to train over 50 members of the staffing team at The Deep in Hull. The purpose was to create awareness and understanding of how to provide a great experience for all visitors who experience a disability. Our training doesn’t stop with providing the individual with a more positive environment, but also to provide an environment that supports families and carers.
The Deep in Hull is one of the UK’s largest attractions and winner of many awards, from start to finish their aim is to excel in the visitor’s experience and this well achieved.
The Deep is a beautiful tourist attraction and has endless reasons to go and visit it but for those of us who require the attention that creates an accessible experience, we are not disappointed.
Visits Unlimited have trained staff before at The Deep, they are an attraction that thrives on accessibility of all people. Their driver towards equality is never ending as they are always focused on improving, adapting and thinking outside of the box.
Access for All Training.
At Visits Unlimited, our training offers more than just passing information and ticking boxes. Attendees receive a training experience that they can really learn from and information that they can rely upon when they need to provide action.
During our most recent training day at the The Deep, the staff enjoyed learning about what a day out means to a family and not just the excitement when we get there but they learnt first hand how much works and effort it takes just to arrive at the car park of their attraction.
We discussed stereotyping and looked at how to change perceptions, we had great fun learning about the science of communication and how we can use body language and tones of voice to welcome all visitors but especially those who are disabled.
The team looked at how to use non verbal cues to diffuse situations confidently and recognise if someone requires assistance.
We worked through scenarios and as a team we looked at strategies and solutions of experiences they’d already faced, the management team were driven to learn from situations and evolve their approaches.
The passion to provide a value creating and sensory rich experience for all visitors was palpable and it was a real pleasure to be a part of this learning.
Why Access for All is essential for business.
If stats interest you then here are a couple of influential ones: there are around 12 million registered disabled people in the UK, more unregistered. This has a spending power of around £200 billion, that’s a pretty big pot these venues are potentially missing out on.
All business from tourist venues to shops, have a responsibility to create and apply the access for all (KW6) legislation. Disability access isn’t new but it has evolved massively over the last couple of decades and this is why Visits Unlimited exists. Our main focus is to support visitor venues and attractions to understand the legislation that is in place and how they can apply it within their area.
Making adaptions will make a difference such as:
- Those four steps up to the next level are an obstacle for a wheelchair user.
- Separate entry for individuals parents / carers with an individual with disabilities.
- Adapted cutlery in the restaurant for the individual with arthritis can all be subtle barriers.
- Complex signs.
- Disabled toilets without the ability to change an adult.
- Quiet areas.
Society today has the skills, knowledge, tools, awareness and creativity to stop disabled people or people who require adapted access from being turned away. Thousands of venues around the UK are not providing accessibility support for people and this needs to change not only for the visitor but also for the sustainability of the venue.
Let’s keep making a difference and raising awareness so that this positive movement of access for all will continue to grow.
When positivity runs right through.
As for our successful training day at The Deep – we loved it – and walked away ourselves feeling inspired and heard. Their approach to our sessions was absolutely brilliant and we walked away having learnt more about their organisation, positive staffing culture, care of visitors and penguins.