Equality and discrimination are not terms we hear about as much as we did, say, 50 years ago – and yet while many communities and industries have embraced the needs of people with disabilities, it seems there is still a lot of work to be done.
The Disability Living Foundation (DLF) has gone to great lengths to raise awareness and ensure that disabled people are no longer faced with access issues but the problems still exist, even when critically acclaimed Roll-a-Ramp systems are available to provide wheelchair access anywhere and everywhere.
In order to truly understand the level of apathy shown by venues towards those with disabilities, a group of disabled people aged between 16 and 30 are carrying out an undercover survey of cinemas, pubs and stadiums to test accessibility for wheelchair users.
The activists from the charity Muscular Dystrophy Campaign are visiting venues all across London and will be grading facilities with star ratings, high and low, and will then name and shame those who are still failing to meet the required disability access standards.
A guide will then be produced for all disabled people informing them of wheelchair-friendly businesses and places to save them time and hassle in future.
The survey begins in the capital and then stretches far and wide across the UK in order to finally conquer problems faced by disabled people at leisure and entertainment facilities.
One of the undercover assessors said: “I love going out to gigs and art galleries with my friends, but I’ve encountered vast differences in the level of accessibility and provisions for disabled people.
“We will be rating leisure facilities in the hope that other young disabled people will know which facilities in their areas have made the most effort to include them.”
Chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Philip Butcher said: “Many people take for granted the ability to watch a film, to visit a museum or to support their local football team.
“This simply is not an option to some disabled people if leisure facilities fail to conform to the Disability Discrimination Act.”
The results of the survey, along with its recommendations, will be published on 3 December which is the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
If your business or venue needs a disability access upgrade, the easiest way to resolve this and provide for disabled customers is to purchase a Roll-a-Ramp – the only wheelchair ramp system to be advocated by the UK’s most prestigious disability training company, Equal Ability.