News

This page will provide you with all the latest information on everything that is happening at Accessible Wales. We will also keep you up-to-date on anything we think you should know regarding disability.


 

Cynon Valley Museum Is Now Open

Cynon Valley Museum Is Now Open

Cynon Valley Museum Is Now Open

Cynon Valley Chairperson Dinah Pye (front) with Vikki Howells AM, myself, Roy Noble, Lord Aberdare and Ann Clwyd MP

Cynon Valley Chairperson Dinah Pye (front) with Vikki Howells AM, myself, Roy Noble, Lord Aberdare and Ann Clwyd MP

I was extremely pleased to be invited to the launch of the Cynon Valley Museum recently.  The museum was one of the first clients Accessible Wales worked with and I’m proud to say that relationship will continue again.

A photo taken from our first access review of the Cynon Valley Museum in 2007

A photo taken from our first access review of the Cynon Valley Museum in 2007

Since opening in 2007 Accessible Wales has had a strong working relationship with the Cynon Valley Museum, carrying out a number of access audits/reviews and basing many training courses in the suite upstairs.  We’ve even used the museum as a base for our training/refresher Access Reviews.

As part of our non-profit organisation Accessible News I established an information surgery which operated from the museum for a number of years helping local residents with issues such as benefits queries, supporting people with employment issues and more.  The museum was ideally placed to offer this service as it has the meeting room on the upstairs which offers confidentiality and a more relaxed area in the cafe for general conversation.

People studied the exhibits enthusiastically

People studied the exhibits enthusiastically

Accessible Wales will be continuing to work with the trustees, staff and volunteers of the museum over a prolonged period of time to improve the access in and around the building as well as improving features for people with varying disabilities.  The trustees are keen to make the museum the heart of the community and I know they share my view that providing access and facilities for all is the ideal way to accomplish this goal.

A Recent Photograph of the front of the museum

A Recent Photograph of the front of the museum

Congratulations to the trustees, Charlotte Morgan (Development Manager) and volunteers on their fantastic effort in getting the museum open and hosting such a fantastic event.  Thanks to Clint Elwyn Thomas for some of the photographs.

Thanks for reading

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Richard Jones

Principal Consultant

Accessible Wales

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Working With Public Health Wales

Working With Public Health Wales
Richard Jones outside Capital Quarter 2, Public Health Wales Office

Richard Jones outside Capital Quarter 2, Public Health Wales Office

We are proud today to have been access reviewing Capital Quarter 2 building in Cardiff for Public Health Wales.  The building is a blank canvas, with no furniture in.  Public Health Wales and their designers have put an exceptional amount of work in making the building accessible, and we are very impressed that we’ve been asked to consult on the access at such an early stage.

Temple of Peace a building that was occupied by Public Health Wales

Temple of Peace a building that was occupied by Public Health Wales

In 2015 Accessible Wales consulted for Public Health Wales on access to the Temple of Peace.  The Temple of Peace is 70 – 75 years old, and is a grade two listed building.  This means that there can be difficulties when making physical alterations regarding access improvement.   The building is used for external events such as weddings and filming by television companies.

Capital Quarter 2, Public Health Wales Office

Capital Quarter 2, Public Health Wales Office

If you would like more about about our Access Consultancy service visit the page, or you can get in touch by visiting our Contact Page.  Our access consultancy service has worked with small one roomed shops, new buildings and listed buildings, we can tailor our service to meet your needs.

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Forging Relationships with Merthyr Council

Forging Relationships with Merthyr Council

Forging Relationships with Merthyr Council

Monday 16th May I attended the launch of the Remain Campaign in Merthyr

Monday 16th May I attended the launch of the Remain Campaign in Merthyr

After recently attending the launch of the Remain campaign in Penderyn Square, Merthyr Tydfil I had the pleasure of meeting Cllr Brendan Toomey Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s Leader.  We had a brief chat and swapped contact details.

Since then Brendan and I have communicated via email and social networking, a meeting was arranged for me to meet with Kerry O’Donovan, Corporate Risk and Equalities Manager for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.  From our communications Brendan appeared to be an approachable and positive thinking person, keen to look at equality issues.

Kerry O'Donovan and I outside Merthyr's Civic Centre

Kerry O’Donovan and I outside Merthyr’s Civic Centre

Kerry and I met yesterday, a glorious Tuesday morning, at the Civic Centre, a picturesque and prestigious building which appeared to be wheelchair accessible on the ground floor.

Merthyr's Civic Centre

Merthyr’s Civic Centre

We discussed the services Accessible Wales offers such as the training consultancy and access consultancy service.  The meeting was very positive and Kerry and I we will be discussing opportunities on an ongoing basis.  We also discussed our non-profit sister organisation Accessible Newsicon_external and the work we undertake, for more information visit the website.

Kerry has an excellent attitude towards equality and progressing with improving equality awareness and I look forward to working with him in  the future.

I’d like to thank both Brendan for arranging to the meeting, and Kerry for taking the time to meet me.  I thought the meeting was excellent and both Accessible Wales and Accessible News can forge strong relationships with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in order to benefit its staff, business, groups/organisations and residents.

If you would like to meet with me to discuss the services my company offers or would like to know more about Accessible News visit our contact page.

Thanks for your time.

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Richard Jones

Principal Consultant

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Disability Awareness Training Coming To A Venue Near You… Soon!!

Disability Awareness Training Coming To A Venue Near You… Soon!!
Training Now Open To The Public

Training Now Open To The Public

Accessible Wales is pleased to announce that we are opening our training up to members of the public.  Our flagship Disability Awareness training course will be three hours long and will be scheduled in venues throughout the Cynon Valley over the next six months.

If the courses prove to be successful we aim to roll them out throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff and beyond.  The contents of the course will be:

  • An Introduction To Disability
  • Disability Perception
  • Customer Service Scenarios
  • Language and Signage

Led by company owner and Principal Consultant these courses are light hearted and informative.  The courses are informal and aim to help delegates understand disability on a practical day-to-day basis.  Principal Consultant Richard Jones says:

The training courses we carry out gives our clients a good base of knowledge, delegates can -explore disability and how it impacts on their day-to-day professional and personal life.  Often disability can be a difficult subject to talk about, this course is light hearted and relaxed allowing delegates to explore any concerns, queries or questions they may have about disability.

To find out about our training service you can click here.  As soon as our sessions are booked, we will publish them on here and share the information on our social media.

If you’d like us to train in a venue near you, or your venue, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Great Training Course at Old School Surgery – Pontyclun

Great Training Course at Old School Surgery – Pontyclun
Staff from Old School Surgery Pontyclun after Successfully completing a Disability Awareness Course

Staff from Old School Surgery Pontyclun after Successfully completing a Disability Awareness Course

On Thursday 19th May Accessible Wales trained staff from the Old School Surgery in Pontyclun.  The course was a three hour course and covered issues such as:

* Introduction to Disability

* Appropriate Language and Signage

* Access Issues

* Customer Service Scenarios

 

This course is our most popular course, we have trained staff from Celtic Manor, Bridgend College, St John’s Medical Practice (Aberdare) to name just three of the many organisations who’s staff have benefited from our training.

This course was a huge success, Principal Consultant and Senior Trainer Richard Jones described the group as

Enthusiastic, highly skilled with a desire to know more.

When reviewing the feedback the following comments were made.

Richard was fantastic at explaining disabilities and was easy to understand and talk to. Thank you

(Sophie Williams)

I found the course interesting – The practical tasks were thought provoking and has made me more aware of the problems that people with a disability may face. I intend to use what I have gained in knowledge to promote more independence with patients.

(Susan Pinniger)

The course made me appreciate some of the the facilities within the workplace which could be difficult to some patients/visitors.

(Christine Howells)

Richard Jones said the following about the course:

It is always great to carry out this course as I believe passionately in, not only it’s contents but also the wide sweeping benefits it has on the clients we’ve trained.  The staff of the Old School Surgery, Pontyclun were an extremely able group who were all ready highly aware and wanted to know more.  They took in as much information as they could and embraced all the activities thoroughly, it was a pleasure to lead the course.

All twelve feedback forms stated that they would recommend our course to colleagues and friends in the future.

Principal Consultant Richard Jones with staff from Old School Surgery Pontyclun after Successfully completing the course

Principal Consultant Richard Jones with staff from Old School Surgery Pontyclun after Successfully completing the course

If you would like to know more about our training get in touch, you can call 01685 810432 or visit the contact page.  All our training is customisable for our clients needs, we can create bespoke training courses to suit the needs of clients in all industries.  The training experience a delegate will receive when attending our flagship Disability Awareness course is light hearted, informal yet highly informative and very factual.  Delegates will be introduced to disability from a first hand perspective, this subject can often be emotive and difficult to discuss but trainer Richard Jones’ unique style and light hearted  approach helps makes delegates feel at ease and therefore learn more, and ask questions they may not normally ask.

We also offer training in Equality and more specifically Disability Equality, these are courses which look at (as the name suggests) the equality aspects of disability.  These courses are not only beneficial for staff members who are on the front line but also those who hold more of a leadership and strategic overview.  For more information visit our Training Page.

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Disability Awareness Training

Delegates from a Disability Awareness Training Course in 2015

Delegates from a Disability Awareness Training Course in 2015

Today the staff of Pontyclun’s Old School surgery will join the many other people who have been trained by Accessible Wales to become more aware of disability.

We will be carrying out a half day course, this is not the first time we’ve trained staff from this surgery with Practice Manager Raechel Baker being one of our first clients.

If you would like to know more about our training, visit the training page… or better still give us a call on 01685 810432.

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Working With Aberdare Community School

Working With Aberdare Community School
Principal Consultant Richard Jones outside Aberdare Community School

Principal Consultant Richard Jones outside Aberdare Community School

Accessible Wales is pleased to say that Principal Consultant Richard Jones met with Aberdare Community School’s Headteacher Sue Davies and Rhondda Cynon Taff Education Authority’s Esther Thomas to discuss the access for people with disabilities at the school.

Discussions took place as Accessible Wales have been asked to study the access in and around the school.  Principal Consultant Richard Jones was taken on a tour of the school and cannot express enough how impressed he was with what was on offer in the school regarding facilities, curriculum and staff attitude.

The school is a new building, however, in the past it has often been the case that what is accessible on paper isn’t necessarily accessible in practice.  Rhondda Cynon Taff are taking the proactive step to ensure that they have a working understanding of the schools accessibility, and for that they should be commended.

Principal Consultant Richard says:

Access isn’t always about ramps and steps, approximately 8% of people with disabilities use wheelchairs.  We strive to help our clients improve access for people with all abilities.  It is important to remember that making access changes does not always cost vasts sums of money, sometimes something as little as moving a chair or a table can make a huge difference.

All our access reviews are written from the viewpoint of a service user, led by Principal Consultant Richard Jones we not only have a theoretical knowledge of access issues but also a practical knowledge of day-to-day issues.

Remember you can keep up-to-date with our latest goings on by visiting us on Facebookicon_external and Twittericon_external

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New Client – Aberdare Town FC

New Client – Aberdare Town FC

Aberdare Football Club LogoAccessible Wales is pleased to announce that we will be working with Aberdare Town FC to carry out a Walkthrough Access Review.  Aberdare Town FC is keen to improve their facilities for people with disabilities and has commissioned Accessible Wales to help them do this, as a keen football fan Principal Consultant Richard Jones said it was “an exciting opportunity”.

Richard went on to say:

When reviewing access to sports clubs and sports grounds there are various challenges that are not necessarily present in other types of reviews.  It is important, as always, to take into consideration the hurdles that face not only people with physical disabilities but those with sensory needs, learning disabilities and many other impairments.

Steve Pearce Treasurer/Safeguarding Officer for Aberdare Town who commissioned Accessible Wales said the following:

The Club are delighted to work with Accessible Wales to make the whole experience at Aberdare Town FC accessible to people with disabilities. We have improved lots of facilities at the Club over the years but realise we can do more to improve access for people with disabilities and will endeavor to do so with the help of Accessible Wales.”

You can find out more about Aberdare Town FC by visiting their website here.

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New Client – Old School Surgery, Pontyclun

Accessible Wales are proud to announce that we will be carrying out training for Old School Surgery in Pontyclun in May.  We will be carrying out a custom 3 hour course which has been created by our team and their Practice Manager.

You too could have a training course at your venue, for more information get in touch with us via our contact page.  We also have two courses running at the end of the month, see below for details.Introduction to Disability Awareness(1)

This course is taking place in our own accessible training venue, for more information remember to get in touch.

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