Disability Simulation – An insight into disability or a patronising activity?

Disability Simulation – An insight into disability or a patronising activity?

Disability Simulation – An insight into disability or a patronising activity?

A disability simulation is any activity designed to give participants a sense of what it is like to experience the issues someone with a health conditions encounter. Common disability simulations include:

  • spending time in a wheelchair,
  • going into the community blindfolded,
  • or playing sports with one arm tied behind your back.

During our face-to-face Disability Awareness training courses, we have regularly undertaken these types of activities, we do this to provide delegates with an insight into accessibility.  For example, it allows course delegates the experience of guiding someone who may have sight loss or the issue of a high reception desk for a person who is seated in a wheelchair and the impact that has on not only the person in the wheelchair but on our client’s service delivery.

Training Delegates carrying out our Disability Perception activity
Training Delegates carrying out our Disability Perception activity

We always state that this activity is not meant to be condescending and that people are more than welcome to opt out.  It can be one thing to look at access and recognise the changes that need to be made but sometimes even the smallest exposure to the difficulties faced can generate so much more understanding, and understanding and education can be so powerful, this is surely the way to start change?

Disability Perception stand at Naidex
Disability Perception stand at Naidex

Earlier in the year Richard attended the annual Naidex exhibition and while he was there saw a van called the Autism Reality Experience, and the Virtual Dementia Tour.  You can find out more about them here https://www.training2care.com/autism-reality-experience.htm,  This is another form of disability perception but to a higher level, what would your thoughts be on this?  Sadly Richard wasn’t able to try it but intends to if they are there next year.  We’ve tried all our activities… even Richard!

We wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything we wouldn’t do ourselves, could the Autism Reality Experience make us feel different about this type of activity?

However, some feel that a snap shot into someone’s abilities may make a person more aware of another person’s experiences, but it doesn’t dig deep to the root of discrimination against people with minority identities. Instead, it’s more likely to evoke empathy or pity than true acceptance.  They also state that if it does make such a huge impact on people why hasn’t it sparked change? Both in accessibility and behaviours?

I’m inclined to state that there just aren’t enough people who have been educated.  While I completely understand that it’s never going to be as easy as sitting in a wheelchair for half an hour and then understanding all the difficulties someone encounters in their everyday life.  I use crutches because of knee and hip conditions and trying to get around a car park for 10 minutes as opposed to trying to carry a loaf of bread and pint of milk home from the shop while navigating cars and opening doors etc. is not the same.

I understand that it’s not a real life situation but in my opinion it is a tiny insight and a tiny insight is better than no insight at all.

What are your thoughts? Eye opening or patronising?

Thanks for reading

Gemma Price

Gemma Price, Operations Manager - Accessible Wales

Gemma Price
Operations Manager
Accessible Wales

Purple Tuesday – How could it help your business?

Purple Tuesday – How could it help your business?

Purple Tuesday – How could it help your business?

We think it is important to make you aware of the initiative, Purple Tuesday, which will be taking place on 2nd November 2021.  The initiative is free for all organisations to take part and is focused around promoting the importance of the customer experience for 14.1 million disabled people in the UK.

Purple Tuesday 2021 is a programme for organisations and businesses of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in, with the common goal of improving the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year.

Accessible Wales version of the Purple Pound

There is huge commercial value to be gained from taking part in this initiative. It is estimated that the purple pound – the collective spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth £6 trillion (approx.) worldwide, yet on average, it is estimated that only 10% of organisations have a plan in place to access this market. Which provides a huge opportunity for us to grow our customer base of disabled people and their families.

Disabled people make up 20% of the global population, which makes them the world’s largest minority group and 80% of disabled people have a hidden or invisible disability. This means that 1 in 5 people who enter our premises may have additional needs that may not be easily identifiable.

A family shopping
1 in 5 people who enter our premises may have additional needs that may not be easily identifiable

Purple Tuesday was created and is organised by Purple, a disability organisation which aims to support businesses to develop their products and services for disabled people. Purple Tuesday is a call to action to organisations to better understand the needs of our disabled customers and to put the right solutions in place.

The Purple Tuesday brand has grown significantly, reaching over 13 million on social media, 130+ items of media coverage including national broadcast slots on BBC, ITV News and Radio 5 Live and over 20 local radio stations, as well as trending on twitter in 2019 alone.

In order to participate in Purple Tuesday, they simply ask we as an organisation make at least one new commitment to disabled customers which needs to be relevant 365 days a year. Some ideas include: disability awareness training (click the link to see information on our training), introducing the Sunflower Lanyard scheme, improving the accessibility of a website or physical space (the organisations above are just some of the companies we’ve worked with to improve their access).  Purple also provide many resources for free which we can use to help us identify and fulfil our Purple Tuesday commitment, which you can gain free access to once registered.  More information on the resources they have available can be found here.

We’ve also shared their Quiz for you here and you can have a go at their wordsearch here.  How many can you get right?

We’re confident… disability confident

We’re confident… disability confident

We’re confident… disability confident

Accessible Wales Disability Confident Certificate
Accessible Wales Disability Confident Certificate

Accessible Wales is signed up to the Disability Confident scheme.The scheme supports employers helping them to open up to employing disabled people.

Over 18,000 organisations have signed up to the scheme. These organisations are playing a leading role in changing attitudes for the better.

These two websites will offer more information on the scheme.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

https://disabilityconfident.campaign.gov.uk/

#disabilityconfident

Principal Consultant Richard Jones made the following comments on the Disability Confident scheme:

As a disability consultancy company, with disabled people as the cornerstone of our operation it made perfect sense that we would sign up to this scheme.  We are currently registered at level one but are striving to gain level two registration recognising the importance of doing as much as we can to promote good practice whenever possible.

Accessible Wales is 13 years old today!

Accessible Wales is 13 years old today!

Accessible Wales is 13 years old today!

We opened thirteen years ago today, with a launch in the Glancynon supported by Cymru Health Care.  We start our fourteenth year in very different circumstances, the world certainly isn’t the same as it was in 2007.

With the current Coronavirus restrictions in place we sadly can’t celebrate with any form of event but when the time is right we’ll pop a cork or two.

Richard Jones and Wynne Williams (Cymru Healthcare) joined by Alun Evans and Roy Noble at the Launch of Accessible Wales
Richard Jones and Wynne Williams (Cymru Healthcare) joined by Alun Evans and Roy Noble at the Launch of Accessible Wales

For now, we’re proud to announce that we will be launching our online training range in October starting with our online Disability Awareness training course.  While we’re still working on developing these packages, more will be launched in the coming weeks.

Principal Consultant and company founder Richard Jones would like to thank all those who have supported the company in the last thirteen years.  Thanks go to the clients we’ve worked with, partner organisations and to all our friends for helping out when needed.

Happy Birthday Accessible Wales
Happy Birthday Accessible Wales

Disability Awareness Training – October 24th 2019 10am – 1pm

Disability Awareness Training – October 24th 2019 10am – 1pm

Disability Awareness Training – October 24th 2019 10am – 1pm

Do you have three hours free for a bit of personal development?  If the answer is yes, then why not register for our latest Disability Awareness training course.

The course is taking place at our office in Roberstown on Thursday 24th October 2019 10am – 1pm for only £30 per person!  Our courses aim to raise the awareness of delegates towards the needs of people with disabilities which should increase the accessibility of your service.  

To book on this training course visit here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disability-awareness-training-half-day-course-morning-tickets-69002872449

Delegates Undertaking a Disability Awareness Quiz
Delegates Undertaking a Disability Awareness Quiz

Some of the subjects covered are:

Understanding more about disability:

Delegates will look at their own understanding of disability and how disability relates to them

Examine potential access issues and customer service scenarios:

This is activity is split into a hands-on activity looking at some potential access issues and a practical activity looking at customer service scenarios.

The right thing to say at work; to understand is to get it right:

Looking at appropriate language, the etiquette of communicating with people with disabilities.

We have many, many positive comments for all our courses, here are just some of the comment’s delegates have made when attending our training.

“I think the delivery was extremely well balanced giving both sides as to what was realistically achievable i.e. Changes are effected by budgets and what one person finds appropriate another may not. The main point to remember is communication.”

“A very pleasant course to attend. Richard and Gemma work very well together. It was informative and easy to understand.”

“Found the course informative and now feel like I have a better understanding of what to look for and to do to make things more accessible for people with disabilities.”

Principal Consultant Richard Jones about to start a training course
Principal Consultant Richard Jones about to start a training course

Hosted by Principal Consultant Richard Jones, sessions are informal, extremely informative, very emotive and at times, highly amusing!

To book visit us on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/disability-awareness-training-half-day-course-morning-tickets-69002872449 or call 01685 810432, block bookings are welcome.

You can also download a flyer with information on this training course by clicking here.  We also have training scheduled for Monday November 25th 2019 which will also take place in our office but will be 1pm – 4pm, to download a flyer for this course click here.

Disability Awareness Training coming up, at times to suit you!

Disability Awareness Training coming up, at times to suit you!

We have Disability Awareness Training coming up!

We have four training dates scheduled for September, October, November and December.  These courses are full and half day and vary in times and days to suit most diaries, and if they don’t suit your diary… let us know we can come to you!

You can download our training calendar here.

 

Principal Consultant Richard Jones working with delegates on one of the activities
Principal Consultant Richard Jones working with delegates on one of the activities
Delegates studying the layout of an accessible WC
Delegates studying the layout of an accessible WC

The first course we have scheduled is a Disability Awareness Training Full Day course on Wednesday 25th September (10am – 3pm) costing £50 per person.  You can book a place on this course by visiting our Eventbrite page.

Here’s a downloadable training flyer for this course.

The next Disability Awareness Training course is a Half Day course on Thursday 24th October 2019 (10am – 3pm) costing £30 per person.  You can book a place on this course by visiting our Eventbrite page.

Here’s a downloadable training flyer for this course.

I write to thank you for the invaluable training you have provided to our staff both at the Aberdare and Cardiff sites. Our staff thoroughly enjoyed the training sessions and found the interaction both educational and fun. Many staff members are apprehensive around training as they worry they will made to feel or look foolish – this was definitely not the case with your training and everyone came back animated and enthusiastic about the subject.

I would happy to recommend your training to anyone and will be looking to do refresher courses next year.

Lynwen Francis
Managing Partner
St John’s Medical Practice, Aberdare

This is just one of our many testimonials, you can read some more of them by visiting our training feedback here , you can also download our training brochure, this will give you information on all the training services we offer.

All our training is customisable and can be tailored to the needs of our clients.

Delegates looking at access issues that challenge people who use wheelchairs
Delegates looking at access issues that challenge people who use wheelchairs

Call us on 01685 810432Telephone Icon to find out more.

Accessible Wales Training Calendar
Accessible Wales Training Calendar 2019

The Glancynon Inn lives on!

The Glancynon Inn lives on!

The Glancynon lives on!

The Glancynon Inn, Hirwaun
The Glancynon Inn, Hirwaun, one of our first access clients

I am delighted to have received a letter today confirming that planning application to knock down the Glancynon has been withdrawn.

As well as being one of our first clients Alun “The Glan” was a close friend and a mentor to me and I know he would be over the moon to know his pride and joy was not at risk of being demolished.

I am glad common sense prevailed and hope this fantastic community facility will thrive under the new management.

Best Wishes

Richard Jones

Principal Consultant

Richard Jones and Wynne Williams (Cymru Healthcare) joined by Alun Evans and Roy Noble at the Launch of Accessible Wales
Richard Jones and Wynne Williams (Cymru Healthcare) joined by Alun Evans and Roy Noble at the Launch of Accessible Wales

November and December Training

November and December Training

November and December Training

In case you’ve missed it, we’ve got a training course coming up and we’ve got four spaces left to fill… you lucky people!  Our next training course is taking place Thursday 22nd November 1pm – 4pm and will be held in our office.  To book a place on this course click here or call us on 01685 810432.

Delegates from Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Council receiving their certificates
Delegates from Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Council receiving their certificates

We held our first training course in our new training suite in October and it went down a storm, well without too many hitches anyway!!

Feedback received from a delegate from Merthyr Council
Feedback received from a delegate from Merthyr Council

It was really nice to receive this comment on one of our feedback forms at the end of the course; this feedback was left by Leigh King, Inspire 2 Work Merthyr Tydfil Council.  Some of the other comments left were:

“Really enjoyed the informal fun course, which made everyone aware of how to deal with situations that arise when dealing with disabilities. Thank you, Richard and Gemma. Excellent” Gillian Bishop – Inspire to Work MTCBC

“Excellent delivery by Richard and Gemma. Easy to understand and informative. Highly recommend to work colleagues.” Kelly Williams, Inspire 2 Work

“Excellent course. A wide range of info provided. Particularly thought the role play scenarios were a great way to highlight different disabilities” Lesley Jones, Inspire 2 Work

Delegates Undertaking a Disability Awareness Quiz
Delegates Undertaking a Disability Awareness Quiz

If you cannot make the November course don’t fear, we’ve got a course in December!  Our December course will be held on Tuesday 11th December 10am – 1pm, again in our office in Roberstown.  To book on this course click here or call us on 01685 810432.

Delegates from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council taking part in activities
Delegates from Merthyr Council taking part in activities

Delegates from Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf Councils taking part in activities

You can read all our training feedback here.

If you’d like to download information on this course and share it with friends and colleagues you can click here.

You can download our training brochure here which outlines the other courses we offer.

If you have any queries you can get in touch with us by emailing info@accessible.wales or calling 01685 810432.

Get Your Diaries Out!

Get Your Diaries Out!

Get Your Diaries Out!

Principal Consultant Richard Jones training staff from the office of the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner
Principal Consultant Richard Jones training staff from the office of the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner

Yes, that’s right we’ve been planning our training schedule for 2018/2019!

As you know we’ve been working on our new training suite and we’re almost ready to launch it; with that in mind we’ve scheduled six in-house training courses running from September – March.

We’re offering both Full and Half day training courses at times and days to suit most diaries.  You can download our calendar here, more dates will be added throughout the year.

Our first course is a Disability Awareness Training Full Day course on Wednesday 10th October 2018 (10am – 3pm) costing £50 per person.  To book a place on this course you can purchase training places at Eventbrite here, there are ten places available.  Download more information about the course here.

Delegates looking at access issues that challenge people who use wheelchairs
Delegates looking at access issues that challenge people who use wheelchairs

Our second course is a Disability Awareness Training Half Day course on Thursday 22nd November 2018 (1pm – 4pm) costing £30 per person.  To book a place on this course you can purchase training places at Eventbrite here, there are ten places available.  Download more information about the course here.

To book on one of our courses please visit the appropriate Eventbrite page or call us on Telephone Icon 01685 810432 or email info@accessible.wales.

Delegates showing their certificates at the end of a course
Delegates showing their certificates at the end of a course

You can read our training feedback here.

If you would like us to train your staff at your venue, we can come to you!  Call us on Telephone Icon 01685 810432 to find out more.

Boosting Students Knowledge at Coleg Y Cymoedd

Boosting Students Knowledge at Coleg Y Cymoedd

Boosting Students Knowledge at Coleg Y Cymoedd

In February Accessible Wales announced it would be working with Coleg Y Cymoedd to train their students, you can read the blog post here.

Students from Aberdare Campus of Coleg Y Cymoedd recently took part in a one-hour Introduction to Disability Awareness as part of the BOOST programme.

Students from Coleg Y Cymoedd BOOST programme
Students from Coleg Y Cymoedd BOOST programme

The students were from the Health & Social Care department and made the following comments when completing feedback forms.

“The session was fun and interesting and allowed me to have a better understanding of the terms and the correct of the terms and the correct way to communicate.  The activity allowed us to experience the difficulties others may face and was fun.”

“This session went really well and I was able to gain an understanding on disability.  It helped me learn a lot more and I am thankful to have this opportunity.”

“This was a fun and interesting activity.  It helped me improve my knowledge on what a disability is and how to support an individual if they are visually impaired.”

“Fabulous course”

Rebecca Roberts, Campus Services Supervisor made said the following on the training received by Coleg Y Cymoedd students:

The workshop that Richard and his team delivered at Accessible Wales, was fantastic.  All the learners provided excellent feedback, and commented the workshop was so inspiring they were keen to secure more.  As they are working with vulnerable people, who are disabled, the insight to disability awareness helped with their studies.  The workshop had an element of practical work which they thoroughly enjoyed.

I will look forward to working with Richard and the team, to deliver more workshops throughout the year.

Principal Consultant Richard Jones makes the following comment:

Having met with Rebecca this week I am pleased to say that we will be continuing to work with students from Coleg Y Cymoedd undertaking a variety of courses in the future.  We are looking forward to continuing to work with such a great education provider as well as helping to make a difference to those students attending our courses.

If you would like more information about the flexible training programme Accessible Wales offers please visit our Training Services Page.