Making Play Areas Accessible

Making Play Areas Accessible
Mia Thorne with Vikki Howells AM and friends at the Play Area Launch

Mia Thorne with Vikki Howells AM and friends at the Play Area Launch

As a disability consultancy company we aim to enhance accessibility around Wales and Wednesday saw us mark the launch of a new accessible play area in Cilfynydd.

Mia officially opening the park

Mia officially opening the park

The inaccessibility of the play area was brought to our attention by Mia Thorne, an inspirational young lady who has a desire to help highlight the inaccessibility that people with disabilities face.  Mia wants to make play areas, housing and education accessible for people with varying disabilities.

Mia and friends with Vikki Howells, Cllr Barrie Morgan, Cllr Ann Crimmings and myself (Richard Jones)

Mia and friends with Vikki Howells, Cllr Barrie Morgan, Cllr Ann Crimmings and myself (Richard Jones)

I am really pleased with the end result of this play area; it’s excellent and very accessible.  This project highlights the importance of joint working, it is a collaboration between ourselves, Mia, officers from Rhondda Cynon Taff council, Vikki Howells AM and councillors Barrie Morgan and Ann Crimmings.

In this day and age it is vitally important to strive towards an inclusive society and people with disabilities are able to use the park with comfort and ease.  With such a positive example of what can be done to help empower people with disabilities we should be encouraging people to use these facilities and not abuse them.  It is important to ensure that these play areas are cared for, Councillor Barrie Morgan says the following:

“If we are investing in our community it is important for the community to invest too.”

I would like to congratulate Rhondda Cynon Taff council on taking accessibility seriously and ensuring that children with disabilities can play too.

Mia and friends on the slide with Vikki Howells, Cllr Barrie Morgan, Cllr Ann Crimmings and myself (Richard Jones)

Mia and friends on the slide with Vikki Howells, Cllr Barrie Morgan, Cllr Ann Crimmings and myself (Richard Jones)

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