Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Access Awareness Day 2021

Yep, judging by the title of this post today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day and I thought it would be daft for us not to mention it.

I’m not going to bore you with a long article about how important it is for disabled people to be able to access, well everything, like everyone else, because in this day and age everyone should know that!!

Everyone at Accessible Wales shout about equality and kindness and yet venues still have steps so wheelchair users can’t access a take away coffee, or harsh lighting meaning a visually impaired person can’t read a menu.

Principal Consultant Richard Jones
Principal Consultant Richard Jones

Yes, it could be said that they can ring a bell for a coffee or a menu can be read to them etc. but why should that happen? I love my independence (too much as some of my family and friends would say) and I think it’s important that everyone should have the ability to do things for themselves.

Okay rant over (it’s a passionate subject) but please have a think, as its Global Accessibility Awareness Day, is there anything you can do to help?

There’s more information on the Global Access Awareness Day website You can always read about our access consultancy service on this website.  Or call 01685 810432 for more information.

Thanks for stopping by

Disabled lady paying by card
What are your thoughts on access?

Accessible Wales… in association with the Access Association

Accessible Wales… in association with the Access Association

Accessible Wales… in association with the Access Association

Access Association Member 2020/2021
Access Association Member 2020/2021

Accessible Wales is proud to announce it is a member of the Access Association.  The Access Association is a national network of individuals who are passionate about access and inclusive design.  Their aim is to provide peer support and sharing knowledge.

We has been open for 13 years and as we enter a new phase in our life we are going to be developing our access consultancy service.

Above are just some of the companies and organisations who have benefited from our access service since we opened in 2007.

Richard Jones, Principal Consultant and founder had the following to say:

I am delighted that Accessible Wales has joined the Access Association. We initially opened up with the view to solely looking at access but then there was a desire from our clients for Disability Awareness Training.  I feel that as we move in to the new normal post-Covid, access improvements will be more important than ever.  That is why we want our fingers on the pulse to keep up to date with the latest legislation and best practices. Being a member of the Access Association will allow us to do that.

I’m of the firm belief that access is a right not a privilege and as such we should do all we can to make society more accessible

Over the next four months Accessible Wales will be concentrating on developing the access services currently offered with a view to re-launching it in early 2021.  If you would like to know more about the services offered currently please visit our access consultancy page.

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

Accessible Wales strengthens links with Cynon Valley Museum

Accessible Wales strengthens links with Cynon Valley Museum

Accessible Wales strengthens links with Cynon Valley Museum

The recently opened Cynon Valley Museum

The recently opened Cynon Valley Museum

Followers of our regular blog posts will know we have a strong history of working with the Cynon Valley Museum. That bond goes back ten years, as they were one of our first clients.

Principal Consultant Richard Jones with Cynon Valley Museum Development Manager Charlotte Morgan

Principal Consultant Richard Jones with Cynon Valley Museum Development Manager Charlotte Morgan

When Accessible Wales’ non-profit arm Accessible News opened in 2008, a disability support surgery called Empower was established in the museum.  This surgery has helped local people on issues ranging from housing to benefits and employment advice.

As part of our 10-year Anniversary,  Accessible Wales is looking at ways to help further local charities and voluntary organisations. The Cynon Valley Museum had recently reopened and is run by a charitable trust.

After meeting with then Chairperson Dinah Pye and Manager Charlotte Morgan, Accessible Wales offered to carry out a detailed access audit free of charge.  For more information on our Access Consultancy Service please click here.

Principal Consultant Richard Jones commented:

“I’m pleased to continue to work with the museum. Organisations like this are a big part of the fabric of an accessible Wales and we want to see the museum thrive by being there for the whole community.  We will help in any way we can to make that happen.”

Accessible Wales has now delivered the Access Review audit to the Museum management and Trustees, and are looking forward to working with staff and volunteers in the future.

Development Manager Charlotte Morgan receiving the Cynon Valley Museum Access Audit

Development Manager Charlotte Morgan receiving the Cynon Valley Museum Access Audit

Development Manager Charlotte Morgan said:

“As a new organisation taking over an existing facility, it has been invaluable to us to work with Accessible Wales, who have been able to help us identify improvements that we can make. We are grateful for their tireless work with us and look forward to doing more in the future to make sure the heritage of the Cynon Valley is accessible for everyone.”

If you run a charity or voluntary organisation and think we could be of help to you then please do not hesitate to get in touch by visiting our contact page.

For more information about the Cynon Valley Museum please visit their Facebook page here.

Two Access Reviews Completed

Two Access Reviews Completed

Two Access Reviews Completed

Public Health Wales and Aberdare Community School reviews before presentation

Public Health Wales and Aberdare Community School reviews before presentation

Last week Accessible Wales handed in two Access Reviews, one for Rhondda Cynon Taff on Aberdare Community School and the second for Public Health Wales on their new offices in Capital Quarter 2, Cardiff.

These two jobs represent the two opposite ends of the work we carry out as part of our Access Consultancy Service.

Aberdare Community School

Aberdare Community School

Firstly was a review of the new Community School, a school designed to be fully accessible.  This building was already open and our review involved looking at access from a pupil’s perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

Public Health Wales new office

Public Health Wales new office

The second piece of work was reviewing the access to a new building.  Previous clients Public Health Wales were moving offices into a new building and commissioned us to look at the accessibility before any of the furniture was put in place.  This is always good practice as it can save on alterations once the building is finished.  While these are not always costly they can have an impact on the way a building is used.

Both pieces of work were a pleasure to undertake, both buildings have the potential to be beacons in relation to access.

If you would like to know more about the accessibility of your building please get in touch.  All our access services can be tailored to any building, whether it’s a one room shop, hospital, listed building or six story new building we cater for all.

Some of the varied clients who have benefited from our access consultancy service

Some of the varied clients who have benefited from our access consultancy service

For more information visit our Access Consultancy page, or contact us.

Or just call us nowoffice-telephone-number

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

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.