Monday, 29 September 2014

Heritage sites not wheelchair-friendly

Torre Abbey west front - the art gallery for
Torquay with disabled access throughout.
ALMOST two thirds of the UK’s top attractions are not fully accessible for wheelchair users, a survey commissioned by the government has found.

 ‘I was astonished,’ said Mr Ted Hill of the British Polio Fellowship, ‘I would like to call on these venues to make themselves completely accessible for all. I believe the UK to be among the leaders in equal opportunities and diversity, but clearly the attractions involved in this survey do not get the message.’

The survey was conducted by Vitalise, a national disability charity specializing in providing holidays for people with disabilities and their carers. 

The Washington Hide at Holkham with easy disabled access
It contacted the top 100 most visited attractions in the UK, only 52 of which replied. Of these, 63 percent said that they were not completely accessible to wheelchairs. Of the 27 venues that charged for entry, 44 percent offered no discount at all for disabled people. A quarter of the visitor centres, museums, galleries and heritage sites had no disabled parking spaces, and a quarter had no ramps to doors. 

Only 13 percent had trained their staff in disability awareness.

‘There are more than 11 million people in the UK with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability, and the majority of these are of the type that affects mobility,’ said Mr Hill. ‘That’s potentially a sixth of the population that can’t access all of the facilities at these venues.’

Go Holiday news :

Picture Credit: From Top -  'Torre Abbey west front' by Hawgood via Wikimedia Commons; The Washington Hide at Holkham by Nigel Stickells via Wikimedia Commons

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