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Purple Hound
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Purple Hound is the consumer brand that champions and promotes accessibility for all.
Purple Hound is the consumer brand that champions and promotes accessibility for all.

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How to run accessible events

Event planners are used to taking account of every last detail when organising events, but in the rush to create the ‘perfect’ event, it is easy to let accessibility considerations get put on the back burner. People with disabilities are all too often over looked when it comes to events, and while by no means exhaustive, this list should help to provide a useful start-point for event organisers who are trying to ensure that everyone can take part in their event.

1. Pre-planning
The first stage of creating a truly accessible event comes at the planning. By factoring accessibility in from the beginning, event planners will save themselves a lot of time and money further down the line, and avoid the need for difficult alterations. Choosing a venue that already has good accessibility features is therefore essential. It is advisable to check any potential venues in person, as not all venues are accessible as they claim to be.

If possible, involving a person with disabilities from the earliest stage of planning is advisory. This will help ensure that access is always an important priority, and may pick up on smaller details which would have otherwise been missed.

2. Inviting your guests
Once a good, accessible venue is chosen, inviting guests is the next stage. Where guests with disabilities are being invited, it is worth sending individualised invitations rather than simply sending them generic invitations. Consider invitations which use braille or larger text for visually impaired users.

Organisers should also include an accessibility statement on all invitations, inviting guests to inform them of any special requirements prior to the event. By doing this, organisers can ensure they have ample time to make any modifications required.

At this stage of the event planning, it is also worth advance booking interpreters and other sign-language professionals, as they are always in high demand.

3. Prior to the event
Between inviting guests, and the event itself, there are a number of important considerations to make accessibility-wise. One of the more time consuming aspects of ensuring accessibility can be staff training. It is therefore necessary to get any relevant training organised as soon as possible, so that by the time of the event, staff are comfortable about how to help people with disabilities.

If the event being planned is a conference or presentation, it may be worth considering distributing information before, giving guests who may need longer to read or process information the time to do this. It is also worth ensuring that any written materials to be given out at the event are produced in other formats, such as braille, large print or audio versions if this will be helpful to any guests invited – this information should have been indicated on the return of invitations.

It is also good practice to decide prior who will be responsible for any issues that arise on the day. Having someone clearly in charge will help to make decisions quickly and easily, and minimise the consequences of any errors.

4. Preparing the venue
There are numerous checks, and potentially modifications, which will need to be made at the venue. Starting at the start, it is important to ensure level access to the building. Hopefully, a venue will have been chosen that does not necessitate, for example, the use of steps. However, if this is the case, it is important to ensure a ramp is set up. It is highly preferable that all guests enter through the main entrance, regardless of any impairments.

Once guests are inside, it is vital that the building is easy to move around. Any obstacles which prevent ease of movement around the building – such as tables – should be moved prior to the event. It is also important to ensure that all doors and conference spaces are wide enough to fit a wheelchair.

There should be clear signage around the venue, to allow any guests unfamiliar with the location to move around easily. Signage should be in a large text, with a sans-serif font, to ensure all guests can read and understand it.

Does the venue have an induction loop fitted? If not, you can hire a portable one. This is essential for any of your guests who have hearing difficulties.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that people with disabilities can access the stage. If the stage is up a flight of stairs, this can prove difficult. In this case, ensure that there is a route backstage which allows for easy access.

5. The day itself
Adopting a joined up approach is one of the most important elements to ensuring a smooth, accessible event. There is little use in creating a perfectly accessible venue, if it is impossible for people with disabilities to get from the carpark to the conference centre, for example. Toilets and carparks must be situated close to the venue, and drop-off points and kerb ramps should ideally be set up at the front of the venue to allow people to enter and exit easily.

Toilets are often an area of particular concern and organisers must take steps to ensure that there are enough accessible toilets for the size of the audience. Although it is conventional in other circumstances to lock the disabled facilities, it can save visitors with disabilities a lot of time and effort to leave them open at events like conferences. Finally, it is essential that the red emergency cord in the bathroom is left to dangle, and not tied up, as this makes it impossible for many people with disabilities to reach.

If the event will take in multiple rooms or events, it is important to ensure people with disabilities have enough time to move between venues. Another consideration to make is height. The reception desk must be at a height where it is practical for wheelchair users, and the same applies to any catering arrangements. Self-service food can provide particularly difficult, and someone should be on hand to provide assistance.

Finally, it is preferable to hold your event on the ground floor of the building if possible. This is because exit routes, such as lifts, cannot be used in certain emergencies, making it difficult for some people with disabilities to escape. Therefore, for peace of mind, many people with disabilities feel more comfortable on the ground floor.

We hope this guide provides helpful advice to any event organisers. However, if event planners require further details, please see our website.
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Betterlife and other brands ringing the changes in accessible retailing

With an estimated consumer spend of £212bn – dubbed the ‘Purple Pound’ – no retailer should ignore the consumer with disabilities sector. A series of new retail brands are emerging aimed at this market – a move which promises to significantly enhance the retail experience for many people.

The Betterlife subsidiary launched by Lloyd’s Pharmacy might be the most indicative of changing attitudes towards disability retailing. In an age where more and more businesses are leaving the high street and focusing on online retail – online spending has grown by around 75%, according to Verdict Retail – Betterlife has bucked the trend by opening a string of physical stores.

The success of the first Betterlife store in Leeds which opened in August 2014 led to a further six stores opening in the UK, with branches now in Gillingham, Trowbridge, Norwich, Redditch and two in Birmingham.

Betterlife seems to be aiming towards a truly disabled-friendly experience. The store interiors include a fully furnished bedroom and bathroom, a multi-surface track to test mobility products on and even a car boot to check the ease of loading products into vehicles.

A third of people with disabilities have issues in accessing public and commercial goods and services. A recent article run by BBC News highlighted a number of growing businesses set up exclusively to serve those with disabilities. Some of these brands include the Blue Badge Company, which makes stylish accessories for disabled people. The Blue Badge Company has gone from one employee to sixteen, and its founder, Ellen Green, was confident enough to turn down offers when she appeared on Dragon’s Den. The company manufactures products which Ellen says are “As sexy as disability gets. We’re cheeky and recognise this gap for practical solutions with bright designs which say more about someone’s personality than their disability.”

Another business highlighted is Good Food Talks, an app which enables restaurants to create audible menus. The app, founded by Londoner Matt Wadsworth, already has 1000 restaurants on board – including Nando’s, Pret A Manger and Carluccio’s – and looks like playing a leading role in improving eating out for people with visual impairments. It’s an undoubted positive to see brands like Betterlife, The Blue Badge Company and Good Food Talks not only paying lip service to accessibility, but actively aiming their product at the disability market. Here’s to more brands following in their footsteps.
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Facebook launches new AI accessibility tool

Mark Zuckerberg has announced an exciting new development for Facebook, which should significantly improve accessibility for users with visual impairments. The newly developed technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to audibly describe the images on the site. AI has been used from everything from medical diagnosis to stock trading but this is the first time it’s being used in this way by any online channel.

Announced in a video on the site on 5th April - generating over 3m views within the first day of being uploaded - the AI will help compensate for the lack of ‘alt text’ used on Facebook images, and according to Zuckerberg is “a great use of AI technology, and an important step towards making sure everyone has equal access to information and is included in the conversation.”

Up until now, websites have been made more accessible to those with visual impairments through the use of screen readers, a feature which turns text into spoken words. Many websites use ‘alt text’ - effectively a hidden description of the image which is picked up by a screen reader and spoken to the user. Alt text has been considered good practice in website accessibility for some time.

Images shared on Facebook tend to be uploaded by individual users meaning alt text isn’t really an option. This creates barriers within the image-centric world of social media for many of the 285 million people estimated to be visually impaired worldwide.

The new AI tech is capable of analysing an image and describing its constituent parts, a measure which Facebook believes will greatly improve accessibility. However, to what extent this will be the case remains to be seen; Will it be able to describe an image featuring rather more obscure and complex elements than just a smiling face or a bicycle?

Matt King, a Facebook employee who is himself blind, was involved in the development of the technology and says that though the development is not yet perfect, it’s a big step forward. King hopes that in the future technology can be further refined to describe more details and nuances in images, but believes the current capability is in itself a triumph and a “huge jump” for blind users.

It’s positive to see Facebook developing new ways to be more inclusive, and while the resource may not yet be perfect, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Hopefully similar technology will now be rolled out across other sites, improving accessibility there too and creating a more accessible world.
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Sun, Sand and Wheelchairs

When summer is approaching, thoughts quickly turn towards the beach. Britain’s beaches have been popular for both daytrips and long-stays since Victorian times. It was during this time that ‘taking sea air’ was promoted for its healing properties and health benefits.
Though visiting some beaches can be difficult for many people with disabilities - obstacles range from stairs onto the beach to the uneven surfaces of the sands - the good news is some UK beaches are improving access for people with disabilities. 

The experience can be improved by having level access, the availability of all-terrain wheelchairs and access mats. Access mats, a relatively new product, have been developed to enable wheelchairs to access beaches. The mats are made from slip-resistant, rigid material and retail from around £30.

Here are some of the most accessible beaches in the UK:

1. Dawlish Warren, Devon
Devon’s Dawlish Warren Beach is known for its prominent spit, with not only a beach but also an attached nature and wildlife reserve. All areas of the beach and nature reserve are accessible, with facilities for people with disabilities also provided.

2. Langland Bay, Gower Peninsula, West Glamorgan
This Welsh Beach is one of the principalities most accessible. Langland Bay was also the home of one of the UK’s first surfing scenes, with the sport popular there since the 1960s. The beach is entirely accessible to all, with all-terrain wheelchairs available to hire.

3. North Berwick, East Lothian
Little more than half an hour away from Edinburgh lays North Berwick beach, a golden stretch of sand popular with locals and visitors alike. The beach is renowned as one of Scotland’s most accessible, with local volunteers running a beach wheelchair hire scheme, catering to both adults and children. 

4. St Mildred’s Bay, Kent
Just down the road from historic tourist resort Margate, St Mildred’s Bay offers disabled facilities and disabled access to the beach. With the local train station less than ten minutes from the seafront, St Mildred’s Bay is one of the easiest beach resorts to access via public transport.  London is around an hour and a half train journey away

5. Druridge Bay, Northumbria
Situated in one of the North East’s favourite national parks, Druridge Bay is also one of the region’s best accessible beaches. Facilities include good surfaced paths leading down to the front as well as an accessible visitor centre.

6. Maenporth Beach, Cornwall
Maenporth Beach is truly one of Cornwall’s hidden gems, with a fiercely dedicated local following. The beach is easily accessible, with disabled facilities including a café, toilets, and parking.

7. Bournemouth, Dorset
The beach has accessible cliff lifts and land trains, which are exempt from pier tolls for wheelchair users and  carers and can also be accessed via tarmac. 
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2015's Most Accessible Games Awarded by Ablegamers Foundation

The AbleGamers Foundation has named the ‘Accessible Games of the Year 2015’ as ‘Rocket League’ by Psyonix in the indie category, and ‘MLB 15: The Show’ by SCE San Diego Studio, in the mainstream category. The Foundation promotes equality in the video games market and the breaking down boundaries within the multi-billion pound gaming industry. This is done through extensive research that informs reviews and in-depth analysis of assistive technology to help disabled players make ‘educated purchases’.

‘Rocket League’, released by Psyonix in summer 2015 on the PC and PlayStation 4 platforms, was the surprise indie hit of the year; winning multiple awards and earning widespread recognition across the games industry. Psyonix went to great lengths to include as many gamers as possible by working with focus groups and a vast array of dedicated gamers, including those who were disabled. ‘Rocket League’ was carefully designed to accommodate the disabled gamer, with remappable keys, adaptable colour contrast for the colour blind and short matches for those that may fatigue after long sessions of play. The entire game design points to a conscientious developer who cares about an experience for everyone.

Similarly, ‘MLB 15: The Show’, the latest in the Major League Baseball video game series, was released in March and developers SCE San Diego Studio were also praised by AbleGamers for their attention to accessibility. As part of a long-running series covering one of America’s most popular sports, MLB 15 was guaranteed widespread sales across the country. However, in spite of an assured position at the top of the gaming charts, SCE still decided to work to make the platform more accessible. SCE included a dynamic difficulty setting, player control of what part of the game they play (fielding, batting or throwing) and multiple camera options to help people who may have a visual impairment. The whole game can also be played without sound.

As a form of escapism – and a social leisure activity – gaming can be enjoyed from most places, and is therefore potentially universal in its reach. This helps to break down the boundaries that are present in other sports and leisure activities.

AbleGamers is the biggest community of disabled gamers in the world due to its promotion of unity in gaming. They describe their achievement as having forged a community of “gamers with disabilities helping (other) gamers with disabilities.”

On top of this, gaming’s most popular consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, have had system updates in the last year which have increased their accessibility for disabled players.  New accessibility sections on the hardware mean players can modify their gaming experience.  Features include closed captions, button remapping, zoom functions, higher contrasts, and text-to-speech.  Having these access options at hardware level is a huge step forward for the industry.

It’s clear that heavy hitters in the gaming industry are recognising the importance of the purple pound and have taken the necessary steps to help enhance their games and consoles for the disabled gamer. Although this isn’t present across the whole industry, it is certainly a big step in the right direction.

Ways that gaming developers can make their games more accessible:

• Instructive menus and layouts so that the game can be played entirely without sound.
• Greater visual options such as colour contrasting, size and angle manipulation, visual indicators and camera focus on important aspects of gameplay to help the visually impaired.
• Flexible button remapping to simplify the experience and for greater freedom of hand-movement.
• Short matches and frequent break options for players who may experience fatigue.
• Various difficulty options and a dynamic difficulty system.
• An instructive and simple tutorial.
• Subtitles and text-to-speech functions.
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Dining in the dark: turning accessibility on its head

The triumph of dark restaurants, including the global Dans le Noir? brand and the Blindkuh (‘Blind Cow’) restaurants in Switzerland have flipped accessibility on its head – with dining out experienced through senses other than sight. Dark restaurants have two primary aims: heightened sensory experience; and awareness and support for visual impairment.

Served and guided by staff who are blind or visually impaired themselves, dark restaurants offer an inclusive and equal experience to all. But do mainstream restaurants offer the same when it comes to visually impaired patrons?

285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision, according to the World Health Organisation. A further 2 million people in the UK have some form of visual impairment.

So how do these people experience eating out? Some restaurants do have large text or Braille menus, yet less than 1 per cent of visually impaired people can actually read Braille.

According to Good Food Talks, a platform that offers mobile accessible menu access, a staggering 87% of people with visual impairment rely either on a friend or the waiting staff to read the menu to them when they eat out.

There are around 56,000 restaurants in the UK, contributing to a market worth more than £25 billion per annum. Stand-alone restaurants (as opposed to pub, hotel, in-store and roadside restaurants) account for about a fifth of the total, or £5.4 billion, and the fast-food restaurant sector accounts for a further £6.7 billion.

The uptake of mobile technology could be one way to address the inclusivity balance. Good Food Talks is a platform that aims to empower people with visual impairments to access and browse restaurant menus on their smartphones, tablets and computers in a way that most suits them and their vision. Options include audio, large text, inverted colours as well as using an Open Dyslexic Font. It is free for users to access, and charges restaurants a fee of £199 per year to use it. It currently provides accessible menus for over 20 restaurants and chains, including Carluccio’s, Nando’s and Pret A Manger.

More about dark restaurants and events:

• Blindekuh (which translates in English as ‘Blind Cow’) in Zurich was the world’s first dark restaurant; opening in 1999. It was followed by a sister restaurant in Basel in 2005. Both are run by the Blind-Liecht Foundation, one of Switzerland’s foremost employers for blind and partially sighted people.
• Chef Celia Brook’s recent Blindfolded Tasting Experiment at London’s Borough Market, on Disabled Access Day (12 March 2016), was hugely popular.
• The Dans le Noir? dining in darkness concept restaurants are across the world including in St Petersburg, New York, Riyadh, London and Paris. It’s a sensorial, social and human experience where guests dine in total darkness, guided and served by blind and visually impaired hosts. Whilst presenting a holistic and quality experience to blind and visually impaired diners, it opens up the chance to experience dining in total darkness to everyone. An experience which changes the view of the world and by reversing perspective.
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Gondolas Embrace Accessibility

For a long time, a trip to Venice has been a double edged sword for people with disabilities. One the one hand, Venice is one of the world’s most spectacular cities, and its unique environs make for a fantastic place to visit. On the other hand, with its network of canals, narrow streets and haphazard bridges, it can be a bit of an accessibility nightmare. However, the city is about to take a big step – or oar-stroke – in the right direction with the arrival of new accessible gondolas.

The project is being driven by Gondolas4all, an Italian charity who are tackling Venice’s accessibility problems head-on. The charity is the brainchild of Alessandro Dalla Pieta and Enrico Greifenberg, both gondoliers themselves for twenty years. Alessandro felt saddened by the unavailability of gondolas to people with disabilities, and decided to do something about it.

While riding in the actual gondolas is possible for wheelchairs, the issue has come in accessing the boats. Until recently, wheelchair users would either need to be helped out of their wheelchairs or lifted in their wheelchairs to board a gondola, a solution which was not very practical and often proved to be quite an unedifying experience. Gondolas4all have sought overcome this by constructing a special dock.

Wheelchair users descend a non-slip matt onto the specially constructed floating jetty made entirely of recycled plastic obtained from Tetra Pak processing. This will be constructed by the company Rein, who have also helped to fund the project. People then board an automatic wheelchair lift, constructed by Fadiel, which will ensuring a safe and smooth journey into the gondola.

The first dock will be located at Piazzale Roma, a central transport hub for Venice which can be accessed by car and train, meaning that Venetian gondolas really are as accessible as possible. The project has been brought about through a mixture of public and private financing, with €50,000 donated by the Veneto Regional Authorities, and the rest coming through crowdfunding. It’s really encouraging to see both city authorities and the public-at-large taking accessibility issues seriously, and dipping into their own pockets to help improve the city for people with disabilities.

All gondola drivers for Gondolas4all will undergo a special six week training course, with an emphasis on disability terminology, a knowledge of different disabilities and related mobility needs and a knowledge of relational/emotional aspects. You can book a ride at the usual tariff rates, set by the Venetian council, from their website, with the first gondola rides set to launch in six weeks time.

http://www.gondolas4all.com/?lang=en
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Where to spend your purple pound this Disabled Access Day: the UK’s best accessible attractions

Windsor Castle and the Imperial War Museum are just two of the hundreds of attractions around the UK taking additional measures to improve the visitor experience for guests with disabilities on this year’s Disabled Access Day on Saturday 12 March.

While we like to see attractions being accessible every day of the year – and many of the venues taking part are leading the way already when it comes to this – Disabled Access Day sees attractions going the extra mile. In the run-up to this year’s events, we highlight some of the best offerings to look out for across the length and breadth of Britain.

1. Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
It makes sense to start with the official host, which this year is Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The Gardens were originally founded in 1670 and are one of Britain’s finest Botanical Gardens, with a huge range of plants on show.

The Garden will offer free entry to the Glasshouse Visit for anyone who quotes Disabled Access Day on arrival. There are also three tours of the Garden for those with visual impairments, hearing difficulties or mobility requirements.

2. Mac, Birmingham
The Mac is an arts complex and theatre in Birmingham. Located in the city’s idyllic Cannon Hill Park, the Mac was refurbished in 2010 and boasts a scenic lakeside setting. It attracts in excess of 850k visitors each year.

Disabled Access Day activities at Mac will offer free craft, film screenings and workshops. Additionally, there will be brand new workshops specifically programmed for disabled visitors as well as a chance to speak with tutors.

3. Borough Market, London
Borough Market is one of London’s oldest and biggest food markets. The Southwark market is thought to have been in existence since at least 1014, and is now regarded by foodies in London and beyond as the best place to go for ingredients.

For Disabled Access Day, Borough Market will be hosting a live cookery demonstration with MasterChef 2015 finalist, Tony Rodd, with a registered BSL interpreter on hand to interpret. In the pod next door, regular demo chef Celia Brooks will be running a blindfolded tasting activity, showing visitors how the taste of Market ingredients’ is altered when you can’t rely on your sight.

4. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
Located in a breath-taking building overlooking Manchester Ship Canal, the IWM is one of the North’s most popular visitor attractions. Based in an area which saw the production of WWII Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, the museum focuses on the impact of modern conflicts on people and society.

A range of events are taking place at the museum, including a BSL version of Storytelling: Dotty’s Daring Blitz Adventure; audio described versions of TimeStack Handling Sessions; an audio described version of A Closer Look: Blitzed Brits; and a BSL version of A Closer Look: International Women’s Day, which highlights the role of women in WWII. 

5. Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield
Based in the heart of the up-and-coming Kelham Island region of the city, Kelham Island Museum is a true Sheffield favourite. Originally opened in 1982, the museum pays homage to Sheffield’s steel industry, with numerous exhibitions showing what life was like in the ‘Steel City’.

There are a range of talks and activities throughout the day, the highlights of which include Autism Friendly Hour, which will see reduced sensory input in the museum until 11am; Touch and BSL tours of the museum; and a talk on Dementia Awareness. 

6. Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
Spanning the River Avon, Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of Britain’s most iconic bridges and a landmark in Bristol. Originally opened in 1864, the bridge is based on a design by Brunel, and carries almost 9000 vehicles every day.

For this year’s Disabled Access Day, the first ever BSL tours of the bridge will be on offer. Other events include object handing and audio described tours of the Visitor Centre and a seated outdoor talk for visitors who would rather not make the walk across the bridge. 

7. Windsor Castle, Windsor
One of Britain’s most famous castles and royal residences, Windsor Castle was initially built in the eleventh century by William the Conqueror. It’s been a royal residence since the time of Henry I, making it Europe’s longest-occupied palace, and it is still frequently used by the Queen.

The castle prides itself on being fully accessible and on 12 March will also be offering free admission for visitors with disabilities as part of Disabled Access Day. Additionally, BSL interpreted talks and verbal description tours for blind and partially-sighted visitors will also be on offer.
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Disabled Access Day – What is it, and why does it matter?

World Disabled Access Day 2016 is this weekend (12 March). The inaugural event last year saw 261 venues take part across 11 countries, encouraging people with disabilities, their families, friends and carers to visit. Let’s look more closely at the initiative and why it matters:

What is Disabled Access Day?
The event first came about when Paul Ralph, a powerchair user, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company, a day intended to demonstrate how the bus could be used by wheelchair users. Following this, Paul began to use the bus daily and was inspired to start Disabled Access Day, which is intended to replicate this original ‘try it out’ attitude across a variety of contexts in a variety of places. The explicit aim of the day is to encourage disabled people to visit somewhere new that they’ve never been before.

Disabled Access Day now acts as an umbrella for a series of events going on around the country. So whether you fancy an audio described performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Hammersmith, or a special hearing-impaired showing at Edinburgh’s National Gallery, Disabled Access Day should have something to offer you.

Why does it matter?
•There are over 11 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability in the UK – that’s is 17% of the population – or almost one in every five people.
•People with disabilities have a combined spending power of around £212bn annually, dubbed the ‘purple pound’.
•Around a third of people with disabilities say they experience difficulties related to their impairment in accessing public, commercial and leisure goods and services
•29% of adults with disabilities have found some buildings outside of the home inaccessible. That’s compared to 6% of adults without disabilities.
•53% of adults with disabilities have had problems accessing shops and stores

With these figures in mind, we hope to see a truly accessible Britain. Events like Disabled Access Day are vital in both highlighting this issue, and also in providing a great opportunity for everyone, regardless of disabilities disabled people to visit some new and interesting places.

You can find out more about Disabled Action Day on their website. For events going on, visit this page.
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World’s first wheelchair accessible SUV launched

The world’s first wheelchair-accessible SUV, the BraunAbility MXV, was launched at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, USA, in February. It has been developed by accessible vehicle company BraunAbility in partnership with Ford, who claim the MXV will give wheelchair users ‘the quality and dependability of a BraunAbility mobility vehicle with the adventurous spirit of an Explorer’.

The MXV – available with Explorer base, XLT and Limited models – features patented sliding-door technology, removable driver and passenger seats, and a powered, lighted in-floor ramp. A sliding shifter and front seat base design provide for increased space, while an integrated key fob operates both door and ramp. There’s also an available tow package. Interior space has been maximised to create room for wheelchair navigation and comfort. Wheelchair users can drive the vehicle from a wheelchair or ride as a passenger. Dimensions include:

•55-inch usable side door opening height
•28 1/2-inch usable ramp width
•58-inch interior height (vehicle centre)
•59-inch interior height (for driver and passenger)
•55-inch interior floor length behind front seats
•59 1/2-inch interior width at B-pillar
 
BraunAbility MXV features a 3.5-litre V6 engine and an estimated 5,000-pound maximum tow capacity.

BraunAbility MXV is produced at BraunAbility’s 170,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility in Winamac, Indiana. It is currently sold at more than 200 authorised dealers throughout the US, for around $60,000.

It is estimated that 1.2 million people use a wheelchair in the UK (Department of Health, 2000).
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