A UK wide project has been launched seeking ‘Wheelchair Ambassadors‘ to represent their local area and help others with specific accessibility needs find places such as restuarants, cafes, theatres, etc. that are mobility friendly.The Wheelchair Ambassadors project was launched by Steve Wilkinson who says “As a wheelchair user for many years, I’ve experienced many situations where access isn’t as good as it should be. Legislation has been around for over 20 years (DDA 1995) but, in my opinion, that’s not the way to make businesses provide better access. The problem as I see it is they don’t really know what to do and often make the wrong assumption that being accessible costs money.
That couldn’t be further from the truth – I actually think it can make money. I’m sure you’ll agree. If I go out with family or friends, we’re always going to go somewhere that is suitably accessible for my needs. Not only am I spending my money at that place, but those there with me will also be spending money. This is all money they wouldn’t get if I couldn’t get into the place because it was inaccessible.”
The aim of the project is to grow a vast network of wheelchair users who are willing to be contacted by other users to share detailed information about places they go in the local area where they live.
Wheelchair users, family, friends and carers are encouraged to sign up on the Wheelchair Ambassadors website and start sharing knowledge and experience with others on the experience they have in a local area as a wheelchair user.
Mr Wilkinson continues “To me, being accessible and promoting the fact by having appropriate signage, including useful information on the website and encouraging those who go regularly to sign up on Wheelchair Ambassadors, so they can share with others the information they have about the place and experiences they’ve had there is a no-brainer for every business.”
Can you be a Wheelchair Ambassador for your local area? To learn more about the project and sign-up, please visit: http://www.wheelchairambassadors.com/
You can also follow the progress of the project and work of Steve Wilkinson on Twitter by following @wheelchairsteve.