Research carried out by access review website Euan’s Guide has revealed that disabled people consider historic places or buildings more accessible than the average pub.
The results of the survey, published today in Euan’s Guide’s The Access Survey, revealed that while 21% of respondents said that historic locations had “good” or “excellent” accessibility, only 13% said the same of pubs and bars.
The Access Survey also highlighted some of the specific factors which disabled people consider when visiting somewhere new. Half of respondents avoid going places that have not shared information about accessibility, while 86% found that information venues do provide turns out to be misleading.
Co-founder of Euan’s Guide Euan MacDonald said: “Since using I powerchair I’ve become accustomed to forward-planning everyday activities such as going for a coffee or meeting friends for a drink. It’s astonishing that bars and pubs are often harder to access than castles and ancient buildings built hundreds of years ago. It just shows that an old building is no barrier to good access.”
Euan’s Guide notes that while some people have told them that they’ve struggled to purchase a pint in a newly-refurbished pub, they’re still able to eat a cake in a treehouse beside Alnwick Castle, or comfortably and easily explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness.
Liz Grant, manager of Stirling Castle, which carries a 4.3 rating on Euan’s Guide, said: “At Stirling Castle, we’ve seen small changes have a big impact in terms of making the site more accessible – from increasing our offering of British Sign Language (BSL) tours and audio-descriptive guides, to providing courtesy cars for those with limited mobility.
“Our staff are also key to ensuring that access to the site is as inclusive as possible, and we provide training to build staff confidence and understanding in how they might best enhance visits for specific access needs.
“The feedback we’ve received from visitors has been very positive, and we will continue to work with the advice and guidance from Euan’s Guide and other partners to ensure Stirling Castle can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Founder of Disabled Access Day, Paul Ralph, added: “We understand that not everywhere is fully accessible, but if they are honest about what is and isn’t available, people can plan accordingly. We hope that, by highlighting this discrepancy ahead of Disabled Access Day, it will encourage pubs and other places to think again about what they can do to improve access. It can be something as simple as having tables with removable chairs in addition to existing benches and booths, or investing in a portable ramp.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine
Image: Flickr/Giuseppe Milo