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Petition for 'scores on the doors' accessibility ratings in Wales

13th February 2018

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

 

A disability-focused campaign group in Wales has called for public spaces in the country to display ‘scores on the doors’-style accessibility ratings outside their premises.

The Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People has launched a petition calling for buildings used, for example, as shops, restaurants and doctors’ surgeries to introduce a system similar to the food hygiene ratings that were made mandatory by the Welsh government in 2013.

The campaign group has proposed that, if adopted, the signs would feature a ‘0-5’ disabled access rating, as well as symbols confirming whether or not the building in question has important accessibility features such as hearing loops, wheelchair-friendly toilets and braille menus.

So far, in the region of 2,000 people have signed the e-petition, which can be accessed here, with a spokesman for the Welsh government cautiously welcoming its stated aim: “In principal, this idea seems to have some merit and we would be interested to see how the practicalities of such a scheme would work”, he told the BBC.

As well as drawing attention to the fact that many public buildings in Wales do not currently have sufficient disabled access, the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People has also been keen to point out that even those which do are often caught unawares when asked to put their accessibility features into use.

One member of the coalition, 42-year-old Simon Green, explained to the BBC that he had to be carried into a Christmas party by his friends after staff at the venue they were visiting did not take the time to set up their wheelchair ramp: “Sometimes you are treated like a bit of a nuisance because you are saying to the bar staff ‘can you get the ramp?’ and they are serving customers. They say ‘we’ll be there in a minute’, but that minute turns into six, seven, eight minutes, and I’m outside freezing”.

If the proposed system is introduced in Wales, there would doubtless be calls from many other users of disability stairlifts for it to also be taken up elsewhere across the UK.

Image Credit: SounderBruce